The term Métis comes from a Latin word, "miscere," which means to mix. Métis people have ancestors who are French, Mohawk, Algonquin and Ojibwa, among other nationalities. The area around where Oka is today, near Montréal, was a place of trade between Aboriginal groups and the French. It was where many people from these different nations originally met.
Exploration and the Fur Trade
Aboriginal men taught the mainly French explorers and fur traders how to live in the woods. These "coureurs des bois" ("runners of the woods") met Ojibwa, Assiniboine and Cree women and settled down to raise families with them. The Métis nation began to take shape.
The fur trade contributed to other meetings between European men and Aboriginal women.