History of the McKay Métis

The Fort McKay Métis Community is made up of the historic Métis community that originally provided labour to the fur trade in the Athabasca region of what is now northeastern Alberta in the early nineteenth century. Its members have a mixed ancestry that includes French, English, Cree, Dene and Métis heritage with close ties to members of the Fort McKay First Nation. The Fort McKay Métis Community draw strength from the positive aspects of their mixed heritage keeping feet in both the Aboriginal and their Euro-Canadian backgrounds.

The Fort McKay Métis History Project Metis Strategic Plan of 2010 identified cultural retention and development as a key pillar in the community. Early in 2011 the community's Elders came together and identified a number of ways they would like to see their culture collected, maintained and celebrated. Metis Strategic Plan of 2010 identified cultural retention and development as a key pillar in the community. Early in 2011 the community's Elders came together and identified a number of ways they would like to see their culture collected, maintained and celebrated.

The Elders have identified three key programs they would like to see undertaken in the next three years: 1. A community oral history project. To date community members have assisted a project coordinator to develop community specific and relevant questions, they have been trained in proper interview techniques, and they have initiated oral history interviews with community members. Interviews will be completed over the summer of 2011 and transcripts and DVDs will be returned to project participants in the fall of 2011.

2. A recorded history project. In the initial meeting, the community's Elders identified the importance of developing a full understanding of their community's history and understanding all the things that have historically been written about it. The recorded history project will be initiated in the winter of 2011/2012 and involve the collection and analysis of all the historical material directly related to the community of Fort McKay with a particular emphasis on the Metis. The material will be held and maintained by the Fort McKay Metis and used to produce a community genealogy and other related projects.

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