Considered as some of the Aboriginal families in Canada, the Metis, continue to identify themselves with their rich cultural and historical heritage dating back to the early 16th century. Under the Canadian constitution, the Metis consists of the country’s Aboriginal people and are approximately under half a million. They are considered as the first European settlers and First Nations in the country by some in the United States, Scotland, and France. In many instances and up to date, they are considered as half-breeds, Mixed blood, and Bungi, all referring to their mixed racial origin. Over the years, the Metis has lost their women to unsolved murders and missing cases. Over 400 cases are currently under investigation by the Canadian Forces and the United Nations. According to the Canadian Police, many of the women are plagued by diseases such as HIV Aids, domestic violence, and drug addiction. The United Nations argue that, the Canadian police have been reluctant to open up the investigation and follow-ups on any murder reported. According to Chabot et al. (2013), the UN says that the ethnic minority of the Metis aboriginal women has been denied justice for a long time.
1.1 Challenges Faced
On the other hand, the Aboriginal women have had inadequate and inaccessible Health Care System. According to the United Nations, children of the Aboriginal women have higher chances of succumbing to chronic disease, HIV Aids, in addition to mental disorders. According to Bingham et al. (2014), despite a healthy and universal health care to all, Canada has neglected and kept health care out of reach for many of the Metis people. On top of the complication and challenges in the healthcare department, the Metis population and especially children have had no proper working welfare program such as poverty eradication programs, combating child hunger, and sensitizing women on the need for family values. The United Nations note that the Aboriginal group has been neglected and services intended for them are unavailable despite being launched by the United Nations. Bingham et al. (2014) argue that worsening the situation are companies encroaching into their lands searching for mining fields and minerals. According to investigations, these companies generate over $50 million of which little gets back to the society. Investments in these companies deny the locales natural resources and facilities to use for income generation.
The Metis has had weak economic progress in their entire history in Canada with the State government doing little to uplift their welfare and development. While it remains to be seen some of the proposed programs intended to change their fortunes by the administration and the United Nations, much more needs to be done to change their predicament. Additionally, due to low incentives and recognition by the government, the Metis Aborigines have wallowed in poverty since time immemorial, a fact supported by their low income and jobs they hold in Canada (Gershon et al. 2014). Finally, they have continually faced discrimination and racial prejudice in many fronts and mostly on socioeconomic affairs while other citizens are treated as per the constitution. The Metis in most cases is treated as second class citizens with much disdain and scorn (Mead 2014).
1.3 Government Services and Special Programs
In line with socioeconomic programs, the author is still yet to identify relevant government programs and services that best suits the welfare of the Aboriginals and more so the Metis ethnic group.
1.4 Importance and Relavance of the Study
The above findings are important and are intended to create awareness of the plight of the Metis and other Aboriginals who have had social challenges despite their massive contribution to the country’s socioeconomic growth.
Bingham, B., Leo, D., Zhang, R., Montaner, J., & Shannon, K. (2014). Generational sex work and HIV risk among Indigenous women in a street-based urban Canadian setting. Culture, health & sexuality, 16(4), 440-452. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13691058.2014.888480
Chabot, M., Fallon, B., Tonmyr, L., MacLaurin, B., Fluke, J., & Blackstock, C. (2013). Exploring alternate specifications to explain agency-level effects in placement decisions regarding aboriginal children: Further analysis of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect Part B. Child abuse & neglect, 37(1), 61-76.
Gershon, A. S., Khan, S., Klein-Geltink, J., Wilton, D., To, T., Crighton, E. J., … & Henry, D. A. (2014). Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) prevalence and health services use in Ontario Metis: a population-based cohort study. PLoS One, 9(4), e95899.
Mead, R. J. (2014). Book Review: St.-Onge, Podruchny, and Macdougall, eds., Contours of a People: Metis Family, Mobility, and History, by Rebecca J. Mead.