The Métis

The Métis language is called Michif:  It is a mixed language using mainly French and Cree but also some Ojibwa and English. A language similar to Michif is Bungee which also has some Gaelic words in it.

Métis art and design was greatly influenced by both European and Indigenous Cultures. Their imagery was influenced by, but also influenced many other Native groups in Canada.  In particular, the Métis became famous for their Beadwork and Floral Designs. These (often) symmetrical patterns were (often) set against dark backgrounds. They created their works using Seed Beads and/or the embroidery techniques first introduced by the Ursuline Nuns. They traded their beautiful wares throughout Canada and Europe

These floral patterns and Beadwork are an important part of Métis culture, and have become known distinctively as ‘Métis'. The Beadwork can be seen on jackets, bags, leggings, gloves, vest, moccasins and often saddles and horse gear. Increasingly this style is found as individual artworks, as it is no longer used solely for decorative purposes.

Many of The Clay Project tiles seem strongly influenced by the Métis culture and heritage: