This post is an update of my December 28, 2018 post which lists and provides original Métis baptisms.
There’s a claim that Québec’s study of its inhabitants has been thoroughly examined since 1966, when the Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH, Research Programme in Historical Demography) at the Université de Montréal undertook the exhaustive reconstruction of the population of Quebec from the beginnings of French colonization in the seventeenth century. This objective has been realized in the form of a computerized population register.
This basic information is complemented by various socio-demographic characteristics drawn from documents: socio-professional status and occupation, ability to sign his or her name, place of residence, and, for immigrants, place of origin. (direct quote from their website)
The PRDH continues to be an important reference tool used by genealogists, researchers and academics worldwide. Its claim to have computerized each and every baptisms, marriages and burials have directed the course of all modern-day theses on french colonization.
After more than 10 years of inquiry concerning the lack of inclusion of Métis baptisms in the parish of Ste-Geneviève de Berthier, I received a casual response from one of directors and founders of the PRDH, Professor Bertrand Desjardins:
Two sentences. No official response from the group who purports to rely basically on exhaustive gathering of data from the parish registers of old Quebec. By systematic attribution of baptism, marriage, and burial certificates to the respective individuals – a “family reconstitution” made on the basis of names and family ties.
That’s all I received. Two casual sentences that say so much about patriarchy and erasure that plague the mindset of Academics.
How many such records have been excluded from the tool used by academics who study Indigenous Peoples who lived in the territory of “Nouvelle-France” prior to effective control and whose conclusions project the erasure of Indigenous Peoples and historic communities?