Rekindling the Sacred Fire

Métis Ancestry and Anishinaabe Spirituality

Chantal Fiola (Author)


Why don’t more Métis people go to traditional ceremonies? How does going to ceremonies impact Métis identity?

In Rekindling the Sacred Fire, Chantal Fiola investigates the relationship between Red River Métis ancestry, Anishinaabe spirituality, and identity, bringing into focus the ongoing historical impacts of colonization upon Métis relationships with spirituality on the Canadian prairies. Using a methodology rooted in an Indigenous world view, Fiola interviews eighteen people with Métis ancestry, or an historic familial connection to the Red River Métis, who participate in Anishinaabe ceremonies, sharing stories about family history, self-identification, and their relationships with Aboriginal and Eurocanadian cultures and spiritualities.


Rekindling the Sacred Fire provides a marvelous example and model of Indigenized research.”

Julie Pelletier, Chair of Indigenous Studies, University of Winnipeg

“A seminal work of truly impressive scholarship, Rekindling the Sacred Fire is exceptionally well written, organized and presented. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking.”

Marilyn Dumont, Midwest Book Review

"A great book in an under researched field."

Publishers' Weekly

"Apart from the author’s personal expose on her experience as a Métis person, Chantal reconfirms the real impact that the historical experience of living among the Anishinaabe had upon not only the material culture of her people, but also on how many of them came to view the world."

Blair Stonechild, 49th Shelf

“Firmly pushes Métis studies forward in ways that intimately integrate Métis sovereignty in ongoing dialogue with those of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe, including the Saulteaux, Odawa, and Potawatomi) and Nêhiyawak (Cree).”

Dylan A. T. Miner, Studies in American Indian Literatures

“Shows a fidelity to an Indigenous methodology and is an exemplar for how we as historians of education need to revise the narrative to place learners at the centre. We need to hear from Métis learners as they set new points of reference in the history of Indigenous education.”

Jonathan Anuik, Historical Studies in Education


John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer (2016)
Beatrice Mosionier Award for Aboriginal Writer of the Year Award (2016)

About the Author

Chantal Fiola is Michif (Red River Métis) with family from St. Laurent and Ste. Geneviève, Manitoba. She is the author of Rekindling the Sacred Fire and Returning to Ceremony. Dr. Fiola is an Associate Professor in the Urban and Inner-City Studies Department at the University of Winnipeg, where she was named Distinguished Indigenous Scholars Chair (2021-2024). Chantal is Two-Spirit, Midewiwin, a Sundancer, and lives with her wife and daughter in Winnipeg.

Table of Contents

Gichi Miigwetch (Acknowledgements)

1 - Seven Fires Prophecy and the Métis: An Introduction
2 - Spirituality and Identity
3 - Understanding the Colonial Context of Métis Spirituality and Identity
4 - A Métis Anishinaabe Study
5 - Meeting the Participants
6 - Residence, Education, Employment, Ancestry, and Status
7 - Family History
8 - Self-Identification and Personal Experiences
9 - Relationship with Spirituality
10 - Conclusion: Lighting the Eighth Fire