Early mixed-blood communities of eastern canada
While it cannot, and should not, be argued sensibly that the eastern mixed-blood population of Canada should be considered part of the historical Metis Nation that developed on the prairies of Canada and the northern United States, it cannot be disputed that a mixed-blood population did arise during the earliest years of European settlement of Acadia and the east, or that historical mixed-blood communities did develop there.
In 1632, a French nobleman named Isaac de Razilly, a famous naval commander and a Knight of Malta, sailed to Mi'kmaq country in a fully equipped warship, accompanied by two other vessels. He brought with him 300 colonists—farmers, laborers, craftsmen, a dozen women, some children, and a few Capuchin priests. After founding a small habitation at Canso on the Atlantic coast, Razilly made his principal settlement at La Hève, where he founded an offshore fishery.
After Razilly's sudden death in 1635, his successor, Charles de Menou d'Aulney, relocated most of the La Hève settlers to Port Royal, where they established themselves on fertile marshlands opposite Poutrincourt's original site. Some colonists, mostly those who had taken Mi'kmaq wives, remained in La Hève, which became a settlement of mixed-blood families.
During the next 15 years, the population at Port Royal grew. As in La Hève, some of the single men took local Mi'kmaq women as wives and a small French-Mi'kmaq mixed-blood population began to emerge in the region.
Although most mixed-blood children were raised as Mi'kmaqs, in some instances Franco-Mi'kmaq family clusters formed unique communities. For instance, the mixed offspring of French colonists and Mi'kmaq women at La Hève formed their own distinct community on Nova Scotia's east coast from the early 1630s onward. Later that century they were said to live “like Europeans” and “numbered seventy-five or more”. The occasional suggestions of Indian agriculture seem to stem chiefly from these mixed families. Similar mixed-blood communities developed elsewhere in the region.
From Prins, Harald E. L. 1996. “Mi’Kmaq: Resistance, Accomodation, And Cultural Survival.” Case Studies In Cultural Anthropology. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Pub.
A collaborative effort of members of the Ojibwe and Metis communities