Métis Minutes

Red River Cart

The Red River cart was born along the river from which it received its name. It was used on the prairies during the settlement of the West.

The carts helped to commercialize the buffalo hunt. Until its inception, furs had to be transported using York boats and were restricted to waterways.

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York Boat

The York Boat is an important part of Canadian history with a special connection to the Métis people. The boats were named after the Hudson's Bay Company's York Factory and became their main mode of freight transportation.

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Pemmican is a dried meat first created in the late 1770s and has an important connection to the Métis people.

Pemmican is traditionally made from bison and is crushed into a coarse powder and mixed with equal parts melted fat and a variety of berries like Saskatoon berries or cranberries; the berries improve the taste of the pemmican. Because it was dense, high in protein, and could easily be stored and shipped, it became an important provision for the voyagers in the fur trade, especially in the winter when food could be scarce.

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The Red River jig & the fiddle play an important role in Métis culture and history. Jigging was believed to be started in the mid-1800's. The Métis jig is an original dance combing the intricate footwork of the Scottish, Irish, French, and First Nations dances.

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The Métis people have always been known for their love of music and dance. The fiddle was the chosen musical instrument of the Métis people, and the sound of the fiddle is the heartbeat of the Métis Nation.

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The beadwork of the Métis people was based on influences from several sources throughout the nation's history it became renowned for its unique floral designs inspired by Prairie flowers found in the Métis Nation homeland.

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Manitoba Day

Ushering Manitoba into Confederation was a long, hard-fought road, which started with the largest land sale in history by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1868. Rupert's Land, which the Hudson's Bay Company "owned," was sold to the Dominion of Canada without consulting any of its Indigenous inhabitants, including the Métis.

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