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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Being Metis in Grand Forks, BC

Boundary Metis Community Association
All the fixings were presented in grand style on the food service table. Bannock with berries, deep-fried bannock, tourtiere made with venison, a huckleberry-filled cheesecake, smoked trout and salmon chunks, and generous compliments of coffee, tea, and juice. We stood single file chatting with one another in upbeat tones delighted with what we were about to receive.

Saskatchewan Bannock
Deep-fried Bannock

After dinner, we watched a short film on the significance of Louis Riel’s contribution to the Metis legend and beyond. We sang the Metis Anthem including the bold statements, “We are proud to be Metis, watch our Nation rise again. Never more forgotten people, we’re the true Canadian.”

Michif Bingo
To the delight of the children, youth, middle aged folks and elders, we played a game called Michif Bingo. The caller read the drawn words in the Michif Metis language with confidence. It was our responsibility to find the Metis words and translate them into English, guided by the clues on the bingo card. 

After several words and phrases were released, Frank expressed his enthusiasm.

“Bingo!” he said.

After the caller checked his card, he was invited to choose a prize from the display table.

Frank wins first bingo

Afterward, a dancer showed us a few Metis dance steps and then opened the floor to a shuffle competition. The children showed their talent and each one of them won a prize.

The enchanted evening ended with Greg, an expert in clacking spoons, giving a brief demonstration of his skills and inviting everyone to participate. Frank joined the circle with his wooden set of spoons and later used a metal coupling. Everyone clicked to the beat of the background fiddle music.

Craig the Spoons Instructor

Our hearts were brimming with happiness as we left our new-found friends.
All My Relations

1 comment:

  1. What a rich evening to be part of. That community went out of their way to enhance the Metis culture and educate people. Thank you for sharing this story.