Canadian Federal Court grants rights to Métis & non-status Indians

Métis News of the Day:
Metis Rights CBC Report

“Federal Court grants rights to Métis, non-status Indians”
Off-reserve Aboriginal people are ‘indians’ and entitled to same constitutional rights. Laurie Graham reports on the implications of the decision at news.
Read the 175 page federal court ruling document here.

Métis Raconteur Back on Track

I just want to thank everyone for being patient with the fact that I have not been able to post since November 17.  Each year I tend to come down with bronchitis and this year, no doubt because I was so run down from my crazy September and October, was a particularly bad case.

On top of that I chose this time to heal myself without the use of antibiotics. In the early stages I took Airborne which works most of the time but I don’t think I took enough and was aggressive enough in catching it early. I started taking a homoeopathic product I picked up in France several years ago.  I was seeing results but ran out of the product which I assumed I would be able to find here in Canada.  Sadly, I haven’t even been able to find it to order on-line and when I stopped taking it that started me back on a downward slide.  So I turned to Chinese medicine and natural whole foods to give my body the nutrients it needed to support my immune system.  I drank and experimented with Green Smoothies-my favourite one turned out to be 3 apples, a head of lettuce and almond/hazelnut butter.

Sleeping a lot was also on the agenda and when I wasn’t sleeping I was trying to keep upGranny Smith Apple Smoothie with work and other obligations.  It is really only the past week and a half that I’m feeling better and the infernal cough is gone. Still I’m proud that I was able to conquer it and allow my body to heal itself.  It has made me much more conscious of staying healthy so I’m continuing to make green smoothies and fill my body with vitamins, minerals and nutrients.  Maybe I can ward off the next case of bronchitis before it starts.

I should be getting back to a regular schedule of posting this week.  Yesterday I just went through a list of some of the great things I hope to share with you and I’m really excited to be back.  What can you expect?  More Métis culture, beading, weaving, music, art, authors, and writing. I also plan to add the occasional posting on aboriginal health and since the entrepreneurial spirit is such a part of our culture, sharing information about business is something I will enjoy.

Looking forward to connecting with you all!


Trent Freeman – The Métis Fiddle leads to Rad Trad & The Fretless

You can tell music is on my mind.  Just found a great video by a young Trent Freeman who explains what makes Métis fiddling unique.  He is accompanied by Métis musician Ry Moran-more on him in another posting.

Trent has moved in some new directions with his solo career; his album Rock Paper Scissors was nominated for a 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award.  Here’s a link to his website .

He is also part of The Fretless which according to their website is “a young and innovative band that melds the worlds of celtic, folk and chamber music into an amazing and unique sound they like to call rad trad. They may look like a string quartet, but with innovative arrangements and roots deeply based in Celtic and Canadian fiddle styles, The Fretless is creating their own unique path in the music world.”  On October 1, 2012 they won a Western Canadian Music Award for Instrumental Recording of the Year.

I love the idea that this group stays true to their roots yet still creates some interesting and modern ways of playing traditional music.  One of their members says they take traditional tunes but then they are “mixed and rebuilt in a way that will seem new”.

Their take on music is similar with how I feel about blogging, tweeting and connecting with other Métis through technology. As I said in my post, The Metis Nation Registry-a Thesis by Tara Gereaux, “this blog is my way of finding meaning and a sense of belonging to my culture and to a community that I have chosen to embrace.” I am taking traditional Métis culture and seeking new ways to incorporate it into my life and way of being. It’s a new twist on the traditional.

I thoroughly enjoyed the video on the band’s home page and since next to Métis music, fiddling with an Irish or Celtic flavour sits second on my favorites list, I would say The Fretless have found a new fan!

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.

St Albert Michif Cultural and Metis Resource Centre – Canadian Métis Heros

Here’s another interesting and short youtube video about Métis history in St. Albert from St. Albert’s Michif Cultural and Metis Resource Centre .  I just love the relaxed story telling of Thelma Chalifouxs.  “We have heros…Jerry Potts was a tracker and scout for the RCMP and what a story that man has!  And he was just a little short guy….”  That made me laugh and want to know more.  I’m off to explore more about this very interesting sounding character and will share what I learn in another posting.

Canadian Métis & Aboriginal Writers and Artists

Thanks to Ojibwire Blog I learned about a news article written by Stephanie Wesley for Wawatay News Online entitled:  Waiting for a Story.  This led me on an unexpected and delightful journey of discovery!

Stephanie explains how she first heard about the Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge back in 2008 but she decided to wait for the right story and it did not appear in her life until this year, 2012.  Waiting was the right thing to do:  “Out of roughly 300 entries, the fictional short story I wrote entitled “Jonas” was picked as the winner….The story itself means so much to me. “Jonas” was inspired by real-life events involving students who have passed away while attending high school in Thunder Bay.”

Her comments about why it is important for writers, especially aboriginal writers, to continue to write no matter what, resonated loud and clear with me, “I feel it is important to share your story because nobody else will ever wear the kind of shoes that you do, therefore nobody else can tell your story.”  She encouraged Anishinaabe youth, ages 14-29 (eligibility ages for the contest) to enter, “Know that as an Anishinaabe person, you have an innate ability for storytelling through words and depicting tales and legends through art.”

The Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge was started in 2005 and “has since become the largest and most recognizable essay writing competition in Canada for aboriginal youth.”  The Challenge expanded in 2010 to include art and is now called The Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge. This expansion has become open to “a new audience of Aboriginal youth – those who are not writers, but instead express themselves through painting, drawing and photography.”

On the website you can read all of the winning story entries, including “Jonas”, Stephanie Wesley’s piece.  If you enter the word métis in the search box it will pull up all of the stories written by Métis youth or related to Métis heritage.  I’m looking forward to reading the stories and will make sure to blog/post about those I enjoy.  I am also very excited about sharing some of the beautiful Métis art work that is showcased in the gallery.

For today, here is a beautiful painting which was a winning entry from 2011 by Hannah St. Denis-Katz.  This is a painting of her “uncle’s great-great grandfather, Raphael Morin Senior’s, second house. This house is still standing on its original location at Morin Lake, Victoire, Saskatchewan. The house was on the Carlton/Green Lake trail [Métis historical trail], three miles away from the Hudson Bay Company’s Shell River/English River trading post. Raphael first settled on this land in 1880 and according to Raphael’s last will and testament, this house was built in 1903.”

Hannah says:  “The history behind the house is what truly brought the painting to life. As I painted this old house I was taken aback by how beautiful it was; it had character and uniqueness even though it was old, run-down, and partly burned. The house is a reminder of the importance of family, home and our Métis history.”

Alberta – Willow Lake 8th Annual Métis Festival Sept 22

Willow Lake Metis Local 780 Invites you to the 8th Annual Metis Festival!
When: Saturday September 22nd, 2012
Where: Community Hall – 105 Christina Drive, Anzac
Time: 9 am to 2 am
$20,000 in Payouts
10 am to 12 pm Registration
11:30 am to 6 pm Talent Show Crib & Horseshoe Tournaments
6:30 pm Family dinner
8:30 pm Fireworks
9 pm Adult Dance Live Band
Astro Jumps
Fiddle Raffle
Guitar Raffle
Singing jigging fiddling competitions
Best Traditional Metis Dressed Payouts
For further inquiries contact Stella Lavallee 780.715.5775

Métis Artist Rosalie Favell Wins 2012 Karsh Award

Congratulations to Métis artist Rosalie Favell who has won the 2012 Karsh Award.  The Ottawa Citizen reports “through her collaged imagery, Favell explores the potential of the photograph as a performance space to explore both personal and cultural issues.”

The Ottawa Sun explains too, “Favell is a photographer who often takes self-portraits then uses computer manipulation and mixed media to develop her themes; she combines Metis imagery with scenes and ideas from popular culture to explore her own identity.”

I was quite taken with her artist statement on the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, “Images taken from my family album appear as a way to emphasize personal aspects of collecting, such as occurs in my family albums, my own family history and my search for my Métis roots.”  In the case of one piece of art called “They Went Exploring” (2005), she depicts herself as “a modern explorer in the context of the Columbus ‘discovery’.  I see aboriginal people’s as engaged in many new explorations, and entering into new territories that will prove challenging to us.”

I so appreciate what she is trying to say in this and several other pieces of her work because they echo so much of what is going on in my own head when it comes to my search for my Métis heritage. Her personal journey expressed through her art, I believe, mirrors the feelings of those of many of us who are navigating the modern world but searching for connections to our past.

Her work is being exhibited at the Karsh-Masson Gallery, 136 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa from September 7 to October 28, 2012. Rosalie will receive the award on September 13 at the Gallery.

New Literary Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Authors

As a writer and author I was excited to learned about a new Canadian literary award  recognizing excellence in English-language literary works for Young Adults by First Nations, Métis and Inuit authors.

Launched on September 6 the award was created by “CODE – a Canadian charitable organization that has been supporting literacy and learning for over 50 years – in collaboration with William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation, the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature aims to provide engaging and culturally-relevant books for young people across Canada. The Award is now accepting submissions from Canadian publishers until May 1, 2013.”

CODE Executive Director Scott Walter said, “With the new Award, we hope to….celebrate “the literary achievements of Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit authors and improve young readers’ access to books.”  “We are very excited to expand the Burt Award program to Canada,” said William (Bill) Burt, who financially supports the Award.“My hope is that Canadian First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth will love the titles that emerge from this project and that the books give them new opportunities to improve the reading and writing skills that will serve them the rest of their lives.”

For more information please click here.

Métis Matters Radio Show switching to 100.5FM Today

I just blogged about the Métis Matters Radio Show last week.  There are some changes afoot and so I wanted to make sure you got the latest news:
On September 10, 2012 switch from CFRO – 102.7 FM to 100.5 FM
On air every Wednesday from 5:00-6:00 PM – Pacific Time
Tune in locally to weekly broadcasts showcasing Métis news, views, history, culture & fiddle music galore for Métis listeners! A Talk Show too! You can call us with your questions or comments. On Air Number: (604) 684-7561

Vancouver Co-operative Radio –
Vancouver Co-operative Radio Live streaming Listen on Line

Program is also available via Cablevision hook-up to your FM radio, across BC, on the Starchoice satellite-Channel 845, and now carried on “Telus TV” Channel 718 across Canada.

You can also listen to past shows at for archived broadcasts

For more information on Métis Matters contact:
Nova Métis Heritage Association – Office
Host & moderator, Ken Fisher
10586 King George Hwy., Surrey BC, V3T 2X3
Phone: (604) 634-0119 – CDs of each show available. Order yours today! 604-634-0119
New Guests always welcome!