The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences has awarded Carleton University Prof. Sebastien Malette and his co-authors with the Prix du Canada en sciences humaines et sociales 2020 for his book Les Bois-Brûlés de l’Outaouais – Une étude ethnoculturelle des Métis de la Gatineau.

The prize is awarded annually to the best scholarly book written in French that has received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program.

In the book, Malette and co-authors Michel Bouchard and Guillaume Marcotte discuss the Métis who have long been confined to western Canada in the collective imagination. The question remains current as some don’t recognize the historic presence of the Métis in Quebec. Malette proposes that the Métis emerged from a group made up of numerous communities found throughout the territory covered by the fur empires. This study of the Métis community in the Gatineau Valley opens a new chapter in Métis and Quebec history.

This book documents the history of a long-hidden Métis community, bringing together unpublished archival and oral material. The authors present the identity experience of the Métis in the Gatineau Valley from the turn of the 19th century to present day.

Malette is a professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies and a scholar of Métis and French Canadian heritage with ties and friendships within Indigenous communities, including in Québec, Ontario, Manitoba and the Maritimes. He is an expert in Aboriginal law with a focus on access to justice, Indigenous legal traditions, relational politics and world views.

He co-wrote a book published in 2016 on the forgotten history of the Métis peoples across the United States, with a particular focus on Métis communities in the state of Oregon, entitled Songs Upon the River: The Forgotten History of the Northwest Pacific Métis. It suggests the existence of a Métis culture connected continentally through different regional expressions, made visible primarily through the historical presence of Indigenous and French métissage in the context of the fur trade and ongoing colonial conflicts.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year.

Thursday, June 11, 2020 in ,
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