Northwest Saskatchewan Métis Perspectives of Miyo Pimatisiwin | Kiwetinohk Saskatchewan Otipemisiwak Kayisi Wapahtakwaw Miyo Pimatisiwin


  • Debra Ross Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Treaty 6 Territory & Homeland of the Métis Nation



Miyo Pimatisiwin, Métis Culture, Oral Tradition, Oral History, Green Lake, Saskatchewan


This article looks at the concept of miyo pimatiswin (a good life) as it relates to the Northwest Métis culture’s, views, values, and way of life. The concept shows that miyo pimatisiwin (in plains “y” dialect, miyo is “good”) encompasses the four elements of the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical ways of living one’s life on the land and in community. These four elements are nurtured through prayer and a shared community contribution of wealth that fosters the spiritual aspect, which, in turn, contributes to good emotional and mental health. This has often happened through the use of oral storytelling and oral history, which reveal important life lessons such as empathy and compassion, as well as humour. These conveyed lessons contribute to the physical aspects of self, and encourage a strong work ethic. Oral stories have been an important tradition, including teaching, listening, and striving towards keeping the elements in balance. The research for this article is based on the literature, my own background, and stories or lessons passed on by my own father, Dan Ross, and how he lived the concept of miyo-pimatisiwin. I conclude by arguing that the traditional concept of miyo-pimatisiwin (a good life) is essential for Métis people in present day, as it was throughout Métis history. Working as a community in modern-day life, we can collectively and collaboratively continue to work towards self-determination and a healthy self-governance system, as well as a Métis Nation Constitution that promotes miyo pimatiswin. This article is a chapter in the open textbook Indigenous Self-Determination through Mitho Pimachesowin (Ability to Make a Good Living), developed for the University of Saskatchewan course Indigenous Studies 410/810 and hosted by the Northern Review.

Author Biography

Debra Ross, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Treaty 6 Territory & Homeland of the Métis Nation

Debra Ross is a Registered Social Worker/Therapist, and a Certified Hypnotherapist who lives and works in Saskatoon. She has a Masters of Northern Governance and Development, University of Saskatchewan. Debra obtained her Bachelor's of Indian Social Work (BISW) at the University of Regina.





Exploring the Concept of Mitho Pimachesowin