métis [mey tee] n. a person of mixed ancestry; raconteur [rak-uhn-tur; Fr. ra-kwan-toer] n. one who tells stories and anecdotes with skill and wit; The Métis Raconteur n. a B.C. Métis woman telling stories and sharing her culture
It’s a busy weekend and I’ve obviously gotten behind on posting.
TODAY! The BC Metis Federation and Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association are co-hosting the Métis Music Festival/Jamboree August 9th – 11th at McLeese Lake a short 20 minutes from Williams Lake. There will also be a special edition of Métis Coffee Talk with Keith Henry broadcast live from the Williams Lake at 4:00pm Saturday.
Métis Nation B.C. and the Vernon District Métis Association will hold a gathering for all Métis at the Falkland Stampede/Rodeo grounds Friday, June 21 – Sunday June 23. . Fiddling, Jigging, Bonfires, Pancake Breakfasts, & events for the Kids. Cost: $10 a family. Campsites are available as part of the $10 fee. Grounds open at noon for campers to set up. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a campsite.
Pancake Breakfast Saturday & Sunday 7-10am
Potluck Dinner Celebration on Saturday at the Falkland Community Hall Saturday starting starting at 4:30pm to be followed with fiddling, jigging, bonfires to follow.
Music and dance are such an important part of Métis culture. Here’s a fabulous clip from the documentary video about Métis fiddler, Sierra Noble. Ethnomusicologist (who knew there was a profession called this), Lynn Whiddon, explains how Metis fiddle music is unique, how it is most definitely an oral and an active tradition, learned by observation. David Chartrand also speaks about the difference between learning fiddling in school versus learning from “old time Métis fiddlers”.
The entire video documentary can be purchased on Amazon. More on Sarah Noble in another posting.
Just 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!
“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 cbc.ca news.
Read the 175 page federal court ruling document here.
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 up 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.
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 www.trentfreeman.com .
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!