"I’ve been a writer longer than I’ve been Métis. I know that sounds strange but it’s true."
My earliest childhood memories are of my mother teaching me to read, and of trying to write my own stories – and all of this before I started school.
Writing is how I fit into the world. It’s who I am.
I didn’t learn of my Métis history, however, until I was an adult, after I began publishing and producing my work.
Though my first book was published after I began exploring my Métis culture and identity, it had been written and accepted for publication before I started reconnecting with my heritage.
Now, my writing and stories explore this discovery, and the choices that some people make to either steadfastly maintain their Métis identity against opposition, or to conceal it (if they can). Why choose one over the other? How does such a choice impact lives? I am fascinated by this. Why do some choose to be part of the culture, and some hide from it?
My writing also explores all the challenges that come with identifying as Métis later in life – the responsibility to the community and culture, the guilt of not having been raised in it. How Métis can someone be if raised White?
But I am also gripped by the joys of this new connection (to the past and the present), and by the strengths of knowing more about who I am and where I come from.
I fit into the world through my writing, and I now use writing to fit into the world as Métis.
Tara Gereaux is a Metis from southern Saskatchewan.