Table of contents


Part I: Hybridity and Patterns of Ethnogenesis

Chapter One: Race and Nation: Changing Ethnological and Historical Constructions of Hybridity

Chapter Two: Economic Ethnogenesis: The Fur Trade and Metissage in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Part II: The Genesis and Development of the Idea of the Metis Nation to 1930

Chapter Three: Fur Trade Wars, the Battle of Seven Oaks, and the Idea of the Metis Nation, 1811–1849

Chapter Four: Louis Riel and the Religion of Metis Nationalism, 1869–1885

Chapter Five: L’Union Nationale Métisse Saint-Joseph, A. H. Tremaudan, and the Reimagining of the Metis Nation, 1910–1930s

Part III: Government Policy and Metis Status in the 19th Century

Chapter Six: The Manitoba Act and the Creation of Metis Status

Chapter Seven: Extinguishing Rights and Inventing Categories: Metis Scrip as Policy and Self Ascription

Chapter Eight: Indian Treaty versus Metis Scrip: The Permeability of Status Categories and Ethnicities

Chapter Nine: The United States/Canada Border and the Bifurcation of the Plains Metis 1870–1900

Part IV: Economic Marginalization and the Metis Political Response 1896–1960s

Chapter Ten: St. Paul des Metis Colony 1896–1909: Identity as Pathology

Chapter Eleven: Political Mobilization in Alberta and the Metis Betterment Act of 1938

Chapter Twelve: The Liberals, the CCF, and the Metis of Saskatchewan, 1935–1964

Chapter Thirteen: Social Science and the Metis, 1950–1970

Part V: Politics, the Courts, and the Constitution: Reformulating Metis Identities

Chapter Fourteen: A Renewed Political Awareness, 1965–2000

Chapter Fifteen: Reformulated Identities, 1965–2013

Chapter Sixteen: The Metis of Ontario

Chapter Seventeen: The Metis of the Northwest Territories

Chapter Eighteen: Ethnic Symbolism: Re-interpreting and Recreating the Past



“Gerhard Ens and Joe Sawchuk have produced a compelling piece of work – one that will inform and contribute to ongoing debates within Métis studies for years to come. ”Nicole St-Onge, University of Ottawa

From New Peoples to New Nations is a broad historical account of the emergence of the Metis as distinct peoples in North America over the last three hundred years. Examining the cultural, economic, and political strategies through which communities define their boundaries, Gerhard J. Ens and Joe Sawchuk trace the invention and reinvention of Metis identity from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Their work updates, rethinks, and integrates the many disparate aspects of Metis historiography, providing the first comprehensive narrative of Metis identity in more than fifty years.


"Tracing the intricate and layered process by which new peoples become new nations within politically, economically, and symbolically charges matrices, Ens and Sawchuk have contributed a theoretically and empirically bountiful text that one hopes will generate discussions within and outside of Métis studies. "

- Nicholas Barron

‘As a result of its diligent research and unique analytical perspective, From New Peoples to New Nations will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in historical and contemporary Métis identities. ’

- Gabrielle Legault

‘Ens and Sawchuck have written the most comprehensive and balanced view of Métis history to date, which will provide much-needed context for all who seek to better understand who the Métis are and the centuries of struggle they have faced…. Highly recommended. ’

- B.F.R. Edwards

From New Nations to New Peoples offers an important update to Métis history and historiography… Ens and Sawchuck’s novel approach to the topic allows them to convincingly posit that Métis ethno-genesis is perpetual and continues to the present day via "dialogical processes".

- Émilie Pigeon

‘For its comprehensiveness, it would make an excellent textbook for undergraduate courses… Its considerable bibliography and broad treatment of Metis history will undoubtedly make it as a general reference on Metis history and identity. ’

- Camie Augustus