Minnesota’s Métis and French Canadians (Untold Stories 2015)

Virgil Benoit, Professor of French at the University of North Dakota, will introduce the audience to Métis and French-Canadian presence in Minnesota from 1800 on based on historical dates and the events that surrounded them, illustrating the process of how history and memory work to construct identity within social frameworks. His talk will include events such as the fur trade, examples of how the Métis came to be, the creation of Minnesota’s iconic Etoile du Nord, and the subsequent watershed and spattering of French, French-Canadian, and Métis identity from Saint Paul to the Red River Valley and beyond.