La judiciarisation de l'identité métisse ou l'éveil des Métis au Québec : le cas de la Communauté Métisse du Domaine du Roi et de la Seigneurie de Mingan

Authors: Pelta, Corinne
Advisor: Turgeon, Laurier
Abstract: This dissertation explores the identity claims in which are engaged the members of the Communauté métisse du Domaine du Roi et de la Seigneurie de Mingan (C.M.D.R.S.M.), located in Quebec. The C.M.D.R.S.M. is a political association consisting of more than five thousand members spread out on a vast territory starting from Chicoutimi and westward along the coast of the St. Lawrence, including the North Shore and Lower North shore of Québec (Blancs-Sablons), and eastward, extending from Chicoutimi to form a triangle with Chibougamau. Its members are currently fighting for the official recognition of their identity and are taking part in a legal battle so as to be included in a specific legal category, that of “Métis”. Those who are recognized as such detain aboriginal rights to hunt, fish and gather for subsistence on a given territory. The emergence of the C.M.D.R.S.M. dates back from 2005 and is intrinsically linked to numerous contextual circumstances, mainly political and legal in nature. Nonetheless, it came as somewhat of a surprise since, on the one hand, academic research on métis studies was still at that time largely preoccupied with the Canadian Prairies, and, on the other hand, the C.M.D.R.S.M. was the first Association in Québec to represent individuals who were claiming a specific legal status as Métis. The originality of this research thus stems first, from the scarcity of sources allowing to put these dynamics in context and, on the other hand, from both the relative novelty and the rapidity with which this identity claim movement is growing in Québec as well as in the rest of Canada. The Maritime Provinces are a case in point of this phenomenon. Our main objective was to cast light on the complexity of the claims formulated by the members of C.M.D.R.S.M. in the public space, at the crossroad between political, philosophical, legal and ethno historical dynamics. It seemed particularly pertinent to understand the origins of the members’ self-identification as Métis and to qualify the supposed “novelty” of the movement that emerged in the public space. If their claims are only expressed since recently having remained, for a very long time, invisible, the argument that they “come out of nowhere” is just not tenable. To the contrary, they are affixed, superposed, articulated to individual and collective narrations of the members. We focused on the various factors that triggered and allowed the expression of that self-identification in the public space as well as on the unifying role that the C.M.D.R.S.M. played in this regard. Furthermore, our goal was to decipher what the term “metis” referred to for those who identify as such: do they perceive themselves as a separate group characterized by a distinct life style? This research casts light on growing dynamics contributing therefore to broaden the state of knowledge in the fields of political anthropology and ethnology, as well as métis studies.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2015
Open Access Date: 24 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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