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#Metis on the margins

I ran across this interesting CBC story via a retweet. A PhD researcher is looking into the how #Metis settled on road allowances after they were dispossessed - the ultimate “life on the margins.” Very little material evidence of this period exists, and without such research knowledge of it will fade into myth and memory.

It reminded me of living in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, where Roma communities lived under bridges and on the riverbanks, and their horses grazed on road medians or wandered between Communist-era apartment blocks. The chief “problem,” for the “ethnic” Macedonians was the country’s sizeable Albanian-Muslim minority, but everyone despised the Roma. Dogs barked and children threw stones at them as they made their daily rounds to the apartment garbage dumpsters, but there was also a local tradition of carefully hanging yesterday’s bread from plastic bags on the side so the garbage pickers could pick it up, uncontaminated. One wonders if there were similar kinds of small synergies between the settlers and the ‘squatters”, and/or the extent of the abuse and discrimination they suffered.

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