Métis ancestry is a source of pride
Re: “Every Indigenous person is Indigenous enough,” column, Dec. 30. Thank you, Charla Huber, for your column.
At the age of 10 when I moved to Victoria from Manitoba, I told a girl that I was Métis and she called me a derogatory word, one I had never heard before.
After that experience, I decided to identify as English/Scottish (my father’s heritage) and besides, my skin is fair and freckled.
Because of the lightness of my skin, I get varied reactions from people when I identify as Métis. Some are kind, some have no clue what Métis is or don’t believe me until I show them my card.
I have even seen a retired woman make rope-hanging gestures to mock Louis Riel, after telling her my great (times three) grandfather Romain Lagimodiere was Louis Riel’s uncle and one of his pallbearers.
During the Riel Rebellion, many of my ancestors had to leave the Red River Valley, and those who stayed were persecuted. One of my ancestors was almost killed, but survived by jumping into the Red River after his house was raided and family assaulted.
One Métis memory I have as a child is my grandfather tracing the Métis Infinity flag on my arm to remind me: “It’s in our blood.”
I am proud to be Métis, but for a very long time I wasn’t. I come from the “We don’t talk about it” generation and firmly believe in the old English proverb: “You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.” Kendall Arnold Sooke