Ethnogenesis on the settler frontier: Jennifer Adese, Chris Andersen (eds), A People and a Nation: New Directions in Contemporary Métis Studies, UBC Press, 2021


Description: In A People and a Nation, the authors, most of whom are themselves Métis, offer readers a set of lenses through which to consider the complexity of historical and contemporary Métis nationhood and peoplehood. Multidisciplinary chapters on identity, politics, literature, history, spirituality, religion, and kinship networks orient the conversation toward Métis experiences today. The chapters within are themselves also a reorientation given that the field of Métis Studies has been afflicted by a longstanding tendency to situate Métis within deeply racialized contexts, and/or by an overwhelming focus on the nineteenth century. A People and a Nation confronts such problematic characterizations head on, training a critical gaze on conventional historiographical positionings of the Métis people as a primitive intermediate force that opened up the Canadian West. A People and a Nation dismantles the impoverished notions that continue to shape political, legal, and social understandings of Métis existence. It is a timely collection that convincingly demonstrates how racialized interpretative frameworks diminish the Métis people and are incompatible with the task of understanding Métis peoplehood and nationhood. This important work will appeal not only to scholars in Métis studies but also to scholars and students of Indigenous studies, political science, sociology, history, and cultural studies, and to policy workers and others seeking a better understanding of the Métis people and the current state of Métis studies.

%d bloggers like this: