Hegemonic Discourses of Métis Identity in British Columbia, Canada
Viewing Métis identity not as a natural, essential, or fixed phenomenon, but as an experience formed through internal and external factors, this article examines the mechanisms by which people residing in British Columbia identify as Métis. Through interviewing Métis Peoples and engaging in Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Narrative Analysis (NA), this research demonstrates how Métis narratives centre on and replicate three hegemonic discourses based on racial mixedness, Métis cultural values, and Métis nationalism. The ‘Métis subject’ is then not an easily described coherent subject, but rather a co-constructed description based on transient identification with multiple and sometimes contradictory texts, which are themselves made meaningful through discourses. Understanding ‘Métis’ in this way allows for an exploration of the role of power in producing meanings of ‘Métis’ and how individuals, groups, and institutions can strategically mobilize particular meanings and resist definitions of Métis prescribed by Eurocentric perspectives embedded in colonial institutions.