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DNA results and historical Ethnicity or Nationality

DNA results and historical Ethnicity or Nationality

Posted: 1300402803000
Classification: Query
Reply to
Re: Metis? Barrois/ Sauvage/ St. Cosme
metismartin (View posts) Posted: 17 Mar 2011 1:50PM GMT
Classification: Query

Dear cousin Suzanne and others,

That said, One must also bear in mind that not all immigrants from Europe were full blooded European. The boats did not go back empty or sail by themselves. There are many instances of mixed blood descendants of the original New France and Acadian families who went back as mixed bloods whose descendants returned as full blooded French, Basque, Norman, Scottish, English and Irish immigrants. Please remember that the priests who recorded the marriages and baptisms were racist and prone to exclude true recordings of mixed bloods. This is seen in the number of our families who chose to be married through the civil archivists and notaries.

DNA is the real verification needed to support the paper trails of genealogical records. Without the DNA backup for any claim on paper the work is only half done and likely not a true record. Metis was a term used by the English as derogatory towards the Bois Brule who were the descendants of the Huron, Algonquin, Chippewa and Amerindian families who lived by trading and whose settlements were characteristically brush burnt to improve the harvest as is still done on the prairies today. Manitoba still has smoke days in the spring when the burning smoke is too thick to go outside in. Before 1810 we were characteristically called Coureur du bois, traders or wood runners or other characteristic names like voyageurs describing the independent trading families who lived in the Indian and European style and who spoke indigenous and European languages and essentially lived free in the country. These families were direct descendants of the combined trading communities from the high noble families, the chief and main indigenous families and especially the soldier elite who survived by trading in furs to support the armed forces.

Hope this helps fill in some of the grey areas in discerning what you believe about the records and terms used. The truth of our families is that we were mostly always separate from both the European and from our parent indigenous families and maintained a separate indigenous identity from the very start. The only mistake researchers make is in using the later coined term of Metis to refer to our already distinct family that existed before the French; yet willingly and traditionally merged with them as permanent trading allies.
In this way the Metis have always existed and have always been 100% indigenous.

Martin Carriere

Dear Martin,
I have had difficulty replying. Each attempt was blocked, including a reply to your next e-mail in this thread that plugged the book you have published.

May I remind you that the original question in this thread concerned individual families that some allege have a historical link to Native Americans. The issue was not deep ancestry, back to the Irish or Vikings who may or may not have traveled to the New World and taken Indians or First Nations people back to Europe, from which, you allege, their descendants then chose to go to Canada.

There is a difference between theory and documentation, even documentation through DNA. The families in this thread have no verifiable Indian ancestry in historical time, as I have made clear several times.

My best to you, as well.


Re: DNA results and historical Ethnicity or Nationality

Posted: 1300412256000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Metis, DNA, Carriere, Bois Brule
Hi Suzanne and other family,

The discernment and acceptance of which families are or are not Metis has plagued the ease of research for decades. Adding in financial benefits through the government offerings confuses people even more. The fundamental question of who is or who is not a Metis is really only a question of who wants to belong to which families. We do, and have always, exist outside of the government parameters of who is family. Our tradition of who got to join in the mix was one of who they were descended from and who they were married to and from their desire to be with our collective families.

With the gap in the records due to the specific exclusion of recording the mixing of the European and indigenous races by the priests until after the 1600's has left the original mixing of many Metis lineages off the charts of recorded history. We can only assume, based on our own families stories, or through the use of DNA or other tools to bridge this gap, that the person wanted to self identify as Metis has some merit to their desire. If someone believes they are Metis and wants to join in the family our tradition was to give them space until they showed otherwise. The massive amount of research that has gone into attempting to fill some of these holes has helped tremendously, yet has still left many families with unproven connections.

If we take all of the families of known Bois Brule descent at around 1800 and include their familial trade alliances our connected families number in the thousands. If we take the government and papal records of who gets to claim status we end up with a lot smaller number. Combining DNA, research and willingness to be part of the family is really the only way to go. What began as a peaceful merger of our families desiring to be together can continue without the confusion of government meddling in our self identification. Establishing a massive, stand alone, database and registry is an idea put forward by many of our families over the years and is really the only option for the future.

Following from the scrip records of the 1800's has in itself a confusing element in that the genealogies were specified to go back to the first European settler - not the first indigenous settler. In this way these land grants were European grants that did not have anything to do with indigenous title. Expanding the genealogies of these families back to the indigenous families of origin has led many to unproven records and unanswerable questions. The laissez faire method of French adoption practices is where many of the known indigenous connections for families exist yet remain off the records until lucky records are located or obvious mistakes found and corrected. One link I managed to find was for Joseph and Jean Baptiste Sagourou who were adopted as Gauthiers (La Verendrye's great uncles) when their Algonquin parents Joseph Saguirou and Agnes Maxoumitimousens were killed by the Iroquois. These links were verified by DNA testing. What I really mean to say is that whether we find the records or not we must still follow our heart and embrace each other as family, otherwise our own traditions get lost in the fight for government money and conscripted identity.

Hope this helps with the general concept. If you feel a need to contact me further on this please email me at
All the best,
Martin Carriere
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