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  • Writer's pictureOntario Métis Facts

Métis Women Harvesters of the Abitibi Inland

Métis women played an essential role in provisioning the fur trade posts of the Abitibi Inland and western James Bay regions.

Métis women from the Abitibi Inland Métis Community are documented hunting, trapping, and snaring a variety of birds and game, including geese, partridges, beaver, martins, and rabbits. Fishing—especially for whitefish—was common too.

In addition to hunting, snaring, and fishing, Métis women actively participated in maple sugar production, as well as other essential land-based economic activities such as making and repairing nets, gathering spruce gum for canoe repairs, and lacing and repairing snowshoes.

Between 1800 and 1870, Hudson’s Bay Company records document Métis women harvesters in the Abitibi Inland and western James Bay regions. This included Joseph Turner’s Métis wife, Emma. In 1812, for example, the postmaster at Kenogamissi described sending Emma and others, “to the fishing place with as many kegs as could be found for curing fish in.”

Many of these important traditions are carried on by Métis women today.

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