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  • Writer's pictureOntario Métis Facts

The Mattawa/Ottawa River Historic Métis Community

The Mattawa/Ottawa River Historic Métis Community is rooted in the historical fur trade, connected to other parts of west central North America, such as Rupert’s Land, and was distinct from both First Nation and settler populations.


Métis settlements in the Mattawa region emerged between the early-and mid-nineteenth century in the context of a declining fur trade and expanding timber and lumber industry. While Métis continued to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company after its 1821 merger with the North West Company—as intermediaries, canoe-men, sleigh-drivers, craftsmen, and labourers—increasing numbers lost their positions as the company economized.


Kinship, religious affiliation, economic practices, and cultural traits all set the Mattawa/Ottawa River Historic Métis Community apart from other groups in the region.


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