Belonging Métis

By: Catherine Richardson, PhD


This book tells a story of what it means to be Métis through various voices and experiences. In the Indigenous spirit of inter-connectedness, these accounts are woven together through the various common threads and intersecting life experiences. As author, I assume the task of weaving together the experiences of the Métis people who have aligned themselves with this project, shared their experiences and stories related to “being Métis”. The gift and art of being Métis is not straightforward, and I strive to bring forth the complexities, joys and struggles therein. This book is written for Métis people seeking to find hope in the shared identity experience. As well, it is for allies, activists, Indigenous scholars, parents, teachers, researchers, counsellors and those in the helping professions. I hope this book will speak to everyone who is interested in holistic well-being, Métis emancipation and decolonization in this northern part of Turtle Island.

  • ISBN: 978-1-926476-07-0
    Price: $30.00
    Binding: Paperback
    Date: 2016
    Rights: World
    Pages: 217
    Size: 6” x 9”

  • Table of Contents

    Table of Contents


    1. Being Métis Today

    2. Métis People, Stories and the Shifting Self

    3. Creation of the Indigenous Self

    4. A Narrative Methodological Approach

    5. What People Said

    6. Stories Meet Stories

    7. Métis Stories

    8. Applications for Practice

    9. Bringing Everything Together

    About the Author

  • Catherine Richardson, PhD

    Cathy Richardson, PhD is a Métis scholar currently working as an Associate Professor at the Université de Montreal. She has spent the past seven years as a Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Victoria. In 2013, she was the Chair of the Indigenous Specializations Program. Cathy is a co-founder of the Centre for Response-Based Practice, an organization dedicated to helping people recover from violence. She is a family therapist and received her Ph.D. in the School of Child and Youth Care in Victoria.Cathy has worked extensively with families, developed ECD curricula and training and provided counselling and support services. She has been a community counsellor in the Yukon assisting residential school survivors on their healing journey. She is involved in a national research project examining structural violence against youth in Canada. She is a mother with three teenagers

  • No longer will Métis people be unrecognized, undefined or unvalued as an Indigenous people in Canada. Cathy’s work is timely in that it dogs the heels of the Supreme Court decision in Canada that unanimously affirms Métis people are an Indigenous and distinct peoples of Canada.Cathy pulls all the threads together and deftly weaves the sash of Métis stories, muses and analysis that deepens the discourse of what it means to reclaim Métis identity and dance it out of the cultural closet. Within her accessible and lively storytelling, there is something for everyone who has ever wandered and stumbled across the prairie grasslands of identity, belonging, and relationships. In her stories, and the stories of others, Cathy encourages us to find what it means to be Métis and what it takes to live culturally congruent lives and practices with our sashes on.

    Shanne McCaffrey

    School of Child and Youth Care
    University of Victoria

    This inspiring, ethical, anti-oppressive and I would say, anti-colonial and ecologically based social work book traces a people’s right and legitimacy to belong in a connected ‘in between’ space in spite of their struggles in constantly resisting colonising, separating or singular identifications by professionals who enter their lives. As a white European (Irish) woman whose people have suffered 800 years of colonisation many of Catherine Richardson’s examples resonate powerfully, with my own work, as she highlights a Métis astute, sacred and an ethically based anti-oppressive practice for social work. Thank you Catherine.

    Imelda McCarthy, PhD

    Fifth Province Centre, Dublin, Ireland
    Co-Editor, Systemic Therapy as Transformative Practice

    Dr. Cathy Richardson’s work has inspired, critiqued, enthralled and chastised me in helpful heartfelt ways across our multiple locations of power and subjugation, fomenting her fabulous critical analysis without which I couldn’t work. This is a generous and generative work that will help feed a hunger I witness in practitioners, academics and activists to engage with a decolonizing ethic in all of our paid and unpaid transformation work. Cathy’s Métis Methodology is a gift from the margins that comes from struggle, at great cost to her as a Métis woman, and to my benefit as a white settler Canadian. Belonging Métis calls for an accountability from academia, practice and activism to respond to its demands for us to collectively decolonize and resist erasure.

    Vikki Reynolds, PhD RCC

    Therapeutic Supervisor/Adjunct Professor

    Belonging Métis is a walk beside the river with a dear friend who fills your heart with stories of dignity and belonging. The book is for and about people who identify as Métis but is ultimately for everyone who aspires to find their place in family and culture. Canada is an actively colonial nation and the struggle of becoming Métis is still very much a struggle against racism, for a more socially just society, and for acknowledgment of Métis people. It has been my privilege and good fortune to walk beside Cathy, to be included in her work, to witness the power of the dignity she carries in person and never fails to find in others. In one document, Belonging Métis is intimate memoir, clear-minded critical analysis, and vibrant social justice practice.

    Allan Wade, PhD