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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Métissage: Canada and Russia Compared


Location: Poznań, Poland
Date: 29 Aug 15:30 - 17:15


Room 2.104

The history of both Canada and Russia was founded upon the colonial expansion of European settler communities into Indigenous lands. In the case of Canada, first French then British colonial governments oversaw expanding trade endeavors deep into the North American continent, sometimes under the banner of state-sanctioned companies, sometimes by free traders, seeking fortune independently. Likewise, the Russian Empire emerged as Cossacks, state traders, and peasants were moving over the Urals pushing in turn to the Pacific in search of furs. The goal of this panel is to examine the history of métissage in the colonial contexts of both states, and to better understand the anthropological implications of such mixing at settler frontiers. In Canada, Métis is the community, while métissage is the mixing. In Russia, too, there are those who would be Métis, while other would be “métissés” or mixed but not Métis. In some cases, ethnogenesis resulted in new identities, highlighting distinctive cultures. In other cases métissage and cultural hybridity occurred while identity remained fixed and tied to the expanding ethnie as opposed to that of the indigenous peoples with whom they intermingled. Cases which may be examined, among others, include those of Amga-Sloboda, Russkoe-Uste, and Pokhodsk in the Sakha Republic, the Izhma-Komi reindeer herders of European Russia, and perhaps even the Pomor of the Russian Arctic. In Canada, cases may include the well-known Red River Métis, but also the Métis of the Maritimes (Acadien-Métis), those of Québec, as well as those of northern Canada.


  • P 51.1
    • Dr. Bouchard, Michel (UNBC)
    • Dr. Bashkirov, Mikhail (North-Eastern Federal University)
    • Dr. Oehler, Alex (UNBC)

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Displaying 5 contributions out of 5
Across the circumpolar north, women of diverse Indigenous communities have been keepers of the hearth—in many cultural contexts a deeply symbolic center piece, in which fire represents a communicative nexus between human aims and the intentions of a sentient environment. In this context, sustainable land subsistence is unthinkable without maintaining balanced reciprocity with landscape spirits u ... More
Presented by Dr. Alex OEHLER on 29/8/2019 at 15:30
Today, representatives of the métissé (or Russian old settler) communities of Yakutia, living in different parts of this region of the Russian Federation, do not see themselves as being a separate, distinctive and cohesive community. Despite a history of contact and interaction as well as markers of a shared historical past, each of these communities has its own localized identity, which prevent ... More
Presented by Dr. Bashkirov MIKHAIL on 29/8/2019 at 14:30
Presented by Dr. Michel BOUCHARD, Dr. Mikhail BASHKIROV, Dr. Alex OEHLER
Though the Izhma Komi are not understood as being the product of métissage, they nonetheless share all the classic attributes assigned to Canada’s Métis peoples. They moved into territory that had traditionally been occupied by indigenous peoples such as the Nenets who relied on reindeer and the northern Komi shifted from hunting, trapping and farming to reindeer herding supplemented by some l ... More
Presented by Dr. Michel BOUCHARD on 29/8/2019 at 14:10
Memory actualizes events and traditions that unite members of the group. Oblivion, in turn, helps them to hide those events and memories that undermine the integrity of the group. In the article, we consider how oblivion becomes a strategy for maintaining ethnoreligious boundaries in case of the metis rural community. We analyze how the reproduction of the ethno-religious borders of the two metis ... More
Presented by Vera GALINDABAEVA on 29/8/2019 at 13:50
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