‘Romantic love, in all its aspects, is the most common theme to be found in the thirty three [Métis] songs [the author collected], further evidence for Richard Slobodin’s observation that “… what is distinctive for Red River Métis is an ideology of sexual passion, a sense that each person’s life is likely to include an irresistible, stormy love affair” (1981: 363). Slobodin continues: “Several observers have noted that the Red River Métis love affair, like the courtly love of the late Middle Ages in Europe, is not regarded as a basis for marriage” (363). The songs show the extent to which Métis women adopted the concept of western romantic love, further strengthened by the Roman Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary. Falling in love became a near-ecstatic experience and, to my mind, replaced the mystical experiences of Cree hunters living with nature (Preston 2002). Even Riel’s execution of Thomas Scott is unofficially attributed to a love triangle. “Riel finally shot Scott… over the love of a girl not the love of country” (Desjarlais 1984: 6).’


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