The Historic Saugeen Métis (HSM) are a distinctive Aboriginal community – descended from unions between our European traders and Indian women. We are the Lake Huron watershed Métis – with a unique Métis history and culture who lived, fished, hunted, trapped, and harvested the lands and waters of the Bruce Peninsula, the Lake Huron proper shoreline and its watersheds, their traditional Métis territory.
The HSM traded in a regional network since the early 1800s as far as the north shore of Lake Huron and have kinship with the Wikwemikong First Nations community and Killarney Métis community.
The Contemporary Métis Community
The geographic scope of the contemporary community is described as covering over 275 kms of shoreline from Tobermory and south of Goderich, and includes the counties of Bruce, Grey and Huron.
The Historic Métis Community
The Lake Huron Watershed Métis, the Historic Saugeen Métis, included Métis descendants of
“The largest Catholic group of French Canadians who had come to live in the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair region long before the conquest of 1760. There were descendants of trappers, voyageurs, farms, and artisans who ventured to Detroit in 1701, when the Sieur de Cadillac had established the hub of the New France fur trade in the “pays en haut.”” (McGown, Mark G. Michael Power: The Struggle to Build the Catholic Church on the Canadian Frontier. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005.143.)
Upon the decline of the fur trade in the early 1820s, Métis families from the Northwest joined these early Metis at Goderich. The community traded in a cohesive regional trading network that extended from the Upper Detroit River system to the northern shoreline of Lake Huron, to the historic Métis community of Killarney, creating kinship along the network from Detroit to Killarney.