Metis Studies : The Development of a Field and New Directions
Until recently, sources for Mets studies have been few both for classroom use as well as academic reflection. Lately, there has been a virtual explosion of interest, although largely among non-Mets historians. Now this to has begun to change. A new dynamic is also forcing Metis historiography out of the bog Red River in which some argue it has been mired for too long. The writings of the previous decades have already been examined from a historiographical perspective in several excellent articles. Rather than updating these useful exercises, an alternative is to examine the new literature from a topical perspective, posing questions and suggesting new avenues of investigation. The current literature is the reflection of scholarly concerns of the last two decades and fit into six basic themes or areas: the origins of the Mets people, the historic Mets of the fur trade period of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the Mets Diaspora of the mid to late nineteenth century, the revival of Mets consciousness in the twentieth century, Mets land claims, and Mets women's history. A case could be made that the beginning point in each of these areas are the great icons of Mets historiography: W.L. Morton, G.F.G. Stanley, and Marcel Giraud. However, their studies have been well assessed and often reinforce stereotypes, so it is best to look to more recent literature.