BC: Aboriginal Art Series – Children’s Métis Culture Classes Aug 21 & 28

Metis Children's Collage2 I am really excited to announce 4 classes to educate children about Métis culture and history. Each 2 hour class will be held at 100 Braid St Studios and taught by traditional artisan, Mechtild Morin.

Session 1:  Introduction to Métis Culture & Arts
Children and tweens will learn the history of the Métis & the Métis sash, explore finger weaving while creating a bracelet, and learn about the importance of Metis voyageurs in the Canadian fur trade.

Session 2:  Music
The 2nd Session in this children’s series will focus on music. Activities will include storytelling using the book Fiddle Dance, learning traditional jigging with the help of a wooden toy “jiggerman”, playing the spoons and making a fingerwoven sash key chain.

Session 3:  Beading
In this session children will have the opportunity to try beading, to learn about the Métis flag and it’s meaning and practice jigging.

Session 4:  Embroidery & Language
Activities in this fourth session will focus on the traditional craft of Métis embroidery and the Michif Language. Children will learn some Michif words and play a traditional first nations game.

Register online here.  Price for each class per single child is $25.  Reduced prices for 2 or more siblings.

If the summer series doesn’t work for your schedule please be sure to look at our calendar for September as we are planning after school sessions over a period of several weeks.


SASK – John Arcand Fiddle Fest Aug 8 – 11

GOING ON RIGHT NOW! (and wishing I was there-note to self: plan better next year)
John Arand Fiddle FestivalJohn Arcand, “Master of the Métis Fiddle”, and his wife Vicki are hosting the annual John Arcand Fiddle Fest.  This multigenerational and family fun event includes fiddling, guitar and Red river jigging workshops. This morning the Fiddles and Flapjacks Pancake Breakfast will start at 8:00am and today visitors can look forward to the fiddle competition preliminiaries.The most anticipated event is tonights concert “John Arcand and Special Friends Concert” and the Old Time Dance at 9:00pm with music from Bannock Country.

Tomorrow features the finals for the fiddle competition and the jigging competition.Children can participate in games, arts and crafts and more from 10:00am to 5:00pm each day. I was most excited to hear that the Cultural camp has been expanded and through very affordable 2 hour workshops at $10, you can learn beading, emroidery and finger-weaving.

Admission to all four days of the Fiddle Fest is $50. But if you can attend just one day it’s only $20. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Located just southwest of Saskatoon on The Pike Highway.  Free Shuttle service from Saskatoon.

Thank you to John & his wife Vicki for being committed to teaching the next generation about Métis culture!
The John Arcand Fiddle Fest is a registerd non-profit charitable organization-if you wish to make a donation please see their website.


A Year of Blogging – Lessons learned by the Métis Raconteur

As of July 2 I will have been officially blogging at The Métis Raconteur for one year!  What a year of learning.

When I started I had this grand vision that I would post every couple of days and be able to keep up with that ideal schedule.  Yah, that would have worked if I was getting paid to blog or if everything in my life was running smoothly.  It’s been a very interesting year and things were going along pretty smoothly until the end of September.  And then….

October/November-I planned, organized and hosted a national medical conference and a workshop in October while planning and organizing an annual awards event for 3 weeks later.
November-I started working full time.  It’s amazing how much extra time and extra energy you have for things like a blog when you are only working 4 days a week.
Novemer/December-We helped our daughter move into her first apartment & get set up.  It was so much fun to help with painting, scouring thrift stores for furniture, the last thing I wanted to do was be on a computer.
January-After our daughter moved out I set up an art studio in her old bedroom and started painting in ernest.  It was a dream come true.
January-May-The only thing I can say to describe a big feature of these months is Hip pain.  In January I did something, still not quite sure what it was, that inflamed my hip and at times I’ve been in constant pain despite anti-inflammatories and pain medication.  SinceFraser River Night TugJanuary it was easier to sleep after a day at work than sit at a computer and blog.
April-I took the leap and joined the New West Artists group and started painting and planning for the first public showing of my art. Which, by the way, will be held on June 7, 8, 9 at the Network Hub at New Westminster Quay.  For more info please click here.  It also meant that I needed to set up a new fine art website at:  www.susanlgreigfineart.com  – all things that take time away from blogging but exciting for nonetheless.

I have learned over the year that a blog is a great way to connect with people.  It was Mechtild Morin Finger Weavingthrough this blog that I met and made a new friend, Mechtild Morin, when my Dad and I were on our trip to Saskatchewan last year and it was through her I have learned traditional Métis finger and loom weaving.

I have learned that I cannot feel guilt or beat myself up if I don’t post.

I’ve learned that during the winter there are not a lot of cultural events to share. People tend to cuddle under blankets and hibernate.  I’ve had a few people write and wonder why I have not posted about the “idle no more” campaign or commented on some of the issues raised for Métis with regard to the MNBC and the BC Métis Federation.  They argue that this is our culture, that these political fights are necessary to save our culture and therefore I should be writing about them.   I have been and will continue to remain politically neutral so you will never see this type of information on my blog or notification of fundraising events for particular organizations. There arelinks to other websites, federations and Métis bloggers if you are looking for that kind of information.  What you will see posted here is things I’ve I learned about our culture Metis beadwork1as related to the arts – traditional art such as beadwork, embroidery, fiddle music and also how Métis living today have translated those arts into the modern world we live in. You’ll also find postings about arts such as painting, writing and cooking traditional foods. Now that spring is fully upon us I’ve noticed things are picking up and there are a number of Métis cultural events going on so I’ll have postings more often.  

I’ve learned through the other blogs I write that having a posting schedule is a good idea and that sometimes a posting of photos is enough.  This learning means there will be opportunity for me to share some of the great photos of bead work and traditional crafts and information that I’ve found on the internet.  Some of those photos have only been saved on my personal pinterest account but since I’ve got over 100 boards it has become hard to find them.  I’ve decided to start a new Métis Raconteur Pinterest to make it easier for people to find my collection and I’ll share that transition here.

Thank you so much for following, visiting and support The Métis Raconteur.  I’m looking forward to another year of blogging and connecting with you.



Métis Mondays start Jan 14 at Vancouver Friendship Centre

Metis Meetup VancouverJust got an email notification of new Meetup events for anyone Métis.  My brother and I are thinking of going especially if there is a focus on learning cultural traditions. Maybe I could even share my skill in weaving that I learned over the summer!

Métis Monday
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society
1607 Hastings St E
Vancouver, BC

Métis jigging and fiddling lessons; Perhaps beading weaving and other cultural sharing will evolve. Pot luck/coffee house once a month on the last Monday of the month-family friendly.

Maple Ridge – Métis Beading & More with Lisa Shepherd

I am so excited I can barely sit down at the computer and focus. First I should apologize for being out of contact–my time has been completely taken up with work and organizing a national medical conference/workshop.  There was intense preparation time since the first week of October and then starting last Saturday it was six days of 5:00am – 10:00pm networking, facilitating and presenting.  I literally dropped off the virtual world, except for Twitter because that was related to the social media portions of the conference.  I will post soon about the honour I received in being able to represent Métis and indigenous people at the opening ceremony.

Now let’s get back to why I’m so very, very excited.
Lisa Shepherd
, Métis beading artisan, contacted me on Pinterest where I had expressed my wish to learn beading.  She let me know that she is putting on a Traditional Métis Beading class and I just went to the Maple Ridge Arts & Recreation Website and signed up.  You’ll know where to find me on November 17 and 24th!

Lisa is putting on a fabulous array of options to learn traditional Métis skills:

Métis Traditional Dance (geared to the 30+ crowd)

Moccasin Making

Traditional Métis Beading

I would love to take the other two courses as well but there are a couple of other projects that I have to finish and get off my plate so Moccasin Making and traditional Métis dance are just going to have to wait until next year.  If you’re interested in any of Lisa’s courses you can learn more in the Maple Ride Arts & Recreation Guide.

Mousetrap Clothiers-Metis Beadwork Design

A couple of days ago I posted a video on Métis beading by Brionny Goddard.  Her speciality is creating unique deer-skin clothing; from historical to contemporary styles.  The Lacombe, Alberta resident uses fine quality deer and elk hides accented by beautiful woolens and cottons to create carefully researched historical clothing. She offers custom-made modern leather coats, vests and dresses often incorporating traditional Metis beading and embroidery design accents.

I love both of the jacket designs below partly because of the vivid colour but also because of the traditional designs using plants, leaves and flowers.  At the moment I’m focusing on my weaving skills but learning to bead is definitely on my bucket list!

To watch her video on beading please click here.

Métis Beading with Brionny Goddard

Master beading artist Brionny Goddard shares her approach and techniques of traditional Métis beading.

Please click here to be taken to Brionny’s website Mousetrap Custom Clothiers.