Culture & Heritage

Minister Alfred Anderson

Minister Alfred Anderson, of Culture and Heritage, had the privilege of connecting with Our Manitoba Métis Community throughout the year. Seeing how much the Community grows each year inspires him to spread Métis culture and heritage even further. The department continues to create opportunities for Métis Citizens to come together and celebrate their vibrant culture and heritage. Despite unprecedented challenges within the past year, they have found ways to connect with one another and keep our Community alive. The Métis have always been a resilient people and the past year is no exception. Minister Anderson is infinitely proud of our Community for finding ways to be together despite the many obstacles that were put in the way.

Winterlude 2020

In January of 2020, the Culture and Heritage Department along with the Métis National Council (MNC) spearheaded the Métis 150 theme at Winterlude in Ottawa. Many talented Métis Citizens were invited to perform or perform demonstrations such as Morgan Ginther, a young fiddle player from Interlake Region and Master Beader, Jennine Krauchi.

Several events were organized to honour Métis Culture and Manitoba's 150th Anniversary (Métis 150) including:

  • Unveiling an ice sculpture of Louis Riel (See photo),

  • Children's ice picking competition,

  • Métis National Gala,

  • Historic representation of a Red River Village from the 1800's, and

  • "The Life of Louis Riel" - a theatric play.

The Life of Louis Riel

The theatric play "The Life of Louis Riel" follows Manitoba's founding father through his struggles and successes since his childhood. The play, which premiered last year, played for many audiences including Winterlude in Gatineau, Quebec, Multiculturalism Conference in Ottawa, Ontario as well as the RCMP "D" Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 restrictions throughout Canada the play was unable to travel as originally planned. The play is currently on hold until it is safe to gather again.

COVID-19 Pandemic

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the traditions of previous years including: the Elders and Youth Gathering, Canada Day, National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations, the Selkirk

Fair and Rodeo Parade, the Santa Clause Parade, along with many graduation ceremonies. Although the pandemic impacted in-person gathering, we still found innovative ways to connect within our Métis Community.

Throughout the year the Métis Music Van visited many schools, seniors' homes, and hospitals to brighten their day. The department also celebrated National Indigenous Peoples Day this year by flying Métis flags all down Main Street in Selkirk, Manitoba. They're proud to have worked with several of our Regions to have Louis Riel banners put up throughout the province. They were also able to create a one-of-a-kind virtual variety show, the Métis Jig and Jam.

Métis Jig and Jam Variety Show

The department showcased some incredibly gifted Métis Citizens via the virtual Métis Jig and Jam Variety Show. The live streamed event included musical performances, Métis art, demonstrations of Métis artifacts and even a Bannock making lesson from one of our Elders. Some of the performers in attendance were:

  • Ray St. Germain,

  • Brandi Vezina,

  • Clint & Riley Dutiaume,

  • Patti Kusturok,

  • Melissa St. Goddard,

  • Gary Lepine,

  • Johnny Deitrich,

  • Eldon Campbell, and

  • Michael Audette.

Citizens are still able to enjoy the event by accessing the video of the Métis Jig and Jam on the MMF YouTube channel.

Commemoration of the Victory of Frog Plains

On June 19,1816, 204 years ago, Cuthbert Grant led the Victory of Frog Planes. Each year on June 19th, we commemorate that Victory by gathering and appreciating our culture at the Seven Oaks Monument Site. This year was no exception with a community barbeque, a commemoration ceremony, as well as a wonderful performance from the Norman Chief Memorial Dancers and Métis musicians Lionel Desjarlais and Jason Lepine.

Michif Word of the Day

This year the Culture & Heritage Department started the "Michif Word of the Day"; a series of social media posts translating Michif words into English. This pilot project was created to encourage more Citizens to keep the language alive. This project will continue into the upcoming year working in partnership with the Michif Language Portfolio and the Louis Riel Institute.

Métis Music Van

Spreading our culture across Manitoba was the mission of the Métis Music Van and the reason why it was created during the COVID-19 restrictions. This first prototype van has been a proud achievement of our department this year. The van drives through the Interlake and Winnipeg regions playing fiddle music from local artists and handing out infinity flags. It has proven to be an exciting way to engage and educate the public on Métis culture. The van has brought media attention from CBC, APTN and CTV. We are eager to expand this project into the coming years to visit every corner of the province. The Métis Music Van and Selkirk Red River Local received the Community Leadership Award from Promoting Aboriginal Student Success (PASS) for their dedication to spreading joy during the long winter confinements.

It is anticipated during the next year to create a Manitoba Métis Events Calendar; a calendar for all events created for/by Métis Citizens to increase Métis visibility. The goal in creating this calendar is to encourage tourists and residents of Manitoba alike to learn about the Métis Nation's Manitoba Métis Community and culture as well as facilitating organization and promotion of future events.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact the Culture and Heritage Department Provincial Coordinator, Barney Morin, via e-mail barney.morin@mmf.mb.ca or via telephone 204-586-8474. Meeqwetch!

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