Congratulations to Professor Brenda Macdougall, Chair of the Institute of Indigenous Research and Studies (IIRS), Chair of Métis Research, Cross-appointed Professor, Department of Geography and now Research Chair in Metis Family and Community Traditions.
As a leading expert on the history of the Metis people, she will investigate how 19th-century Metis kinscapes (familial networks within a specific geographic region) acted as epicentres of Plains Metis cultural flourishing and sense of nationhood. Mainstream scholarly research in general has failed to consider the existence of ongoing relationships between the Metis, or Otipemisiwak (“people who were their own bosses”) and the First Nations societies to whom they were related. It has also de-emphasized the role of women — First Nations and then Metis — on their own society’s evolution. Professor Macdougall’s research will address this important omission, underlining how “the Otipemisiwak inherited the teachings, philosophies, and beliefs about what constituted home, family, and nationhood from their maternal relatives.”