Métis Week

Métis Week
Posted on 11/16/2021
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November 14-20 is Métis Week. It is a time to celebrate the culture, history, and contributions of the Métis people to Alberta and Canada.


Across the High Prairie School Division, schools will be taking part in a variety of activities to honour and celebrate the rich, diverse Métis culture. Activities include testing student knowledge of Métis culture through Kahoot quizzes, videos on Terry Fox and his ties to the Métis in Alberta, Métis scrip awareness videos, a video presentation from Dorothy Anderson of the Métis Settlements General Council of Alberta, jigging in physical education classes, and a special video from newly elected MP of Edmonton Griesbach Blake Desjarlais. Mr. Desjarlais was the Director of National & Public Affairs for the Métis Settlements of Alberta General Council. He spoke to Grade 4 and 5 students via Zoom in the spring about his heritage and the history of the Métis people. 


The Métis are one of the three Aboriginal populations in Canada as defined by the Canadian Constitution. They developed out of the land and history of the Canadian West and have lived in Canada for well over two centuries. Unique in Canada, many feel that they are examples of the first Canadians. 


The Métis trace their roots and evolution to the fur trade, where it was common for European men to take ‘country wives,’ or more accurately, Aboriginal wives, while living in the New World. From these initial encounters, it did not take long for the Métis to develop a unique and distinct culture within pre-colonial Canada. The Métis quickly developed their own language, arts, music and crafts. Their stories and legends grew, as did their pride in their own culture. 


The blending of the two worlds, of the Aboriginal and of the European, places Métis people in a unique position within Canada. They are able to see both sides of the story and are able to sit on both sides of the fence. This is evident in the way the Métis distinguished themselves, and the Métis flag is a perfect example of this mindset. 


For more information on the Métis, check out these articles on The Canadian Encyclopedia website:


For information on events and activities taking place in Alberta, check out the Métis Nation of Alberta website, https://albertametis.com/events/metisweek2021/schedule/


Lastly, the link below is to a video that was developed and created by students from Roland Michener Secondary School to celebrate the rich and diverse Métis culture.


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