NEWS & EVENTS | April 12, 2019

Two New Books on the Métis

Professors Paul Morris and Denis Gagnon

Professors Paul Morris and Denis Gagnon.

On Thursday, March 28, two professors from Université de Saint-Boniface (USB), Denis Gagnon and Paul Morris, each presented their new publications in USB’s Provencher Entrance Hall, sharing the premises and objectives of their books. While these two works are distinctly different, they share a common thread: the Métis people.

Transcultural Canada

Paul Morris taught in Europe, specifically in Germany, before coming to teach at USB in 2010. He initially taught French-English Translation, and then began teaching English Literature in 2013. He is also the director of the Master’s in Canadian Studies program.  

Le Canada, une culture du métissage / Transcultural Canada, a collection of various texts written in French and in English, was created under his direction.

“The texts in this collection are the result of a colloquium that was held at USB in October 2013. Winnipeg is paradigmatic as a place for the blending of cultures and intercultural contact in Canada,” explained Paul Morris. “As a result, many Francophone and Anglophone participants discussed transculturalism during the colloquium.”   

The topic of multiculturalism has always been important to Professor Morris, “especially after having taught in Europe where this concept of multiculturalism is barely, if at all, present,” he added. “However, this concept has a strong presence in Canada and could even be considered a pillar of our national identity.”

Métis Status in Canada

Professor Denis Gagnon is an anthropologist, specializing in First Nations members in Canada. He has been a professor at USB since 2002 and has been studying Métis issues since this time.

“When I arrived here, in the Métis homeland, I became very interested in these people. I wanted to learn who they are, their claims, how they define themselves,” he explained. “Today, I am one of the main contributors to research on Métis identity in Canada.” In fact, Denis Gagnon held the Canada Research Chair on Métis Identity (2004-2014).

His new book, Le statut de Métis au Canada. Histoire, identité et enjeux sociaux (Métis Status in Canada. History, Identity and Social Issues), is the result of extensive research that began many years ago. “This book required a great deal of time, work and research,” he explained.      

This book was written to promote a better understanding of Métis history and claims issues from the mid-19th century to the early 21st century, as well as their relations with the State. It is divided into five chapters addressing theories about the Métis People and their history, followed by a discussion of political and legal aspects.  

Denis Gagnon explained that his objective was to “perform a historical, political and legal analysis of the Métis status in Canada within an anthropological context.”


Both of these books are available for purchase through Presses de l’Université Laval.

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