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Kiwetin Marketing & Publishing Ltd. presents

...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Fall 2007, Volume 4, Issue 1

Congratulations, MNBC, on your 10th Anniversary! See pages 9 - 16 for Agenda. Cover Photo courtesay of Barry Moore, Edgewater, BC. See Page 33 for Barry’s Bio.

Printed In Canada

Message from the Publishers: Tansi, Thank you for picking up our largest edition ever! As publishers of Whispering Winds we are very excited to enter our fourth year of business with such an exciting issue. Publishers

Noel Mineault & Diane Ellis P.O. Box 1266 Vernon, BC V1T 6N6 Telephone: 250.558.7997 Toll Free: 1.866.558.7997 Fax: 250.558.4178 Email: Web site: Web site: (for large files):

We wish to congratulate Métis Nation British Columbia for assisting our Métis people during the past 10 years. Like every organization and government it takes time to develop and to grow. We think MNBC has done an excellent job! We wish to thank MNBC Communication Officer, Scott MacDonald for being our liaison in getting all of the MNBC information to us. Great Job, Scott! Special thanks to Lynn Laustrup, our designer; our new employee, Harrison Baker, Director of Sales; Barry, our cover photographer; Davene Dunn, Judy Dallin, Gary Ingram, Ron Nunn, and Leanne Laberge. Without these and our other contributors we could not have produced such a large magazine. The next edition will feature education, career development and Christmas stories and recipes. Feel free to send in your favourite recipe and you will be entered into a Christmas draw. Deadline for submissions is October 28th. Noel & Diane. Subscribe to Whispering Winds Subscriptions are available @ $32 per year. Send your cheque or money order (payable to Kiwetin Marketing & Publishing Ltd.) to P.O. Box 1266, Vernon, BC V1T 6N6. Contact Gary Ingram, Subscription Manager by email at: Telephone: 250.558.7997 Fax: 250.558.4178 Toll Free: 1.866.558.7997 Email:

Deadline for material for the Winter 2007 issue of Whispering Winds: October 28, 2007 and delivery November 25, 2007. Publishers reserve the right to edit all material and to refuse controversial articles that may affect our Métis people. Electronic images must be supplied in a high resolution format or risk not being published due to poor output quality.

Inside this issue of Whispering Winds Métis Nation BC - AGM Agenda ..............9 David Thompon ........................................33 Education ..................................................38 The Métis Arts ..........................................48 Health - Lyme Disease ..............................60 Regional Updates ......................................66 A Canadian Legend ..................................80

Message Section Title fromLeft the President Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Message from President Dumont Bruce Dumont

I hope each of you in the Métis community was able to enjoy some time with your family and friends as summer holidays are on their inevitable way to conclusion. I was able to spend quality time at a number of Métis events such as Red River West on Vancouver Island July 7th and 8th and the first annual Art Burd Memorial Métis Festival in the Lower Mainland the following weekend on July 14th and 15th. The events were well attended and I was able to reconnect with many of my friends and extended family members. The celebration of Métis culture and entertainment was truly inspiring for the Métis and non-Métis guests who attended these events. The MNBC Board of Directors continued important work during July and August. The MNBC Board of Directors met July 11th-13th, 2007 in Vancouver and discussed key issues such as finalizing the 10th Annual General Meeting preparation, approving the Regional Governance Training Sessions Agenda, approving the 2006-2007 MNBC Financial Audited Statements, and other business items. The MNBC Board members provided both regional and ministry updates and Fall 2007

Taanshi kiya’wow / Bonjour Ta’wow / Bienvenue a number of governance related items were addressed. The next MNBC Board of Directors meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 18th, 2007 just prior to the Annual General Meeting in Kelowna. The MNBC continued work at the national level by meeting with the Métis National Council Board of Governors (BoG) July 31st and August 1st, 2007 MNBC Annual General Meeting September 21 - 23, 2007 Grand Okanagan Lakefront Resort & Conference Centre Kelowna, BC in Ottawa. The MNBC continues to pursue a number of national agenda items including equal representation, increased governance processes, establishing the date for the Métis Nation General Assembly which will result in the election of a national President, and administrative policies and procedures. These items are important to the MNBC leaders and I am committed to pursuing these goals. The MNBC Board of Directors is working with MNBC staff to prepare for the upcoming Annual Gen4

eral Meeting in Kelowna. The 10th MNBC Annual General Meeting is an important milestone and one that Métis Nation leaders want to build on. There were a number of resolutions that passed first reading requirements with our Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) this past March. The resolutions require second reading for final approval by the Annual General Meeting delegates. One of the most important resolutions includes the possible implementation of our fourth piece of legislation, the MNBC Elections Act. If this resolution is approved this will be another important step towards Métis Nation self-government. The MNBC Annual General Meeting promises to be an exciting event with a number of special dignitaries and planned activities to commemorate the 10th Anniversary. Thank you for the continued support and I sincerely hope to see many of you at our Annual General Meeting in Kelowna. Marsay, Kinass Koumitin Bruce Dumont, President

Message from the CEO Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Message from the Chief Executive Officer, Keith Henry


he months of July and August continued to be busy for the administration staff of the MNBC and there were a few changes to the management team. MNBC recently negotiated the Health Human Resource Program and therefore will be staffing a Provincial Health Human Resource Coordinator in the very near future. Furthermore, the MNBC Registry completed training with three new regional registry clerks. A number of staff members were able to take holiday time with their families and MNBC management did their best to rotate the holidays to ensure operations were not affected.

Keith Henry

The MNBC will be presenting the approved MNBC Audited Financial Statements at the 2007 MNBC Annual General Meeting to ensure our Métis citizens and Métis community leaders are fully informed. MNBC Senior Management continues planning in accordance with the Métis Nation Relationship Accord. The Senior Management Team met at the end of June and is drafting strategic plans to compliment the approved MNBC Five Year Forecast. The planning is focused on two areas, governance and program activities that improve the social and economic gaps facing Métis people in British Columbia. MNBC Senior Management will present the results of this planning at the 2007 Annual General Meeting to ensure that all future programs and services are part of a long-term strategy and supported by the Métis community.

The MNBC has two administrative offices located in Vancouver and Victoria (not including a number of service offices throughout British Columbia). The Vancouver office was relocated in 2006 due to continued growth and expansion. Presently the MNBC is seeking to relocate the Victoria office. The number of MNBC staff in Victoria has increased and the current location at Market Square does not meet our needs. The MNBC office in Victoria is targeting to relocate the Victoria office by January 1st, 2008.

Thank you for the continued support; our staff is dedicated to serving the needs of our Métis communities throughout British Columbia.

The MNBC Chief Financial Officer was able to work with the MNBC’s corporate auditor Manning Elliot and complete the 2006-2007 MNBC Financial Audit. The draft audit was presented to the MNBC Board of Directors in July and the statements highlighted the following success: •

Balanced budget;

Decrease to organizational debt; and

Increased program resources in comparison to 2005-2006;

Keith Henry, CEO


Fall 2007

EnCana is committed to mutually beneďŹ cial relationships with Aboriginal communities near our operations through partnerships, sponsorships, employment, training and business development. Close liaison with the Aboriginal community is essential to the long-term sustainability of our operations. Congratulations to the MĂŠtis Nation of British Columbia on their 10th anniversary.

EnCana. Focused on creating long-term value by developing unconventional natural gas and integrated oilsands resources.

Pressroom Section Gallery Title Right Whispering Winds ...theWhispering voice of the MétisWinds Community...inthe British voiceColumbia of the Métis Community in British Columbia Métis National Council’s Board of Governors appoints MNBC President Dumont MNC Interim President Ottawa, ON, August 1, 2007 – The Métis National Council (MNC) has appointed an Interim President from among its Board of Governors to fill the vacancy created by the expiry of the term of office of Clément Chartier. Bruce Dumont, President of the Métis Nation British Columbia, has been named Interim President until elections for MNC President are held. The dates of October 13 -14, 2007 have been set for the MNC Annual General Assembly and election of National President. The meeting will take place in Ottawa. “I am honored to serve the MNC in this additional role at this time”, Mr. Dumont said. “My priority is to ensure that the Métis Nation works together to elect a national President at the upcoming MNC General Assembly. Meanwhile, we have much work to do in strengthening our relationship with the federal government and in that regard I will be pressing for an early meeting with the Hon. Jim Prentice, Federal Interlocutor for Métis,” Mr. Dumont concluded. The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and international level. The Métis Nation’s homeland extends from the historic Métis communities in Ontario to British Columbia, as well as the Northwest Territories and the MNBC President Bruce Dumont appointed northern United States. MNC Interim President.

Chuck Strahl Appointed as Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

MNC congratulates the newly elected MN-S leadership Ottawa, June 28, 2007 – The Métis National Council extends its congratulations to all the elected and acclaimed candidates in the Métis Nation -Saskatchewan election. Although official results will not be posted until later, The MNC extends its sincerest congratulatory sentiments to President-elect Mr. Robert Doucette, and the newly elected Provincial Métis Council.

No stranger to the native and Métis issues, veteran Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Chuck Strahl was appointed Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on August 14. Strahl was previously the minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food as well as the Canadian Wheat Board. First elected in 1993, under the Reform banner, Strahl, was re-elected in 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2006. He was selected by his parliamentary colleagues, in 2004, to serve as deputy speaker of the House of Commons and chairman of committees of the whole. Strahl was also vice-chair of the standing committee on procedure and house affairs and a member of standing committees for fisheries and oceans, Canadian heritage, aboriginal affairs and northern development and natural resources.

“This election offers renewed opportunities for the MN-S and the Métis citizens in Saskatchewan, and I want to commend them for coming out to cast their vote,” MNC President Clément Chartier said today. “I would like to personally express my congratulations to the Presidentelect, and we look forward to having Mr. Doucette joining the MNC team.” The MNC once again reaffirms its commitment to the newly elected President and Provincial Métis Council members to provide its assistance to help re-establish Métis government in Saskatchewan.

His Chilliwack - Fraser Canyon riding in British Columbia extends from Chilliwack to Pemberton, Lillooet and Cache Creek. It includes almost 30,000 square kilometres and 112,000 people. 7

Fall 2007


“Guiding our Proud Métis Nation”

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 TO SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2007 Celebrate 10 years of MNBC and join us at the Grand Okanagan. Once again the events in Kelowna bring together BC’s Métis community, offer networking and educational opportunities, and inform about political and economic developments. The AGM gives BC’s Métis citizens the chance to directly participate in the governance of the Nation by exercising their right to vote on resolutions. The MNBC leadership regards the event as an invaluable opportunity to discuss important and relevant issues facing the Métis Nation. We encourage all citizens, including our youth, to gain information and participate in governance, cultural exchange and community! THE GRAND OKANAGAN LAKEFRONT RESORT AND CONFERENCE CENTER 1310 Water Street, Kelowna, BC

THE 10TH MNBC ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING “Guiding our Proud Métis Nation” MEETING AND AGM AGENDA Wednesday 9 am to 5 pm Meetings

• Board of Directors • Senior Staff


• BC Métis Assembly of Natural Resources Captains Meeting • Registry • Provincial Employment and Training Committee • Senate • BC United Métis Youth Circle – Annual Youth Meeting • Métis Women’s Secretariat –British Columbia • Métis Veterans Association –British Columbia • Métis Elders Advisory Committee

9 am to 5 pm Committee Meetings

Friday 8 am to 3 pm Annual General Meeting Registration

• Please note that all voting Métis citizens must be registered by 3 pm. Citizens registering after 3 pm will not be eligible to vote.

9 am to 12 pm

• Annual Youth Meeting

1 pm to 5 pm 10th Annual General Meeting

• Official Grand Opening with Grand Entry and Opening Prayer • Greetings and Welcoming Remarks • Greetings from Dignitaries • Honorary Mention • Announcement of Quorum • Appointment of AGM Chair and Co-Chair • Acceptance of AGM Agenda • Appointment of Resolutions Committee (if required)


• 2006 Annual General Meeting Minutes • Resolutions - second reading of resolutions passed at the Métis Nation Governing Assembly on March 10th and 11th, 2007 • Métis Nation Relationship Accord – 2007/2008 Progress Update • MNBC 2006-2007 Financial Audited Statements • Natural Resource Act Consultation • MNBC Annual 2006-2007 Program Reports • Question & Answer Period • Dissolve Resolutions Committee (if required) • 2008 AGM • Other Business • Closing Remarks and Adjournment

8. 30 am 10th Annual General Meeting reconvenes

Sunday 8.30 am - 2.00 pm 10th Annual General Meeting reconvenes

• MNBC Annual 2006-2007 Reports • Question and Answer Period • Decision on 2008 Annual General Meeting Location • Other Business • Closing Remarks

WORKSHOPS, TRADE SHOW AND SOCIAL EVENTS Friday 7.30 am 9 am to 12 pm 9 am to 5 pm 9 am to 5 pm 12 pm 6 pm to 9 pm

Breakfast Workshops Trade Show Health Screening Lunch Meet & Greet Reception with Entertainment

Saturday 7.30 am 9 am to 5 pm 12 pm 6.00 pm

Breakfast Trade Show Lunch Gala Dinner and Talent Show

Sunday 7. 30 am 9 am to 3 pm 12 pm

Breakfast Trade Show Lunch

All event details are subject to change. Please visit our web site at for continuous updates and news.

THE MNBC TEAM IS LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN KELOWNA! The MNBC Constitution specifies the criteria for Métis citizenship and this is notification that all AGM delegates seeking to vote at the AGM must be registered with the Métis Nation British Columbia Central Registry. This means that in order to participate and vote at the AGM individuals must have applied for and be eligible to receive their Métis citizenship card with the central registry.

THE 10TH MNBC ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING “Guiding our Proud Métis Nation” WORKSHOPS 1. Culture “Shy Man’s Jigging Workshop” with Bev Lambert 9.00 am –12.00 pm 2. Education “Make It Métis” with MNBC Director Colleen Hodgson Learn how to develop an Enhancement Agreement for your community. 9.00 am to 12.00 pm 3. Children and Families with MNBC Director Glenn Parker “Learn about what the Ministry for Métis Children and Family Services has accomplished and where we are going. This workshop will provide you with a

Friday, September 21 to Sunday, September 23, 200 picture of our five-year strategic plan for children and families and what we have done to ensure culturally appropriate services are available to our Métis citizens.” 9.00 am to 10.00 am 4. Métis Women’s Secretariat BC “Kamamawapyak: a circle with MWS-BC” with MNBC Director Victoria Pruden Introduction to the MWS-BC with Rose Bortolon. Learn some Michif/Cree with Annette Maurice, North Central Representative. Hear the story of Les Jigeurs Michif, and enjoy a dance lesson with Caren Nagao, Kootenay Representative. 9.00 am to 12.00 pm

b HISTORY pg STORIES TBCMF!TXFFUHSBTT-!EPNJOJPO!JOTUJUVUFÖT! DBOBEJBO!BCPSJHJOBM!XSJUJOH!DIBMMFOHF The great history of Canada’s Aboriginal People has been passed from generation to generation through storytellers. When Sable Sweetgrass wrote “Maternal Ties” about the bond between mothers and daughters, this university student continued an important tradition. At Enbridge, we are proud to support the Dominion Institute’s Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge, and the cultural dialogue it creates. It’s the kind of thinking that makes us one of only five Canadian companies ranked in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. Enbridge is a Canadian leader in energy transportation and distribution. For our complete Corporate Social Responsibility Report visit

2007 5. Essential Skills and Métis Employment and Training — BC “Skills you need for work, learning and life.” and “Training for the Future” with MNBC Director Malonie Langthorne 9.00 am to 12.00 pm 6. MNBC Natural Resources Act with MNBC Director Gary Ducommun An opportunity for Métis Citizens to provide input into the development of the MNBC Natural Resources Act. 9.00 am to 11.00 am 7. Federal Government Procurement of Goods and Services Opportunities Badrudin Moosa, Chief, Stakeholder Engagement, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises, Public Works and Government Services Canada Improve your government business opportunities and help the Government of Canada make its

procurement process more accessible. 9.00 am to to 12.00 pm 8. Language Details will be advised. 9.00 am to 12.00 pm 9. Health Screening and Audiology with Patti Roosveldt 9.00 am to 5.00 pm 10. Veterans with Philippe Dore and Métis Veterans Association President Bob Ducharme 9.00 am to 12.00 pm 11. Métis History with George and Terry Goulet, authors of “The Trial of Louis Riel” and “The Métis” 10.30 am to 12.00 pm


Friday, September 21 to Sunday, September 23, 2007

We invite all Métis artists, artisans and vendors! The AGM provides a unique opportunity to make business connections, retail your goods and exhibit your products. Address a captive audi-


ence by being continuously visible and accessible to hundreds of delegates over three days. Booth space is limited, available at $ 300 or product of equal value per 6’ table and assigned on a ‘first-come,

first-served’ basis. Visit our web site at, fill in the “Vendor Registration Form” and send it to Contact Betty Fisher at 604-801-5853 for questions.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Showcase your talent to an enthusiastic crowd! If you are a novice performer or a seasoned entertainer, this is your opportunity to shine. Tell us about

yourself, about your talent, your aspirations and motivations and be selected to entertain and inspire! Performance time slots are limited and five minutes in length. Visit our

web site at, fill in the “Talent Show Application Form” and send it to Contact Bev Lambert at 604-515-9820 for questions.

RBC proudly supports

the Métis Nation BC.

EVENT REGISTRATION For Sponsored Delegates

Both forms are available at

All sponsored delegates such as staff, committee members, community presidents and vice-presidents are required to complete the “Sponsored Delegates Registration Form.”

For Non-Sponsored AGM Participants All event participants are required to register in order to receive AGM packages and participate in social events and meals. Please complete the “Registration Form for Non-Sponsored AGM Participants.”

VOTE REGISTRATION Vote registration for the AGM will take place on Friday, September 21 from 8 am to 3 pm. If you wish to preregister please add your 8-digit MNBC citizenship number and birth date to the registration form. Please note that any Métis citizen who attends the AGM and seeks to register as a voting participant will be required to provide the MNBC citizenship card.

YOUR KEY CONTACTS ARE citizenship and AGM vote registration

Laurel Katernick


event registration and travel arrangements

Flora Salkeld


entertainment and talent show

Bev Lambert


general information

Brittaney Katernick


trade show

Betty Fisher



Ginny Gonneau




Please contact MNBC’s fundraiser Katrin Harry of Ayjoomixw Concepts to discuss the benefits of supporting MNBC with a corporate sponsorship. or 604-483-3532

WANT TO GET INVOLVED? Are you a youth leader in your community?


Come to the largest Métis youth gathering in the province! The British Columbia United Métis Youth Circle (BCUMYC) is pleased to announce that

Each chartered MNBC community is invited to send one youth representative

the 2007 Annual Métis Youth Meeting will be held September 20 -21, 2007 in Kelowna in conjunction with the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) Annual General Meeting.

(15-29) from their community to attend the BCUMYC Annual Youth Meeting. For more information, visit: or

To find more information and how you can attend, please contact: Ginny Gonneau Director of Youth Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) Toll Free: 1-800-940-1150 Office: (604) 801-5853 ext. 232 Cell: (778) 868-5211

Congratulations MNBC! Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Message from National Chief Phil Fontaine Greetings! On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), I wish to congratulate the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) on its 10th anniversary and welcome delegates to the Annual General Meeting. The AFN and the Métis Nation share a common goal in working to improve the quality of life for Canada’s First Peoples. Through improved access to housing, health care, education and economic opportunities, we can begin to make a difference in the lives of all our people. Best wishes to all conference participants for an exciting and productive Annual General Meeting in Kelowna! Sincerely, Phil Fontaine, National Chief The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. 473 Albert Street, Suite 810, Ottawa ON K1R 5B4 Tel: (613) 241-6789 Toll-free: 1-866-869-6789

Registry Update Whispering Winds ...theWhispering voice of the MétisWinds Community...inthe British voiceColumbia of the Métis Community in British Columbia

IMPORTANT REGISTRY INFORMATION Citizenship Application Documentation Update

ATTENTION: All Métis Nation British Columbia Citizens and Citizenship Applicants:

The Métis Nation of British Columbia has recently made changes to the documentation required to apply for your Métis Nation British Columbia citizenship card. Effective June 25, 2007, all new applicants, including children, will be required to provide a copy of either their long form birth certificate or baptismal record showing the names of both their parents. In the past, a parent was eligible to sign a “Declaration of Parentage” form swearing an oath that the children listed on the form were their biological children. This declaration will no longer be acceptable documentation. If your application is already in progress you will be exempt from this requirement, as it will apply to new applications only. To obtain a baptismal record, contact the church where you were baptized or the archdiocese of the church. Long form birth certificates can be obtained from the vital statistics office of the province in which you were born. Please log onto the MNBC web site @ to access a list of vital statistic offices.

In the interest of more thoroughly protecting the integrity of our Métis Nation and its citizens, the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) has implemented a partnership with the Indian Registration & Band Lists Program at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). All MNBC applicants, including card-holding citizens, will go through a mandatory screening process. To best facilitate this new process the MNBC Centralized Registry will be contacting both existing applicants and current citizens to forward them the form for completion. All new applicants must contact their Regional Registry Clerk for a copy of the form.

Pick up the newest Registry guide from your Regional Registry Clerk!

The Métis Nation British Columbia is very pleased to be working with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada on this joint endeavor and request that all pending applicants and present citizens ensure their application contact information is current.

M é ti s N B r it is a ti o n h Co lu m b C it iz ia ensh ip R e g is tr y

G u id


P ro u d chee to be Mé ti t li M ic e y m o ’y a s w h if w i’ y a w n a e n S ta n n d Up and B e Co u n te d! K is h


Fall 2007

Partners in Research Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Métis of British Columbia Partners in Research with the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Submitted by By Peter Hutchinson


n its short existence as a University, starting from the well established and successful history of the Okanagan University College, the University of British Columbia Okanagan, in Kelowna, has partnered with Métis in British Columbia to implement several research projects.

Project 1 The first project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is identifying barriers and facilitators to urban Aboriginal health and social services in the Okanagan valley. This project involves a partnership between UBC Okanagan researchers and service users, providers and provincial representatives to enhance Aboriginal (including Métis) access to health and social services. This project is led by Dr. Mike Evans, Canada Research Chair in Worlds Indigenous Peoples and Associate Professor in the Irving K Barber School of Arts and Sciences.

Project 2 The second research project will

(l. to r.) Stephen Foster, Mike Evans, explore how the Métis community Peter Hutchinson would like to develop Métis health

Projects range from improving access to health and social services within the Okanagan valley to recording life stories of Métis Elders in British Columbia. Researchers have not always been welcome in Aboriginal communities but the Métis Nation British Columbia is embracing research as a tool to advance the health status and role of Métis people in Canadian society. A key aspect of the research projects currently underway is that they are community driven. Métis community members are participating in these projects from the very beginning, refining research questions and the processes that address these questions. They also participate by checking to make sure what the researcher has said is accurate and reflects community participation. Two research projects are currently underway that include the Okanagan Métis Child and Family Services as a research partner. Fall 2007

specific services. In the project researchers will assess a model that is used to develop health and social services and adjust that model to include Métis specific conditions reflected in cultural, historical, political, and geographical contexts. This project is being conducted by Dr. Peter Hutchinson, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Health and Social Development at UBC Okanagan. Dr. Hutchinson’s work on this project will provide the groundwork for future studies that test the new model in developing appropriate health services within the Métis community to address a specific health issue.

data base. The data base will include records from census documents and indexes (1881, 1891, 1901, 1911), historical documents including fur trade records and journals, archival records, maps, vital statistics, and other such materials (currently there are approximately 2000 records in the database). This data base will eventually be accessible on the web utilizing Google Earth technology linking a variety of information in a convenient and accessible format for the Métis community. Dr. Evans is also producing two interactive DVDs with fellow researchers Stephen Foster, and Dr. Jon Corbett. The DVD’s will discuss Métis historical presence in what is now BC. The documentary will discuss the different patterns of Métis communities in BC and present coverage from across the province. The second DVD is focused on contemporary Métis culture in BC. Researchers will interview, record, and present information for contemporary knowledge holders in the community in discrete topic areas: a) history; b) language: c) dress; d) music and dance; e) contemporary communities. These will be presented in an interactive DVD format allowing the use of the DVD in school curricula across the province. We are always interested in community feedback and participation regarding our research projects so if you have any questions or comments about research, or would like to learn more about how you can participate in these projects please feel free to contact:

Dr. Mike Evans

Dr. Peter Hutchinson [(250)807-9213, email]

Dr. Mike Evans is also involved in two other projects that include the Métis in British Columbia. First, he is leading a project titled “Historical Research into the Presence of Métis in BC” which includes the development of a historical document



Dr. Mike Evans [(250)-807-9401; email:]

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The Battle Section Title Left of Grande Coteau Whispering Winds ...the voice of theWhispering Métis Community Winds in British Columbia ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

The Battle of Grande Coteau Written by Ron Nunn, Oliver, BC.


moke from the rifles of the 77 Métis hunters filled the air. Each time their rifle spoke, another Sioux warrior fell from his horse, wounded or dead. The Métis women and children quickly reloaded rifles for their men, who lay in shallow rifle pits firing at the Sioux.

Sioux and rode hard for the brigade. The Sioux, however, captured all, but two managed to escape. They quickly sounded the alarm of the approaching threat. Preparations were made. The Red River carts that the Métis were using were drawn together facing outward, with poles through their spokes to keep them in place. Pemmican and other supplies were piled between the carts and livestock was brought into the centre of the circle. The chief hunter, Jean Baptiste Falcon, son of the Métis minstrel Pierre Falcon, was the leader of the brigade and quickly took charge. Rifle pits were dug and all rifles were primed and loaded. Women and the younger children remained in the centre of the circle created by the carts.

This tactic of firing at the enemy from pits would later be used against an army sent by Sir John A. MacDonald to pacify, by force, the Métis on the plains of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The drama on the plains had it’s beginning at the White Horse Plains in southern Manitoba with the formation of the summer buffalo hunt. Men women and children made up these hunts and in the summer of 1851 when the hunt was called the people broke up into three brigades of about 300400 people. They moved south to what is near present day Minot, North Dakota.

The older boys stayed and helped the riflemen in the pits, passing reloaded rifles to them. The Métis women also assisted in reloading the rifles and keeping the livestock from escaping. A delegation of Métis met a Sioux delegation a little ways from the Métis camp. The Sioux promised to release the remaining Métis scouts in exchange for gifts of tobacco, shot and powder. The Métis refused this offer, as they did not want the Sioux to see their fortifications close-up.

Each brigade had a priest with them and the brigade that engaged the Sioux had Father Lafleche, a brave and courageous soul. His courage would inspire the Métis under attack by the Sioux. The White Horse Plains group, consisting of about 100 hunters and an unknown number of women and children, arrived at the eastern ridge of the Grand Coteau on July 12, 1851. The butte that was named Grand Coteau was part of the prairie escarpment where the Manitoba plains give rise to the plains of Saskatchewan. The Grand Coteau was smack in the middle of Sioux territory. The Sioux and the Métis were in a struggle to the death for the precious resources of the prairie — the buffalo.

A subsequent delegation of Sioux approached the Métis circle, but riflemen kept them at bay. That night there was an eclipse of the Moon, and taking ad-

The brigades reached their hunting grounds and split columns and went separate ways in search of buffalo. Scouts were sent ahead to locate the herds and in couple of days, buffalo were located as well as their feared enemy — the Sioux. The Sioux were in great strength, with over 2,500 warriors ready and willing to fight. Five Métis scouts discovered the Fall 2007


The The Battle Battle of of Grande Grande Coteau Coteau Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Among the Métis riflemen, who now included teenage boys, was the senior Isadore Dumont with his two sons, 17-yearold Isadore and 13-year-old Gabriel. Young Gabriel was destined to become a great Métis military leader and used the rifle pit style of defense and the other valuable lessons from the Battle of Grande Coteau. The Sioux continued their attack for six hours, sustaining considerable causalities. They withdrew but whooped and shouted all night and were ready for another attack on the Métis. At sun-up of July 14, 1851 the leaders of the Métis ordered the break of camp and made a run for the other buffalo hunting brigades. The camp was quickly on the move and made about 25 miles when the Sioux war party was spotted. Again the carts were circled in the same position as before and rifle pits dug.

vantage of the dark, Métis scouts were sent out to contact the other brigades. The Sioux spotted these scouts, but two scouts did make it to the Saint Boniface and Pembina brigades to urgently request assistance.

The Sioux charged again and again, for five hours using the same hit-and–run tactics as before, with no success. Again, the deadly accurate rifle fire of the Métis brought dozens of Sioux casualties. The Sioux having so many of their warriors killed or wounded withdrew from battle. The Sioux war chief later rode up to the Métis camp and sued for peace acknowledging that the Métis were under the protection of Great Manitou.

Métis hunters were marshaled but it was nearly a day’s ride between the two other brigades and the White Horse brigade. On the morning of July 13, 1851 Father Lafleche administered the sacraments. The Métis scouts warned of a large number of Sioux warriors approaching. An armed party of about 30 Métis riflemen approached the Sioux war party, offering gifts. The Sioux refused. The three scouts who were held captive by the Sioux made a break for freedom. Two made it back to the Métis defensive position, but one of them, Jean Baptiste Malaterre, riding a slower horse, was recaptured by the Sioux.

Sioux casualties of both attacks numbered close to a hundred warriors while the Métis had only a few minor wounds and the loss of some oxen and horses, losing no lives in battle. A large group of Métis riflemen from the Pembina and St. Boniface brigades arrived, but by that time the battle was over.

His tortured, mutilated and dismembered body, with three bullet holes and 67 arrows in it, was found later on the prairie.

This battle was a turning point for the Métis. They truly became Wardens of The Plains, forging a national identity and became a nation to recon with. Though many years have past, the story of the courage, intelligence and skill of the Métis is born in the hearts of the present day Métis people.

The Indian warriors, in the strength of several hundred, commenced their attack. They did not rush the Métis defensive circle as one mass, but attacked in classic Sioux style. The warriors used the hit and run tactic, firing bullets and launching a flurry of arrows while galloping by the Métis riflemen who were laying in shallow pits under and beside the circled Red River carts. The Métis were extolled by Father Lafleche as he moved among them with a raised crucifix. The Métis rifle fire was deadly accurate. Sioux warriors fell by the dozens. The Sioux fell back for a time then renewed their attack but quickly withdrew when more Sioux fell and casualties mounted. Lafleche’s bravery played a part in discouraging the Sioux. His staunch spirit (together with an eclipse of the Moon the night before and a sudden thunderstorm that day) made the Sioux believe that the Métis were protected by Manitou, their God. 23

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Four Host Nations Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community Columbia Whispering Winds in...British the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Vancouver 2010 Olympics &


Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are being held within the shared traditional territories of the Four Host First Nations (FHFN) ~ the Lil’wat, the Musqueam, the Squamish and the Tsleil-Waututh, who have shared these lands for thousands of years.

We are working with our 2010 partners to achieve “unprecedented Aboriginal participation” in the 2010 Winter Games. We have signed a Protocol with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). The Protocol includes our commitment to work with VANOC and other partners, primarily the provincial and

representing each of the four Nations. In the centre, four feathers point to the cardinal directions ~ north, south, east and west ~ inviting and welcoming the athletes and peoples of the world to come to the 2010 Games in Vancouver. The feathers can also be seen to symbolize our arms stretched up and open, welcoming and extending respect to all visitors. It is the tradition of our people to welcome visitors, or to compliment for something well done, by saying: “I hold my hands up to you.”

Because the 2010 Winter Games will be staged in the shared traditional territories of the Four Nations, the Nations recognized the imporLil’wat Nation tance of their involvement The Lil’wat Nation are early in the bid process, and an Interior Salish people, are proud to have played who speak a language a vital and integral role in called Ucwalmícwts. formulating and mounting a While the Lil’wat is a sepsuccessful campaign, which arate and distinct nation, culminated in Vancouver it is part of the St’át’imc being awarded the Games group. on July 2, 2003. We have Their 797,131-hectThe FHFN logo reflects the unique culture and spirit of the FHFN, been active partners since then, and we look forward to respecting each other and working cooperatively together, united within are traditional territory welcoming the world to our the circle of life. Holding the new FHFN logo are Chief Campbell, Chief is about twice the size George-Wilson, Chief Williams and Chief Andrew. of Rhode Island — or ancestral homelands during one-fourth of Vancouver the 2010 Winter Games. federal governments, to ensure that Island. It extends south to Rubble The FHFN have formed the non-profit opportunities to participate in the 2010 Creek, north to Gates Lake, east to FHFN Society, and established the Games are extended beyond the FHFN the Upper Stein Valley and west to the FHFN Secretariat to coordinate our to other First Nations, Inuit and Métis coastal inlets of the Pacific Ocean. collective efforts as host Nations. The Peoples across Canada. The geography — between two four Directors of the FHFN Society The FHFN logo refl ects the unique formidable mountain ranges — enare: Chief Leonard Andrew, Lil’wat culture and spirit of the FHFN, sured their important role in the early Nation; Chief Ernest Campbell, respecting each other and working regional economy. The Lil’wat were Musqueam Nation; Chief Bill Wilcooperatively together, united within traders. For centuries they bartered liams, Squamish Nation; and Chief the circle of life. The rim of the logo and exchanged all manner of goods Leah George-Wilson, Tsleil-Waututh represents the Creator and our anceswith many other First Nations, and Nation. tors, watching over a human face later with non-aboriginal fur traders, miners and settlers. Fall 2007


Four Host Section Nations Title Right Whispering Winds ...theWhispering voice of the MétisWinds Community...inthe British voiceColumbia of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Paralympic Winter Games Most Lil’wat people live at Mount Currie, near the confluence of the Lillooet and Birkenhead rivers, just east of Pemberton, a two-and-a half hour drive north of Vancouver on the Sea-to-Sky Highway. Today, more than 70 per cent of the Lil’wat people live on these reserves. Majestic Mount Currie towers over the community of the same name; it sits at the centre of our traditional territory. Today, they have a population of more than 1,850, of whom 550 live off-reserve. This makes them the fourth-largest on-reserve First Nation community in the province. For more information about the Lil’wat Nation, visit: Musqueam Nation The Musqueam people have lived in their present location for thousands of years. Our traditional territory once occupied much of what is now Vancouver and surrounding areas. The name Musqueam relates back to the River Grass, the name of the grass is Muxqui (m-uh-th-kwi). There is a story that has been passed on from generation to generation that explains how we became known as the Musqueam - People of the River Grass. “It was noted that in some periods the Muxqui (m-uh-th-kwi) grass flourished, and in some periods it could scarcely be found. It was also noted that in some periods our people would flourish and in some periods the population would dwindle, perhaps by plague or war. It was in this way that we became known as Musqueam.”

We are traditional Halkomelem (h-un-q-uh-mi-n-uhm) speaking people and have descended from the cultural group known as the Coast Salish Tribe. Our people moved throughout our traditional territory using the resources the land provided for fishing, hunting, trapping and gathering, to maintain their livelihood. Today, the Musqueam people still use these resources for economical and traditional purposes. Although a metropolitan city has developed in the heart of Musqueam territory, our community maintains strong cultural and traditional beliefs. Our community historians and educators teach and pass on our history to our people, which has always been the way of our people, to keep our culture and traditions strong.

Chief Campbell

Chief George-Wilson

Today our population flourishes and we are a strong community of over thousand members. We live on a very small portion of our traditional territory, known as the Musqueam Indian Reserve, located south of Marine Drive near the mouth of the Fraser River. For more information about the Musqueam Nation, visit our web site @

Chief Andrew Squamish Nation The Squamish Nation is comprised of Salish peoples who are descendants of the Aboriginal peoples who lived in the present day Great Vancouver area, Gibson’s Landing and Squamish River watershed. Squamish means “Mother of Wind” or “Birthplace of the Winds” in the Coast Salish language. 25

Chief Williams Fall 2007

SectionFour TitleHost Left Nations Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community Columbia Whispering Winds in...British the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Tsleil-Waututh Nation The Tsleil-Waututh are Coast Salish People who speak the downriver dialect of the Halkomelem language.

Today, Tsleil-Waututh First Nation members live in a community located between Maplewood Flats and Deep Cove on the north shore of Burrard Inlet. The traditional territory of the Tsleil-Waututh First nation encompasses a much larger area of 720 square B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Four Chiefs anmiles that reaches from the nounce the unveiling of the FHFN logo. Fraser River in the south to Mamquam Lake (near Whistler) in the north. The most heavily utiAfter contact with European settlers, lized part of this territory is the water 16 Squamish speaking tribes decided and land area around Burrard Inlet and to amalgamate to form one unit called Indian Arm. the Squamish Band, in order to guarantee equality to all Squamish and Prior to contact with Europeans, oral ensure good governance. The amalga- history tells us the Tsleil-Waututh mation was signed on July 23, 1923. numbered over 10,000 people. Their “seasonal round” involved a complex Today, the Squamish Nation is comcycle of food gathering, hunting, and posed of 23 villages, with a total area of 28.28 square kilometers. The Squa- spiritual and cultural activities that formed the heart of Tsleil-Waututh mish Nation has 3293 members, with culture. 1941 members living on reserve. The Squamish Nation governance structure includes a 12-member Council, and four hereditary Chiefs. Squamish Hereditary Chief Gibby Jacob is one of the first Indigenous representatives to sit on the board of an Olympic Organizing Committee, as a member of the VANOC Board. For more information about the Squamish Nation, visit

Fall 2007


Despite vast changes that have been imposed within their traditional territory, Tsleil-Waututh community members continue to practice a wide range of traditional activities. A key goal of the Tsleil-Waututh community is to expand its participation in all planning and development processes so that the once abundant resources can be restored, protected, and utilized on a sustainable basis. For more information about TsleilWaututh, visit: For more information about the FHFN, contact: Tewanee Joseph, Executive Director and CEO Four Host First Nations Secretariat 7th Floor, 3585 Graveley Street Vancouver, B.C. V5K 5J5 Tel:(778) 327-5775 Email: Website:

Métis Training Métis Skills & Employment Centre Celebrates First Year! point for new careers. It was fitting that the first Graduation class for the Carpentry was introduced during this event. All of the students, along with families attended and enjoyed talking to Metis leaders, potential employers, family and friends.


MNBC President Bruce Dumont, Minister Dave Hodgson and Malonie LangMétis Skills & Employthorne; Director of MHRDA ment Centre hosted an open welcomed the guests. Marlin house to industry partners, employers, Ratch, Hazel Burns, Instrucdignitaries, past and present students tor Dick Ainsworth and other and staff on June 22, 2007. staff were on hand to answer Over 80 people came to visit the train- questions. ing centre throughout the afternoon During the brief ceremony Hazel Burns, MNBC Apprenticeship Coach, giving the Métis Skills & Employment Minister Dave Hodgson and celebrates with Carpentry Graduates Centre staff and students an opportuHelen Boyce from ACCESS nity to talk about their courses and to Trades signed a Memorandum show off their training facility. of Understanding (MOU) signalThis very professional looking facility ing the continuation of a great relationship between the parties. will soon be the classroom for many new trades courses and the starting “This MOU signifies the continuation and expansion of the partnership between the MNBC and ACCESS. ACCESS will register carpentry apprentices for the Skills Centre in Abbotsford. Lindy Monahan, Step Program for Women MNBC and ACCESS currently BC Construction Association and Barry Mooney, work together through the VaLocal 170, exchange ideas. nasep project, Bladerunners in Canadian Idol, Shane Wiebe (Season 3 Prince George and with the Essential Idol) and Malonie Langthorne; DirecSkills for Aboriginal Futures Program tor of MHRDA, provided the enterin New Westminster”, states Director tainment. ACCESS Trades; Bruce Dumont celebrates Langthorne. with daughter, Lindsay Dumont who is a Minister Dave Hodgson signs MOU with Helen Boyce


recent Carpenter graduate. 27

Fall 2007

A Family History Story Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

My Connection to Peter Fidler A Family History Story, Submitted by Sharon Eyford, Delta, B.C information about W.A. Mann. He had come from Ontario to Manitoba with Colonel Wolsley in 1870, during the Riel Rebellion, and spent two years at Lower Fort Garry with the Ontario Rifles. The 1870 Canada Census showed that William Allan Mann was registered in Manitoba. A copy of the 1881 Canada Census shows he was a widower and had a farm in the Springfield, Manitoba area. At that time, he had four daughters under the age of eight years. No wife is mentioned. On the very same census page the family of Henry and Jane Erasmussen is registered. Their daughter, Sophia Jane, is listed in the census and it is her name that was give as W.A.’s second wife in the article in the Whitewood-Crossroads book. The article also provided details of their thirteen children. With these few pieces of the puzzle in hand, I knew that further research would have to be done in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. My husband and I travelled to Winnipeg in July, 2002 and spent four days searching for information about William Allan Mann and his first wife. In an 1881 Winnipeg Free Press newspaper, we found this announcement: “BIRTHS. Mann - In North Springfield, on the 11th inst., the wife of Mr. W.A. Mann, of a daughter. DIED. Mann - In North Springfield, on the 11th inst., the wife of W.A. Mann, aged 36.” While working with staff from the Manitoba Archives Caroline Catherine and volunteers from


hile growing up in Brandon, Manitoba in the ’50s and the ’60s very little was ever mentioned about our family history. It was exciting however, when Dad talked about being the great grandson of Chief Sitting Bull. Retirement in 2000, allowed me the time to find out who my great grandparents on my father’s side, really were. My search started with the only person I could remember who would have any connection outside of my immediate family. She was an aunt who travelled from Esterhazy, Saskatchewan to Brandon to visit my grandmother, Caroline Catherine (Mann) Traford. Aunty May Blyth turned out to be Caroline’s sister, Margaret. I phoned every Blyth in the Esterhazy area and was fortunate to find a contact who was a family history buff. Thank goodness for the internet because there was lots of e-mailing back and forth. She sent me an article, taken from “Whitewood Crossroad Country, Volume Two, 1892-1992”, that she thought was about my great grandfather, William Allan Mann. It stated that William Allan Mann’s first wife was “unknown”. The fact that she was “unknown” became the lightning rod for my research. To find my great grandmother, I realized I had to learn a lot more about my grandmother, Caroline Catherine, and my great grandfather, W.A. Mann. Caroline had married Albert Traford who had come from England to the Broadview-Grenfell, Saskatchewan area to work on a farm. They were married in 1902 in Whitewood. Albert and Kate moved to Brandon where he got a job working as a locomotive engineer for Canadian Pacific Railroad. Albert died at the age of 45 in 1920. Four children were born into their family between 1902 and 1921. Three were girls and one was a boy, Alberta Reginald Traford, my dad. The history buff was again an excellent source of

Fall 2007


A Family History Story Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

the Manitoba Genealogical Society, we found baptismal and burial records for some of the family. At Saint Boniface Historical Society a researcher listened to our story while he searched on his computer. After what seemed like only a few seconds, he turned to us and said that he had found a record Reg Traford which stated “Fidler, Emily wife of Wm. A. Mann”. For the first time in over 120 years her name had been spoken. I was stunned, excited and flabbergasted all at once. Her name was Emily Amelia Fidler. Her parents’ names were Peter Fidler and Amelia Bird. As the researcher talked to my husband, I needed to sit down and collect my thoughts. Wow, she was no longer “unknown”. She had been a real person, a wife and a mother, who died in 1881 at the age of 36 after bearing seven children. She died the same day her last child was born. The child would be named Emily and, sadly, died nine months later. Only three female children survived. One was my grandmother, Caroline Catherine, who was born in Springfield, Manitoba in 1878. This meant that my great grandmother had been a member of the Red River Settlement. The researcher asked if we knew who Peter Fidler was. We didn’t. He provided a file folder which was a transcription from Peter’s diary. We were in shock as he explained how to find out more history on the Fidler family and their importance in Canadian history. The researcher then asked me if I knew what being a Métis meant. Growing up in Manitoba, I knew what the word meant but did not have any idea that I could be of Métis heritage. As we left St. Boniface, we knew there would be a lot more questions and more searching but for now we had the pieces of a story to tell and I wanted to tell the whole world. Emily Amelia Fidler (Mann) deserves to have her story told. She was born in Manitoba on January 25,

1845. She was baptized in St. John’s Anglican Church in Winnipeg. Her father, Peter Fidler (Jr.), was born in Fort Dauphin in 1820. He met and married Amelia Bird, who was born in Fort Edmonton in 1821. They lived on the Red River Settlement on lot #106 near St. Paul’s Middlechurch. In the Manitoba Census 1870, Emily Fidler is listed as number 150 at the age of 22 years living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her father is listed as Peter Fidler, English Métis. Emily Fidler and W.A. Mann probably met in the Lower Fort Garry area while W.A. was stationed there between 1870 and 1872. No record of marriage has been found but we know that they had seven children between 1873 and 1881. Their first child was a boy and they named him James Allan Daniel Mann, born in 1873, but he died not long after. Two more children were born but died almost immediately. The couple then had four daughters, Agnes in 1874, Margaret (Aunty May) in 1876, and Caroline Catherine (my grandma) on January 28, 1878. The last child, Emily, was born in February and died in November 1881. She was named after her mother and buried with her mother and the other children in St. Paul’s Middlechurch Cemetery. Emily Amelia’s father, Peter Fidler, also died in 1881, a month earlier than Emily. With the death of his wife and baby and having three little girls to take care of, W.A. married Sophia Jane Erasmussen, who we think was employed as his housekeeper. In 1881, W.A. left Springfield with his new wife who had given birth to a daughter. They travelled by oxen and wagon to Sunnymede, Saskatchewan, seven W.A. Mann miles south of what is now known as Whitewood. 29

Fall 2007

A Family History Story Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

necessities that they could pack in the wagon. They wired a barrel of water to the side of the wagon and took along dried buffalo meat. They had to stop near In searching for my great grandmother Emily’s a slough of water to feed and water the oxen. They history, I have discovered some interesting notations gathered wood to light a fire and cook their meals. about W.A. Mann. After travelling for a few weeks, they decided to set The story of W.A. and Sophia leaving Springfield, Manitoba and travelling to Sunnymede, Saskatchewan up their tent and start building their home. Father started cutting down must have been told and trees, trimming them and retold as their thirteen built our first log house. children grew up. Minnie, I am proud of what they did. There was a railroad to their first child, was born Oak Lake, but too far to June 1, 1882 in Manitoba. I am proud of how my family go to get lumber. He also She died May 8, 1883 and has survived the hard times. I had a one furrow plough was buried in Whitewood. which he used to clear The trip may have been am proud to be Métis. I honour some land for a garden too much for the little all my ancestors especially my and scattered some wheat one. Their fourth born seeds by hand. We had no was Clara. In her later grandmothers. neighbours, but bands of years, Clara wrote a two Indians used to come and page letter describing her mother was afraid. She memories of her family’s would give them food history. to get rid of them. There was no doctor or hospital “Dad (William) had a farm in Springfield, 12 miles near, so when my oldest sister was born mother had to north of Winnipeg. He had four girls and one boy. go back to her sister. The rural road was not through The little boy, one girl and his first wife all died of yet, but later there were a few neighbours and they diphtheria, which we don’t hear much of now. My mother, then 18 years old, went to keep house for him all helped each other … Years and years later, a small town started up eight miles north of us.” and three little girls aged 6-4-2. They got married on The genealogical expedition into my family’s past August 22nd, 1881 and decided to go west, where has been successful. Emily Amelia Fidler’s name is no one had ventured before. So, he bought a covered known now. It can be shown that my family are direct wagon, team of oxen, a tent, all the equipment and descendants of Peter Fidler “Canada’s Forgotten Surveyor” who married Mary, a Cree Indian woman from York Factory. Peter’s mapmaking skills and Mary’s ancestral knowledge of living off the land has left us with a rich family history. I am proud of what they did. I am proud of how my family has survived 852 Fort Street the hard times. I am proud to be Métis. I honour all my Victoria, BC V8W 1H8 ancestors especially my grandmothers. My Connection to Peter Fidler cont.

Telephone: 250.380.1423

Fall 2007


Semiahmoo First Nation Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Chief Willard Cook and Lynn Cook - Semiahmoo First Nation welcomes Métis Nation to their traditional territory.


emiahmoo First Nation is a Canadian Coast Salish community located on 312 acres of land just south of White Rock, B.C., near the Canada-United States boundary and Peace Arch Provincial Park. “Semiahmoo” means “half moon” which is the shape of Semiahmoo Bay. Currently there are approximately 80 band members.

Willard Cook has been the elected Chief since 1996 and lives on the reserve with his wife, Lynn. Married for 29 years, they have two children, Bill Cook and Jamie-Lynn Cook. Recently, nephew Shawn Cook came to live with them. Willard is the native counsellor at Burnaby Youth Detention Centre where he opens the door to native spirituality and healing to resident youth. Lynn’s Métis roots come from the Archambault family in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. She was raised in Balcarres, Saskatchewan before moving “west” in the early ‘70s. Lynn is executive partner in International Empowered Training Solution and facilitates leadership, management, and self-improvement programs. She is also a corporate and personal coach. The Cooks also own and manage ThunderValley Ranch, a 65 acre horse facility located a short distance from the reserve. In their spare time, they like to travel on their Harley Davidson motorcycles!

Chief Willard Cook and Lynn Cook


Fall 2007

Art Burd Festival Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia


he first Art Burd Memorial Métis Festival was held on July 14 and 15, 2007 at the home of Senator Gerry St Germain and family.

MNBC honoured Art Burd by celebrating his life with family and friends from the BC Métis Community. Art is fondly remembered by all of the Métis community for his excellent fiddle playing during Métis events. He attended Red River West Rendezvous for many years as well as numerous functions throughout British Columbia and other provinces. Art was a friendly and well-liked Métis from the Lower Mainland who believed in having fun and involving families in all Métis events.

Over 300 people gathered for this wonderful, warm and entertaining day. Singing, dancing and visiting was the theme of the weekend. Bev Lambert invited the children to learn some new dance steps and soon had them jigging to the large audience. Amongst this group of dancers were Art Burd’s grandchildren. Rene Therrien, MNBC Cultural Minister was presented with the first Art Burd Memorial award for his hard work and dedication in promoting Métis culture. Keith Henry, CEO, was the MC and did a great job.

Gerry St. Germaine presented with a thank you gift by President Dumont

Thanks to Senator Gerry St Germain and Margaret, his wife, for inviting MNBC to host the first of many Art Burd Memorial Festivals on their ranch in Surrey.

Senator Phil Gladue, Chief Cook, VP Lorne LaFleur

Art Burd’s daughter Laurie and grandchildren (dancing) pay tribute.

Bev Lambert & Dance Troupe Fall 2007

Shy Man’s Jigging - New Graduates 32

Cultural Minister Therrien accepting Art Burd Memorial Award

Gerry St. Germaine

David Thompson

Columbia River Brigade 2007

Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia


wo hundred years ago (1807) David Thompson began to explore the Columbia River. This summer Canadian Voyageur Canoe Adventures began the David Thompson Columbia River Brigade 2007. David Thompson’s exploits in Canadian history are unmatched by any other. Arguably, the great-

Hon. Tom Christenson, MLA, welcomes Voyageurs to Vernon.

est land geographer of all time, David Thompson is truly a figure of continental significance. Between 1784 and 1850, Thompson explored and mapped 3.9 million square kilometres (approximately 1.5 million square miles) of North America.

The Brigade began in Vernon on June 25 at Kin Beach on Okanagan Lake with a mini paddle fest and the David Thompson Heritage Stage Show. Over 250 people turned out to see the voyageurs being welcomed to Kin Beach by members of the Okanagan Nation Alliance. The event also featured the David Thompson Heritage Stage Show, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience and managed to finish just before the downpour arrived. Among the dignitaries were Chief Fabian Alexis, Okanagan band, Hon Tom Christensen, a representative from Vernon City Council, MNBC Regional Director David

Voyageurs paddle from Okanagan Landing to Kin Beach.

Re-enactment of the David Thompson story.

More of the re-enactment of the David Thompson story. Chief Fabian Alexis, Okanagan First Nations, and family welcome the Voyageurs.

Hodgson and Vernon Métis President Marlene Beattie. The purpose of the event was to lead a brigade of Voyageur Canoes from the A very large crowd enjoys the David Thompson re-enactment at Kin Beach, Vernon. 33

MNBC Regional Director Dave Hodgson, Vernon Métis President Marlene Beattie present sashes to Chief Alexis and the Voyageurs. Fall 2007

David Columbia River Thompson Brigade 2007 Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

The Métis community in Golden also celebrated the arrival of the Brigade at Edgewater. Here a large group gathered for a fun and activity filled day.

Richard Dale (David Thompson) and Brian Dunn, voyageur

Golden President Ed Delisle carves large gun in front of Red River Cart

headwaters of the Columbia River at Canal Flats to Trail, B.C. visiting the Columbia River Basin Communities en route. The cultural and educational component was a “The David Thompson Heritage Stage Show” a professional production to educate people on the life of David Thompson.

MLA Norman MacDonald receives a Metis sash Fall 2007

Dawna Lee Monchak with Kayla Taphorn and Syenna Mitchell selling her handmade birch and willow baskets

David Thompson (Richard Dale), Charlotte Small ( Laura Monchak) and Fanny (Sydney Mitchell) walking in from the river. Voyageurs are carrying their canoe.

Cover Photo Photographer: Barry Moore I am a lifetime resident of Edgewater from the family that took over the old town company, Columbia Valley Ranches, that built the Flume and cleared the land for farming. We sold our mill in the mid 60’s and have been slowly adding onto Edgewater’s 1912 layout lately, so I am familiar with construction equipment. I also play and write music and admire the traditional dances of the frontier - which we used to enjoy in our fine little Community Hall. Our classical ensemble got Red River Fiddle music from the Gabriel Dumont Institute to learn so we could play for “Li Jiggleurs Meschif” at our Concert. Finally we got the old tunes we grew up with resounding again to the dancers’ feet - it was like a Homecoming even for us. Didn’t realize how much we have missed the warmth and joy of a community dance to this spring-like music! The photograph was taken after I scurried down from the cliffs overlooking Columbia Lake to get a close-up of the canoes as they approached. This was the calmest the Columbia was to be for them - like a dream as they drifted into the magnificent Columbia Valley. 34

Paddle to Lummi


lone Métis canoe, Waceya, joined nearly 80 canoes from Alaska to California for “Paddle to Lummi”, the 13th annual gathering of Northwest canoe tribes, July 30-Aug. 5. This journey included all Pacific Coastal peoples. It was the first time a Métis canoe has participated in the intertribal canoe journey, said Judy Dallin. “Brenda Matthews received a grant from the United Métis Youth Circle to fund our trip.” The Coast Salish people of the Pacific Northwest invited canoe families of every Pacific Northwest tribe to paddle their hand-carved canoes to the shores of the Lummi Nation, in Washington State. Canoe families travelled the traditional highways of their ancestors, the northernmost from Bella Coola, began July 7th. The gathering included Lummi’s largest potlach in 70 years, with slahal, traditional gambling using bones and including songs; the traditional wedding of a Bella Coola bride to Lummi groom; and feasting, dancing, singing and gift giving all week. “Our Waceya canoe started the journey at Ambleside beach in Squamish territory,” D allin said. “The first leg was a 12 hour paddle from Ambleside to Tsawwassen.” The paddlers hit low tide and were able to snap pictures of themselves “walking on water”. The second leg, she said, “was an extremely hard pull from Tsawwassen to Birch Bay. It was supposed to be a four hour journey but after the canoes rounded Point Roberts a storm whipped up 3-5 foot waves. The trip took 10 hours of non-stop pulling. We, at times, were paddling against the waves but staying in one spot or going backwards. At one point it took two hours to advance 50 feet. “Two canoes flipped and our support vessel, piloted by Jordan Dallin, rescued the Nanaimo canoe and called in the Coast Guard for backup,” she said. “Our Waceya canoe was the only canoe to make it the whole way to Birch Bay. The other 11 had to be towed in!”

Paddle to Lummi (Photos by Brandon Gabriel. Ariel view courtesy of Bellingham Herald.)

pulling, we achieve perfect harmony and balance. This is schelangen, the Lummi way of life,” stated the site. “The celebrations went on for a week with each canoe family alloted a performance time to share their culture,” said Dallin. “Philip and Betty Gladue along with Bev Lambert, Bill Thompson on fiddle and Patti Mayo on guitar came to assist us with our presentation. We had a tremendously positive reception from the First Nations … many of those from the states received their first introduction to Métis culture.”

The final leg, from Birch Bay to Lummi, was “a smooth pull in beautiful sunshine, an amazing experience to join in with the canoes coming from the south and be greeted by thousands singing and drumming on the shore!”

There were literally hundreds in the audience who joined in the jigging, she added. “There were so many questions from the audience as we distributed our giveaways … Our presentation was a huge hit!”

A news article estimated a crowd of around 18,000 people gathered for the traditional greeting, packing the cedar bough-lined beach.

The crew included skipper Jim Dallin, Waceya president Allen Lavallee and his son Levi, Valerie Poirier, Brenda Matthews, Jake Gravelle, Sheila Jack, Cassandra, Una Ann, Roanne Trattle, OJ Parisian, Brandon Gabriel, Mike Goldsack and Judy Dallin. Support crew included Vicki Gravelle and Pam and Larry Goldsack while Jordan Dallin was in the support vessel.

Canoes travelling south to Lummi landed first, one by one along the shore. Those paddling north came ashore nearly an hour later, in unison. Lummi Nation members announced a welcome to each individual canoe, after a representative from each asked permission to come ashore. Paddlers chanted and pounded their paddles on the bottom of their canoes as they arrived.

Next year’s intertribal canoe journey will be hosted by Chemainus Nation on Vancouver Island. “We hope more Métis canoes will be involved,” concluded Dallin.

Then volunteers draped cedar wreathes on the bow of each landing canoe. “At Lummi we were treated like royalty — meals, showers, even outdoor washing machines were provided for the canoe families,” said Dallin. The canoe journey is a time of healing, hope, happiness, honour and hospitality, according to the event’s website. “The journey seeks to honour the centuries-old custom of transport, harvest and trade by the Coast Salish tribes, many who travelled the waters to meet and gather for festivities. Relationships are strengthened, families ties are renewed, and young and old gather together during this drug and alcohol-free event. Our elders believe that through canoe-

Fall 2007


Ministry of Métis Children and Family Services Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

It has been a busy year thus far. The following are some examples of the work to date. The MNBC has negotiated two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), one with Métis Interior Community Helping Its Families (MICHIF) in Prince George, and one with Okanagan Métis Child and Family Services (OKMCFS) in Kelowna. These MOUs outline the roles and responsibilities of each party and how the MNBC will work in supporting the agencies in their service delivery. The MNBC is excited about this, as it is the beginning of a governance structure that will enable the MNBC to have a responsible role in the development and delivery of services to Métis children and families in these geographic locations. The MNBC will be looking to expand the service delivery to other parts of the province in the near future.

MNBC has Métis representation on all 5 Aboriginal planning committees that are in place. Two of these committees have reached the Interim Authority status. These are Fraser Region Interim AborigiMNBC Minister, David Hodgson nal Authority and Vancouver Island Interim Aboriginal Authority.

MNBC worked with MICHIF in negotiating funding to begin services in the Prince George area. As a result three staff have been hired. Richard Nault is the Executive Director of MICHIF, Jackie Lee is the new Family Preservation and Resource worker, and Jennifer Provoledo is the new Roots worker. Congratulations to MICHIF.

To ensure Métis culturally appropriate services, MNBC is negotiating an MOU with each of the five Regional Aboriginal Authorities. This will provide for the locals to be part of the planning for Métis service delivery in their area. It will also ensure that legitimate Métis representation is present at all the planning meetings.

Ministry of Children and Family Development

Ministry for Métis Children and Family Services

The MNBC is still in negotiations with the Provincial Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). Although the process has taken longer than expected, the MNBC is encouraged that this MOU may be ready for the AGM in September. This MOU speaks to the partnership between MCFD and MNBC in the delivery of child and family services to Métis children and families in the province.

MNBC is continuing negotiations with both the Federal and Provincial Governments for funding to build an infrastructure that will enable the MNBC to conduct its governance responsibilities to the Métis regarding child and family services. There has been positive feedback from both the federal and provincial representatives that the MNBC is going in the right direction.

Métis Child and Family Service Agencies

As we approach the AGM, the MNBC is excited about getting another mandate to continue its direction and ensuring the Métis have specific Métis child and family services available in their communities.

Regionalization As many of you are aware, the MCFD began to develop 5 Regional Aboriginal Authorities. This was an outcome of the historic Tsawwassen Accord signed in June of 2002 by all the Aboriginal leadership in the province. This Accord basically set the parameters of how Aboriginal child and family services would be handled within the Aboriginal community.

David Hodgson Minister for Métis Children and Family Services


Fall 2007

Education Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

The Ministry of Education has several initiatives moving forward into the new school year. The provincial government recently launched a $65-million Aboriginal Post Secondary Education Strategy. This strategy is to help Aboriginal students to start, stay in and succeed in postsecondary education and training.

First day back to school 1965 l to r. Mike Hodgson, MNBC Director of Education Colleen Hodgson, Tri-River Métis Association President Kim Hodgson, Keith Hodgson.

Education and advises on whether the criteria have been met. The local chartered Métis communities are participating in the process.

The strategy addresses the barriers to education by increasing access and participation through financial support to students and institutions, improving literacy skills, and creating culturally relevant programs that will help Aboriginal students succeed in post-secondary education and beyond.

MNBC Ministry of Education is building a strong relationship with the provincial Ministry of Advanced Education (AVED). The Minister of AVED, Honourable Murray Coell supports MNBC in addressing the barriers identified in the MNBC Provincial Survey, and recognizes that education is one of the socio-economic issues in the Métis Nation Relationship Accord.

One of the strategy’s actions is the investment of $14.9 million to create three-year service plans between public post-secondary institutions and Aboriginal communities. The service plans identify interests and educational needs of Aboriginal students and create programs that identify those needs. The provincial Ministry of Advanced Education provided an Expression of Interest to all post-secondary institutions in British Columbia to develop an Aboriginal Service Plan (ASP) that reflected their community’s interests and educational needs. Ten post-secondary institutions were chosen to engage in the process.

September brings with it another year for children in the Kindergarten to Grade 12 school system. Whether that child is beginning Grade 1 or entering their graduation year, it is important that their environment reflects their culture. Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements (EA) play an important role in improving the success of Métis students. An Enhancement Agreement is a commitment made by each school district, all local Aboriginal communities, and the Provincial Ministry of Education to work together to improve the success of all Aboriginal students. This five-year vision of success for all Métis, Inuit and First Nations students is jointly developed and implemented by the school district and all its Aboriginal communities. The foundation of the Enhancement Agreement includes Setting Directions, Organiz-

Métis Nation BC is working with each of these postsecondary institutions to ensure that their Aboriginal Service Plan includes Métis culture, heritage and language. The Director of Education is part of the Aboriginal Service Plan Advisory Committee. This committee reviews the Aboriginal Service Plans when they are submitted to the provincial Ministry of Advanced Fall 2007


Education Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

ing for Improvement, Building Learning Communities, and Achieving Results.

Having the tools and support from Métis Nation BC assists in this process. An MNBC Ministry of Education guidebook will be available at the workshop. Métis citizens who have been involved in the Enhancement Agreement process will be offered the chance to share their experiences. Integrating Métis culture into the Kindergarten to Grade 12 school system is largely reflected in the Enhancement Agreements. Understanding the process and having a voice in every EA will go a long way to improve the educational experiences for all Métis students.

The first Enhancement Agreement was signed in 1999 when school district 73 Kamloops/Okanagan made a commitment together with its Aboriginal communities to improve the success of Aboriginal students. Shortly after, school district 72 Campbell River began a similar process leading to an EA signing in June 2000. There are 60 school districts in BC and currently 37 have signed agreements, with several districts having signed their second five year agreement.

For additional information click the Education link on the Métis Nation BC website:

Enhancement Agreements are developed by committees that consist of representatives from the Provincial Ministry of Education (EA Coordinators), school district staff, and representatives from the Aboriginal communities, (members of the local Métis community). Historically the committees that are involved in the EA process consist of a large number of First Nations representatives and this is reflected in the final agreement that is produced. The MNBC Ministry of Education recognizes this imbalance and is putting forward initiatives to support Métis communities in the Enhancement Agreement process.

MNBC Ministry of Education is facilitating a workshop at the Annual General Meeting in Kelowna on the Enhancement Agreement process. Some of the topics discussed are listed below. •

What is the top priority of the Métis communities?

How do Métis communities continue to be involved in the development and implementation of the Enhancement Agreement?

How are lessons-learned discussed and communicated?

How is the culture, heritage and language of Métis communities recognized, welcomed, taught, and shared?

The workshop will offer strategies to use when involved in the EA process. Ensuring an Enhancement Agreement reflects Métis culture, heritage and language is a daunting task for community members. 39

Fall 2007

SectionMinistry Title Left of


Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community Columbia Whispering Winds in...British the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia


receives funding for the Positive Transition of Métis Offenders (PTMO) through the Community Mobilization Program (CMP) that supports projects who primarily use a Crime Prevention Social Development (CPSD) approach, and that addresses at least one of the priority groups or areas identified by the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS). CPSD projects focus on factors at the root of crime, victimization and fear of crime. In CPSD projects, the community is directly involved in planning, leading, managing and evaluating the project. There are 2 Community Justice Support Workers, Jennifer Robertson and Ted Ingram. The program works in 7 Federal Institutions and 5 Provincial Institutions throughout the Lower Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. The PTMO works with Métis parents who are currently incarcerated and preparing to be released back to society. The program ensures that, a person successfully transitions, from an institution to the community, ensure a less frustrating re-integration period. With many resources and supports as is necessary for one to be successful. With supports and encouragement for positive relationships within the community, will lowers the risk to the families and community who have been affected by crime. The program also encourages communities to become role models for the offender, breaking the cycle of crime. When consistent supports are in place the offender has a sense of security within themselves and a want to success.

August 25th, 2006 My name is Duane Couteriell, from Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement in Alberta. I am currently on day parole, residing at Circle of Eagles Lodge. Very soon I will be attending BCIT on an apprenticeship for Glazing. After 12 years of not seeing my daughter, that door has been opened for me. I am very thankful for crossing paths with Jennifer Robertson, Restorative Justice worker for Métis Nation. I have been working with her for 6 months now, she has attended my parole hearing, and she spoke for me, as she was a big part of designing my release plans. She has helped me with contacts for funding. But most of all she has been a big part of helping me to re-unite with my daughter. She has been a good mediator between social services and myself. She has given me good advice and direction to make my self more appealing to the people who have my daughter. Her advice on dealing with a 14 year old girl has been very rewarding. I do not know many people in BC so I am very thankful for the program she offers. Through her, I now have access to Elders and ceremonies. We continue to work together today, I have been incarcerated for about 14 years of my adult life from Sask, Alberta, now BC and I have never seen a program like this one Jennifer has been involved in for Métis men and women. I am currently working on funding for a one day trip to Terrance, BC to be re-united with my daughter who I have not held for 12 years and I own this to Jennifer and the Métis Nation BC, I fully support what Jennifer is working on, it has been a long time coming for incarcerated men and women. HyHy All My Relations April 11, 2007 Métis Nation BC I finally found the time too sit down and thank all of you for your support and I especially need to thank Jennifer Robertson. You, Jennifer, have been such a lot of help that I needed you to here it from me. Your visits to FMCC and your uplifting encouragement made my life worth living again. I have been going to church on Sunday’s and find that spiritual part of me also has been rewarding. I found work with my class 1 licences almost immediately. I have been driving these large cement trucks and I find it quite rewarding. I hope to be down sometime in May and do my best to drop around and say hi. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Corrections Officer, Ross Grypuik, Ted Ingram, Jennifer Robertson, MNBC Staff Fall 2007


Career Development

Training for the Future

Steve Wilks N.E.B.C.—Apprentice Board

Piping Industry Training Centre 7825 100th Avenue Fort St. John, BC V1J 1W1 Phone: 250-263-9595 Email:

HEAD OFFICE 6 0 4—2 9 4—0 4 4 4 1— 8 8 8—2 2 3—7 7 1 1

A.D. Al Phillips Jr. P.I.A.B.—Apprentice Board Piping Industry Training Centre 1329 Cliveden Avenue Annacis Island, BC V3M 6C7 Phone: 604-294-1931 Email:

Business Manager/Financial Secretary: Joe Shayler Assistant Business Manager: Alex W. MacDonald Business Agents: Tom McKinley, Albert Phillips, Bryan Stocking

Career Development Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia


Stella Johnson

Fall 2007

Cree Instructors Certificate - Maskwachees Cultural College I traveled four consecutive summers to Hobbema, Alberta for the Cree Instructors Certificate and was the first student over the age of 60 to receive this. Since then I have been hired by School District 79 as the first Métis Aboriginal Support Worker. I work in the Cowichan Valley District delivering various programs to the children and youth. I incorporate Métis history, culture, and language into the programs I deliver. Through the assistance of the Vancouver Island Regional Métis Employment and Training I have been able to fulfill a life long dream.

Dawn Blackmon CORE – Traffic Control - Métis Skills Employment Centre Dawn started the program trying to find some direction. She was excited by the program and applied herself to all the aspects of the CORE. On her graduation she applied for a position with AD Traffic Control and has been working for them all over the Lower Mainland since 2006. Her future plans include entering the VanASEP Heavy Equipment Operation program.

Sara Howard Therapy Assistant - Okanagan College Recently graduated from the Therapist Assistant Program at Okanagan College in Kelowna, BC, Sara received job offers only weeks after graduation and is currently working in the field. She also hopes to return to school to complete her degree in a few years. Sara recommends this diploma to anyone interested in helping people.

Peter Lavoire Floorman - Bear Training/ Métis Skills Employment Centre Before my training with the Métis Employment and Training I was working in labour jobs making minimum wage. By attending the Roughneck program with the Bear Training Institute, I have increased my skills and have the opportunity now to make more money. I found employment with Trinidad Drilling within three months of leaving school.


Career Development Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Cst. Andrew P. Brown

Steve Mailloux

Recruit Training - RCMP I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, staff and Métis Nation for the financial backing while I attended the RCMP training academy in Regina for the past 6 months. The financial support provided by the Métis Nation made an already challenging learning environment so much more feasible. Prior to Depot I was employed as a Sheriff within the BC judicial system, and although a respectable job, there was little to no opportunity for personal development or advancement. Whereas one of the RCMP core values is continuous learning and there are a number of diverse career options available to me within the RCMP. As an almost 40 year old male I felt that if a career change was to occur, it needed to be in my near future. However my personal financial and family obligations were not cohesive to making a career change to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Further reinforcing my desire to become a member of the RCMP is the fact that both my brother and father are either working within the force or have retired from the force. At this time I am both proud and happy to inform you and the Métis Nation that I have successfully completed the training at Depot and will be starting my career out of the Nanaimo Detachment as of January 24th. Had it not been for your financial support during my time in Regina, my career within the RCMP may have remained a wishful aspiration. Again thank you for your support.

Millwright - Northwest Community College Steve is from the Burns Lake area and belongs to the Tri-River Métis Association. Steve had completed his grade twelve as a teenager and then gone to work in the forest industry as so many young Métis men did in the 80’s and early 90’s. The down turn in the forest industry had left Steve working on a part-time seasonal basis and he wanted a better life for himself and his family. Steve approached the Region 6 office and set up an appointment for career and education counseling. After talking with Steve he decided to bring his life experience working in the forest industry and with vehicles to a career choice of millwright. Steve was a successful student at NWCC and was hired by Kemess Mines the day he wrote his final exams. He continues to work as a full time employee and enjoys his job very much. Congrats Steve!

Joe Pruden Carpenter - Squamish Nation Stitsma Trades Facility For the past 3 years I have been a labourer with some framing/siding experience in the construction industry. I realized that I needed to start working on my Red Seal in Carpentry to ensure a healthy, steady income. My cousin was in the Carpentry Level 1 program at the Métis Skills & Employment Centre in Abbotsford and he mentioned that I should apply for the program. I found information on the MNBC website and contacted Hazel Burns, Apprenticeship Liaison Worker for further details on how to apply. Because I reside in Squamish, it was arranged by Eric Baker, Job Coach for Stitsma First Nation, that I enter the Carpentry Level 1 program at their school. To date I have successfully completed all class modules with high marks, and I recognize that my previous work experience in the field definitely attributed to my success. As well, our Instructor, Bob Whittaker, has played a major role in my achievements. His experience, passion and conviction for the Trade were reflected throughout all his teachings. This program has given me more confidence in my abilities and has inspired me to continue on towards earning my Red Seal in Carpentry.

Ashley Merwin Teacher - University of Alberta I am proud to tell you I am a certified high school teacher with a Bachelors Degree in secondary Education. During my last semester of university I received financial support from the MNBC and would like to thank you sincerely for this support. Prior to the assistance I relied on scholarships and summer employment. Recently I was also working part-time while at school. Because of the support I was able to dedicate my entire focus on my studies and practicum resulting in great grades and a great review. With this help I was able to graduate at the top of my class! Now, in Ft. St. John, I work for School District 60 as an on call teacher and I am confident that I will be a full time teacher in the fall of 2007. 43

Fall 2007

Small Business Initiatives Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

New Initiative to help smaller companies sell to the Federal Government: The Pacific Regional Office of Small and Medium Enterprises

In fiscal year 2005-2006, SME accomplishments in BC and Yukon included:

Inaugurated on September 8th, 2006 by the Honourable Michael M. Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, the Pacific Regional Office of Small and Medium Enterprises is beginning to reach out to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). According to the Regional Director, Elpidio (Rocky) Domingo, the regional office will continue to provide support services, in the form of information and awareness sessions, to facilitate access and improve participation of BC and Yukon SMEs in federal government procurement opportunities. In addition, the regional office will act as an advocate for SMEs for issues and concerns related to access and participation in federal procurement opportunities. The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises was established to help SMEs (businesses with less than 500 employees) navigate the government procurement system by: •

Providing information to SMEs using the “Supplier Seminar Program”,

Attending business trade shows in order to provide information to SMEs,

Organizing special events in order to help SMEs,

Scheduling more information sessions in partnership with chambers of commerce and various SME associations.

helping SMEs understand the government's procurement processes,

Acting as an advocate for SMEs,

Recommending new commodity management strategies to enhance the contributions SMEs can make to serving government needs and to transforming procurement, and,

Proposing improvements to procurement processes.

The Government of Canada spends approximately $20 billion a year on various goods and services. This includes specialized goods such as military hardware as well as common goods and services such as information technology, temporary help, furniture, cars, hotel rooms, office supplies, clothing, etc, that are common to most large organizations. These common goods and services account for over $1 billion of spending per month.


58% of all PWGSC contracts awarded in BC went to businesses with less than 50 employees

15% of all PWGSC contracts were awarded to firms with less than 4 employees;

3,656 PWGSC contracts worth $1.051 billion were awarded to SMEs in BC and Yukon;

92% of the total PWGSC contracts in BC and the Yukon were awarded to SMEs.

Many opportunities exist for local companies and individuals to become government suppliers of goods and services. In fact, changes in the way the federal government buys goods and services will provide SMEs with even greater access to federal procurement opportunities.

Fall 2007

Small Business Initiatives Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

For example: To reduce the cost of doing business with government, information and bid documents for federal opportunities available electronically ( can now be accessed free of charge;

A SME supplier web portal ( sme) was created as a single point of contact to reduce the complexity of dealing with various government departments, and,

Six regional Offices of Small and Medium Enterprises were created to as an entry point for doing business with government and to help the concerns of SME’s.

The regional Office of Small and Medium Enterprises is located at: 641 – 800 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, V6E 2V8. Fax # 604-775-7395 Contact information: Elpidio (Rocky) Domingo, P.Eng., Regional Director Tel. # 604-775-6859 E-mail: Badrudin Moosa, CGA; Chief, Stakeholder Engagement Tel. # 604-666-8228 E-mail: For more information on OSME, call 1-800-811- 1148 or, visit or E-mail:

Métis students ready to enter a career in Oil and Gas Employment Needed Now Apply now! The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) Employment and Training is continuing efforts to address Oil and Gas Sector employment opportunities with our partners Encana and Trinidad. The next intakes of the training are September 7th, 2007 followed by January 11th, 2008. Fall 2007


MNBC Senate Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

MNBC Senate Initiates Official Duties On August 04-05, 2007, the Senate rules, the Senate then began its heard its first four cases in their information session on the details official roles as the judiciary arm of of the case. the Métis Nation British Columbia. “The Senate took its duty very “It hasn’t been since the seriously and analyzed all aspects provisional government of Louis of each case to ensure no stone was Riel that the Métis have exercised left unturned,” Senate Chairperson the judiciary aspect Alan Edkins “It hasn’t been since the of self-government”, provisional government of said. stated Mr. Dean Louis Riel that the Métis have The four cases Trumbley, Interim exercised the judiciary aspect took two days Senate Clerk. of review, of self-government” Senator Bill testimony Thibeault further commented and deliberation to come to the “these hearings were the beginning decisions. The Senate now has of an impartial judicial system fourteen days to deliver the written for the Métis citizens of British decisions to the applicant and the Columbia.” respondent as well as post it on The Senate had to decide on the MNBC website at www.mnbc. three citizenship appeals and ca/senate.Senator Margaret Penner one citizenship challenge as per indicated, “I was proud to be a the MNBC Citizenship Act and part of this historic moment and the Senate Act. These hearings the Métis Nation British Columbia included review of the Senate should be extremely confident Clerk files, citizenship appeal that it has created a fair and just file, second opinion genealogical system”. report and both verbal and physical testimony by the applicants and the respondent. This was the first time that the Senate employed their new policies and procedures that were recently ratified in the early spring of 2007. The hearings were opened with the standard Senate prayer and all testimonies were sworn-in by the Senate oath. The individuals were notified of the ground rules for appearing in front of the Senate. Senator Al Edkins Upon agreeing with the ground 47

Senator Ron Snider and Bill Thibeault

Citizen’s Appeal Board discussion

Senators Margaret Penner and Phil Gladue Fall 2007

Small Business Successes Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Speaking to the Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society, in early July, Helin said, “To make lasting change we have to start talking frankly for an Aboriginal ‘glasnot’ where about what is happening and examining everyone can contribute to a debate practical solutions on how to move that absolutely needs to take place, forward.” He detailed statistics, which painted the dismal picture of living conditions for according to indigenous author indigenous people, before calling for Calvin Helin. change. “Grassroots indigenous folks are stuck with an antiquated antidemocratic governance system that leaves them feeling disenfranchised, powerless to change their destiny, and many, stuck with bananarepublic like corruption. There is widespread frustration, hunger for constructive change, for real leadership, and a pervasive appetite for spiritual direction. This status quo is not making Calvin Helin presents book to Senator Gerry St. Germain things better: indeed it is actually making things worse.” His book, Dances with Dependency: There are many reasons for change. Indigenous Success through Self-Reliance “The Aboriginal reasons,” he said, “can was released in December and is being be summed up in the quote from Dances hailed as possibly the most important book with Dependency — “The tears and ever written on how to improve the lives broken hearts of thousands of mothers of impoverished indigenous people. and grandmothers should be enough to In the months since its launch, the book convince anyone that we must take action has leaped to best-seller status in Canada. now”. The welfare trap and dependency In its first week in Chapters/Indigo book mindset is stealing the lives and hopes of stores, the book made the top 25 best our future generations. We must stand up sellers list. vigorously to protect our children now.” “This is not surprising given that The non-Aboriginal reason, Helin has indigenous grassroots folks have widely termed the “Demographic Tsunami”. and enthusiastically embraced the new The Aboriginal population is the fastest publication for giving voice to their often growing ethnic population in Canada. frustrated concerns and aspirations,” stated “Presently, the Indian and Inuit population a publicity release by the book’s publisher, represent 650,000 people and cost $9 Orca Spirit Publishing.

It is time

billion in transfer payments annually with an additional $9 billion from provinces for services. Unbeknownst to most Canadians, the Métis population is winning Aboriginal rights cases at the Supreme Court of Canada and there may be 300,000-800,000 Métis by some estimates.” He asked, “Does this mean that Canada will be looking at $36+ billion for this population?” “The other half of the Demographic Tsunami is that by 2011, a full one-third of the mainstream population is set to retire — living longer, relying on expensive social programs such as healthcare, while not contributing to the tax coffers of the nation that are paying for all of this. “Unless we take corrective measures now, the Demographic Tsunami is coming to swamp the finances of the country,” he said. Helin believes this provides an opportunity and not a crisis. “Canada desperately needs the young Aboriginal population gainfully employed in the current booming economy, particularly given current worker shortages in many sectors. In the right spirit of partnership, with the careful development of a long-term strategic plan, we need to implement a plan which results in more Aboriginal grassroots empowerment, more wide-scale employment, better Aboriginal education outcomes, and greater wealth creation.” With his book, he is challenging people towards a path of change. But to move forward he describes the need for a paradigm shift from a culture of dependency back to one of self-reliance which served Aboriginals so well for so many years before Europeans arrived with colonization aspirations. Helin, a member of the Lax Kw’alaams community of northern B.C.’s Tsimshian Nation, is no stranger to personal success. He’s a practising lawyer and has made the “Top 40 under 40” list in both Business in

“Dances with Dependency: Indigenous Success through Self-Reliance” by Calvin Helin Fall 2007


Small Business Successes Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Vancouver and the Financial Post. He is also president of the Native Investment and Trade Association (NITA), and vice president of the National Aboriginal Business Association. NITA was founded in 1989 to promote economic self-reliance and strengthen Aboriginal participation in the mainstream economy. To carry out this mandate, it has organized national events focused on key economic and training issues that are fundamental to the growth and well-being of Aboriginal Canada. In his book, Helin describes development of indigenous people in four periods. European discovery is the second wave while assimilation and development of the welfare trap is the third wave. “The period of massive dysfunction arose out of the last century,” he said. “In order to control indigenous people and take their traditional assets, successive governments, vigorously promoted populations onto welfare roles and discouraged selfreliance through misguided policy. This led to the ‘welfare trap’ and virtually total dependence of the indigenous people and their governments on external assistance to survive.” During his speech, Helin continued, “It has also entrenched a dependency mindset into the psyches of indigenous people as the result of several generations of welfare trap socialization. This period has also ushered in the era I have termed ‘Shaman economics’ — i.e. the government’s ‘black magic’ belief that waving a fiscal wand over tribes, without addressing fundamental structural flaws of the system, would create a sound economic base … “There are also the phenomena of lateral

violence, and learned helplessness that rack our communities — conditions of a people that have been long colonized. “We also desperately need real governance reform,” said Helin. “We need change that results in ordinary people having a greater democratic say in every layer of Aboriginal government, we need a new policy that leads to less corruption and wastage of resources, more transparency and accountability in every level of governance — one that grassroots people can take ownership of because they feel it actually represents their interests.” Helin describes the fourth wave or period as ‘The way forward — beyond the Demographic Tsunami’. Indigenous people, he said, must admit and begin discussing openly where they’re at, take ownership of the problem and then move forward by acknowledging “the realities of our ancestors’ self-reliance, interdependence, self-discipline, ethical leadership and cultural co-operation.” Education plays a strong role in the future, he contends. Quoting from the past Royal Commission on Aboriginal people, he said, “Destiny of a people is intricately bound to the way its children are educated. Education is the transmission of cultural DNA from one generation to the next.” He further stated, “We must recognize that the education premium applies to Aboriginals as much as other people — as education rises, so does income and opportunities. We have to understand that education is not only vital to the economic well-being of individuals but also that of nations — education is associated with a wide range of non-economic benefits such as better health and well-being. We also must have an education strategy that not only accounts for and encompasses cultural differences but emphasizes academic standards.” Finally, Helin talked about economic integration and encouraging enterprise. “We must start taking control over our own purse strings if we truly want to


control our own lives. “Aboriginals’ massive leverage over natural resource development and booming commodities economy can provide a ‘perfect storm’ to move indigenous people forward immediately while a longer term strategic plan is being worked out. “Communities have to start encouraging and valuing entrepreneurs rather than being hostile towards them. These risk takers may be the future revenue source for indigenous governments.” Referring to his research, Helin said, “The Maori of New Zealand coined the phrase ‘from grievance to development mode’. Their idea is that tribes have been justifiably grieving because of the host of harmful outcomes from colonization — grieving serves the purpose of adjusting to a psychological trauma. In Canada, leaders have largely never left grievance mode and have only been asking “Who are we going to blame for this?” At the end of the day the only useful question is “What are we going to do about this?” The time for reform is ripe, Helin believes. The two colliding trends — the aging Canadian population and the growing native population — threaten to put a strain on the Canadian economy it won’t be able to sustain. In an interview with The Georgia Straight, he was quoted, “The answers to our present and our future lie in our past. We created beautiful arts, language and culture, and had a vibrant economy. How did this come about? Not from laying on the couch, eating potato chips and cashing welfare cheques.” “It is time to set the course for development back on to a path of selfreliance,” he urged his Vancouver audience. “When the tide comes in naturally, the Canadian boat and the Aboriginal canoe can be lifted in an equally beneficial manner. “Wai Wah,” he concluded. That’s a Tsimshian expression meaning “Just do it.”

Fall 2007

Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Learn & Cruise Workshop There is a myth about being a first time author I’d like to blow apart. It is not just for the elite. You do not have to face hundreds of letters of rejection from publishers. You can afford to self-publish, and your story needs to be read. I can show you how easy it can be and share a unique method to create and organize your first book. We all have a story inside of us worth telling but for the Métis (and many other cultures) it is essential that these stories are captured so that future generations do not grow up knowing nothing or little about their heritage. There is an obligation, by those with this knowledge, to share the history, the culture, suffering and hope for the future of the Métis nation. How

Learn & Cruise Workshop Information The workshop price is included in the cruise package which includes accommodations, food, and most shipboard entertainment. These adventures are very affordable for everyone. Just like your forefathers, who took the adventure of a life time to travel across this great land of ours, now it is your turn to adventure out and experience a new world of excitement, while capturing the past. For more information about the learn and cruise packages available call Marilyn or Suzan at CruiseShipCenters at 1-800-561-2350 or 250-656-5441 (Victoria area) or call Julie Salisbury direct at 250-384-4220. For more details check out my website The next cruise leaves November 25th, 2007 for the Mexican Riveria. The seven-day cruise starts at $735 US including taxes, accommodation, food, onboard entertainment, workshop and materials. Fall 2007

many shoe boxes full of photos, letters and research material on their family genealogy are hidden in the closet or under the bed? If you are a descendant of Louis Riel, wouldn’t you want your children and their children to read about it in your own family genealogy book? How many families have done this research but it is lost again? Why not write a book about it? Because most believe it is beyond their reach to achieve that. I know this because I recently self-published my own first book, successfully sold it into all the local bookstores, sent treasured gifts of my stories to my family and friends, and received credibility and respect as a first time author. In fact it has had such a huge impact on my life, my mission and purpose has become to inspire and motivate other people to tell their stories and become first time authors. Why is it that so many people feel overwhelmed by the challenge of writing a book? First, understand, it IS a time-consuming process and it does require lots of research and quiet reflective time — a precious commodity so few of us have. It actually took me four years to write my first book, but now I have developed a method to make this process easier, and my second book will probably only take a few months to complete, rather than years. The other key is giving yourself the reflective quiet time to start. My idea, to run workshops on cruise ships, was formulated as a direct result of these challenges.

tion, is to read a book. Why not WRITE a book while on vacation, away from those distractions and with plenty of contemplative and inspirational time. I realized when I started my second book that the mobile binder system provided the perfect way to capture my inspirational moments and organize my research material. I no longer had to start my book at chapter one, I actually started it two-thirds of the way through, simply because I had lots of research material already collated for that particular subject. By the time I had written about my current situation my mind had already worked out how the chapter before led up to this time and how the chapter following would be formed. I was no longer restricting my imagination and inspiration to just focus on one story at a time, because all the stories were linked! I didn’t need to write all the chapters at once — just scribble a note to myself and put it in the relevant research section for later! I had these inspirational moments on the bus, walking the beach, standing in line at the grocery store and even in the shower. I just wrote myself a quick note so I didn’t lose the idea and then filed it away in my book-building binder.

I am offering workshops for first time authors in a “retreat” environment, away from the daily interruptions of life. I spent the last seven years as a nomad, living on sail boats, so it seemed obvious to turn to the sea as the sanctuary of choice.

So how much does this cost? You can print as few as 10 books and buy your books on demand from around $13 a book plus an initial set-up cost, or you could opt for 200 books and reduce that price to $7.20 with no set-up costs. There are lots of options depending on how many you want to print, how many pages your book is and how it will be bound. These examples are taken straight from some of my quotes from local printers, based on approximately 200 pages and full colour cover.

The more I thought about that, the more I realized the mobile binder system I had developed to organize the book writing process was perfect for traveling! A favourite pastime, when we go on vaca-

There are many things to consider when choosing a printer/publisher and these are all covered in the workshop along with hints and tips on promoting and selling your book.


Métis Artist, Dennis Weber Kelowna, now until Dec. 6!

Visit “We are Métis” a show displaying Canada’s Métis culture while highlighting Dennis’ work. It is being held at Okanagan Heritage Museum on Ellis Street until December 6, 2007. (Just one block from the Grand in Kelowna’s ‘Cultural District’.) Dennis’ work is also displayed at “Turtle Island Gallery” on Cannery Lane directly north of the Grand. Dennis, a talented Métis artist, has sold his artwork around the world and is proud to display his art, historical artifacts and charts of his famous ancestors which include Lous Riel, Cuthbert Grant, Louis Herbert, Jean Baptiste Lagimodiere and Jean Nicolet.

Victoria Celebrates Aboriginal Culture Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

National Aboriginal Day The Defence Advisory Group (DAAG) celebrated Aboriginal Day this year with a focus on Métis heritage. The event opened with a March In of Flags by Métis and First Nations veterans and serving members. The keynote speakers MNBC VP Lorne LaFleur and MNGV President David Bouchard, spoke about the significance of the Sash and that the colours represented the history of the Métis peoples. The event wrapped up with fiddling and jigging performances.”

MS Trevor Whitten & David Bouchard

MS Trevor Whitten & Lorne LaFleur

(See the next issue of Whispering Winds for a complete story on the RAVEN outreach program.) Raven Cadets OS Alexis Petterson, BC, Otto Glynn, Newfoundland, shake hands with Master Seaman Trevor Whitten (Métis).

Metis Nation Greater Victoria Barbeque This year, the Metis Nation Greater Victoria’s barbeque took place at the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club. Our friends and families feasted on buffalo burgers and sausages while we shared our histories, our dreams and our stories. PowWow photos by Victoria Bouchard

14th annual Yellow Wolf Pow Wow, Tsartlip First Nation hosted by the Sampson Family. MNGV was invited to participate and the Metis presence was very obvious. “Our membership continues to grow in Victoria and we are all so proud to be Metis!,” says MNGV President David Bouchard.

Grass Dancers

The Métis Arts Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

By Suzan Lagrove

What is a tradition?

been Métis descendants keeping up the tradition of their forefathers. This year at the 10th annual Red River West Rendezvous, held near Victoria BC, the tradition continued. The capote a warm and water-repellent functional garment is a part of Canadian history made from the Hudson’s Bay Point blankets for generations. It was fashioned by the Métis people, and adopted by the First Nations as well as HBC’s own employees. In addition to the famous capote you can now make other warm clothing and decorative items for your personal use or as a gift.

According to the dictionary the word means “The passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication, or a mode of thought or behavior followed by a people continuously from generation to generation; a custom or usage.”

Finding the perfect gift has long been a national pastime. Whether it is for a special occasion such as Christmas, where the culture of gift giving that accompanies the holiday has changed significantly over the years, or for any other special occasion, why not return to the tradition of making your own gifts. Through time we have lost the art of creating hand-crafted gifts for our family and friends. Gifts that will be teasured for years and generations to come.

Shakona Mineault, Diane Ellis, Dakota French

Traditions are important. Keeping the younger generation involved in doing things with the family is also important. You may already have some great family traditions passed down from your ancestors. Starting a new tradition and getting everyone involved can be a very rewarding feeling. Each family is unique onto itself. There is no disputing that comment. Not every family enjoys the same activities or lifestyle. Not everyone celebrates special occasions the same way. Tradition is more than a right way to do something. The small rituals and customs that are repeated from year to year give us something to anticipate. Traditions form mileposts for our memories and enrich our family time of sharing and loving, true gifts of our lives. For over two centuries the Hudson’s Bay Company point blanket has been a familiar item and a “tradition” in a lot of family homes. It is enjoyed as much today as when it was first introduced into the fur trade in 1780. No other product symbolizes Hudson’s Bay Company for Canadians and people around the world like the HBC point blanket. For the past four years I have helped over 350 people continue the tradition of “Wrapping Yourself in History” by making a traditional capote. Many of my students have 53

Fall 2007

The Métis Arts Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia Perhaps the most important domestic task performed by the women at the fur trade posts was to provide their family with a hand made clothes and decorations for their homes.

Mittens from the Hudson Bay Point blanket will keep your hands warm for hours while you enjoy the great outdoors, or to ensure hands do not go numb while winning the snowball fight!

As times progressed young ladies spent hours working on Christmas crafts. Decorations were still of a ‘home-made’ variety. They sewed little pouches for secret gifts, made paper baskets in which sugared almonds were placed and made beautiful angels to sit on top of the tree. The tradition of hanging stockings from the fireplace originated from one of the most famous Christmas stories of St. Nicholas. The story comes from the 1800’s, when the father of three young maidens could not afford a dowry for his daughters to be married. From his castle, St. Nicholas heard of the poor misfortune of the maidens, and secretly threw three bags of gold coins down their chimney. It is said that the gold coins landed in the girls’ stockings, which were hanging in the fireplace to dry.

Do your kids make homemade gifts for teachers, grandpar- Suzan Lagrove teaches Dakota how to sew HBC clothing. ents, and friends? Get inspired to make this your most memorable Christmas ever. These traditions are sure to keep spirits high, families united, and children occupied! The holidays are a time to revel in the gratitude and love we feel for one another.

Christmas stockings are a perfect gift that will be treasured for many years and even generations. Everyone in your family can personalize their own holiday stocking from cuff to toe.

Fall 2007

What ever your family tradition is, ensure you keep it alive to past onto the next generation.


The Métis Arts Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Wass Makes Charlotte Small Come To Life By Stephanie Stevens


a male dominated history, all too often the women who played a huge role in the development of our country are overlooked. One such woman is Charlotte Small, the Métis wife and partner of David Thompson, surveyor and mapmaker for the Northwest Company. Their marriage lasted 58 years, the longest Canadian pre-Confederation marriage known, and Wilmer resident Sharon Wass brought Charlotte, and her memories of her life with her husband, to life in the opening night of her play, My David, at the Edgewater Variety Show July 22. “As 2007 is the David Thompson centennial I wrote the first draft of the play last summer,” said Wass. “The topic of women’s role in Canadian History in general, and their lack of representation, has been an interest for over 18 years.” Wass said a pivotal history book for her was “Many Tender Ties” by Sylvia Van Kirk.

Basin Trust Foundation, Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance (KCCA). “I got my grant and asked local high school art teacher Robyn Oliver to paint backdrops,” explained Wass. “ She did a fabulous job, they really set the mood.” Wass not only wrote the script, she performed the role as well. “I have never acted before. I have been a storyteller for years, but this was a totally new experience for me. I was terrified behind the curtain waiting for the house lights to dim and for my cue to come on.” Nervous or not, Wass’ brilliant performance brought Charlotte to life, and for many people, the voice of the woman who stood by David Thompson was heard for the first time, and Wass’ passionate and heartfelt monologue with a standing ovation. “When I got (the standing ovation) I was really overwhelmed,” she said.

She presented the play again a couple of days later at Columbia House Long Term Care Facility in Invermere. While the stage was far simpler and there was no theatre lighting, Wass said the residents were a charming audience and her nerves were not quite as tightly wound the second time around. There are more performances slated for the play, including at Pynelogs Cultural Centre in Invermere and at Pot Hole Park as well, where a statue of Charlotte and David stand at the entrance to the town core. Specific dates are not set as yet. In October The Cranbrook Arts Council has asked her to do a performance for the opening of the David Thompson Quilt show. “I hope to get this play into schools, as either a history component or a drama component,” added Wass. If you would like more information or would like to book Wass for perform her play, you can contact her at 250-342-9649.

“Charlotte Thompson became my focal point about five years ago and I read as much as I could about David Thompson and other explorers to flesh out as much of a real person as I could.” The idea of telling David Thompson’s life through the eyes of his wife appealed to Wass. She did a three-month stint as a replacement drama teacher at the local high school, David Thompson Secondary, and the idea of doing a monologue solidified. After spending a year tweaking her script, Wass felt confident to present it as a project proposal for the Columbia


Fall 2007

Sports Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

First Nations Participation in 2010 Olympics Strengthened with Agreement Portraying the strength and diversity of First Nations cultures and traditions to billions of people worldwide is the goal behind an agreement signed in mid-July between the Four Host First Nations (FHFN) — the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations — and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN).

“The AFN is committed to working with the Four Host Nations, who have already done a tremendous amount of work over the past several years. We encourage all First Nations peoples to participate — either as athletes, volunteers, exhibitors, performers, or spectators. In less than three years, the eyes of the world will be upon British Columbia and Canada. The strength and diversity of First Nations cultures and traditions will be witnessed by billions. We will leave a lasting impression.” The MoU is part of the FHFN commitment to ensure that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across Canada have opportunities to be involved, and to enrich the games through their cultures. Chief Gibby Jacob, of the Squamish Nation, and board member of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), said the relationship will provide opportunities for First Nations participation and thereby enhance the games and build a lasting legacy for First Nations beyond 2010. “The 2010 Winter Games will be stronger because of unprecedented Aboriginal participation in the planning and hosting of the games and we are honoured to be witnessing this historic MoU,” said John Furlong, CEO of VANOC.

Four Chiefs sign MOU with AFN Chief Phil Fontaine.

An historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the AFN annual general assembly in Halifax, July 12. With it the two groups have agreed to work in a positive and mutually beneficial partnership to ensure successful 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and to develop opportunities and legacies for First Nations peoples, particularly First Nations youth.

“The AFN and FHFN have embraced our vision of touching the soul of our nation and will help us share the rich and diverse cultures of Aboriginal peoples with the world. They share our desire to make these Canada’s games and truly make the 2010 Winter Games a celebration of the Canadian spirit that will leave lasting legacies for future generations,” he added.

“The 2010 Olympics will provide a unique opportunity for First Nations and Canadians to work side-by-side, and to share in the long-term social and economic legacy that these historic games will provide,” said AFN chief Phil Fontaine.

Tewanee Joseph, executive director and CEO of the FHFN, said, “We are working towards a common goal which is to have a successful 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games with First Nations participation.”

L i l ’ w a t • M u s q u e a m • S q u a m i s h • Ts l e i l - W a u t u t h Fall 2007


Vancouver 2010 Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Inspiring a new generation through the Paralympic Games for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). The pilot program – which toured British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and Seato-Sky Corridor in May and June – not only boosted excitement for Paralympic sports, but earned rave reviews from teachers.

Matthew Hallat, Canadian Paralympian in alpine skiing, displays his outrigger to the students

“[VANOC] wanted to inspire and excite a new generation about the Paralympic Games,” said Kristina Molloy, VANOC Paralympic Games coordinator. “The schools really embraced the program and got right into the spirit of things.”

Paul Rosen knows how to turn a packed gymnasium of restless elementary school students into a captive audience. He reaches down, removes his prosthetic leg and raises it overhead. What follows has the power to inspire a new generation of Canadians. Rosen, goalie of Canada’s Paralympic ice sledge hockey team, was one of five presenting Paralympians for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic School Days pilot program developed by the Vancouver Organizing Committee

Getting Into the Games Vancouver 2010 Paralympic School Days is intended to create a positive buzz around Paralympic sport, with increased attendance at Paralympic venues being another natural spinoff of the program. Added Molloy: “This is a great way for [students and teachers] to learn about the Games in advance of them being here since they could potentially be going as spectators.” The first 10 schools selected for the pilot phase of the program were selected by VANOC and included at least one school from each of the Olympic and Paralympic venue communities – 57

North Vancouver, Richmond, Squamish, Vancouver, West Vancouver and Whistler. Every stop on the pilot tour featured a motivational speech by a Paralympic athlete, a presentation on Vancouver 2010 and the Paralympic Movement, promotional videos, interactive sport demonstrations, a poster-drawing station and autograph sessions with the visiting Paralympian. Occurring In their school’s gymnasia, students were able to try wheelchair curling, sledge floor hockey on wheeled sleds and a cross-country sit ski on wheels. Understanding Takes Questions Fun and games aside, in Rosen’s view, the Paralympic School Days program is imperative for teaching kids that Paralympians are “athletes with disabilities, not disabled athletes.” He has seen every kind of reaction, from raised eyebrows, to unease, to curiosity. But no matter the reaction, Rosen is open to any questions or comments because his measure for success is the amount of dialogue he can stir up. Any question is a good question. Rosen makes a living from corporate speaking events but says nothing Fall 2007

Vancouver 2010 Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

A Guide to Life: How to Overcome Adversity Overcoming adversity in life. That’s the core – both of Rosen’s message and of many Paralympians. This is coming from a man who went from working as a corpse handler in a funeral home, to becoming a key member of Canada’s ice sledge hockey team. Above all, Rosen’s message to students is to be positive. “I want them to strive for greatness,” said Rosen. “Too many kids settle for tops the reward of volunteering for school programs. He started speaking in schools five years ago – only two years after the amputation of an infected leg. “The greatest thing is when kids come up to me afterwards and sort of mob me,” Rosen beamed. “I feel like a Wayne Gretzky or a professional athlete as opposed to an amateur athlete.” This May, Rosen spoke at Talmey Elementary School, in Richmond, where he made a lasting impression. Grade six and seven teacher Kathy Pantaleo says Rosen’s visit was unquestionably “one of the best things to happen to Talmey in its 14 years.” Pantaleo knew her students were engaged because of how much thought they put into their questions. Some questions were new to Rosen, such as “If you could take a magic pill to get your leg back, would you take it?” “My answer was obviously no,” said Rosen. “I wouldn’t take my leg back now. I’ve learned way too much about myself since I lost my leg – about the good and the bad, and about what you need to be a good person.”

Fall 2007

Increasing the Reach The Paralympic Games have a relatively young history. The first-ever Paralympic Winter Games took place in Sweden in 1976. During the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, approximately 600 athletes will compete in five sports and in more than 60 separate medal events. While Paralympic sports have yet to maximize attendance rates and media coverage, overall awareness is gaining momentum. With the success of the Paralympic School Days pilot program, Molloy says VANOC is in the early stages of seeking ways to reach as many students as possible – both to fuel this awareness, and build enthusiasm. Step by step, initiatives such as Vancouver 2010 Paralympic School Days are building a Paralympic sport fan base, one school at a time.

Elementary school kids from across BC drew and painted inspirational posters as the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic School Days’ poster-drawing station.

mediocrity and I want them to realize, by the time my talk is over, that anybody who tells them they’re a loser or they can’t add up to greatness really doesn’t matter.” Nearly every Talmey Elementary School student wrote letters of thanks or drew posters of inspiration for Rosen. To Pantaleo the program was tremendously successful in heightening awareness of some of Canada’s most accomplished athletes. Article & posters courtesy of VANOC - Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games; COVAN - Comité d’organisation des Jeux olympiques et paralympiques d’hiver de 2010 à Vancouver. 58

Health Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Lyme Disease’s what you don’t know that can hurt you! •

Canadians, especially those who spend a lot of time outdoors, must learn about Lyme disease.

Humans acquire Lyme mainly from a tick bite. Not all ticks carry Lyme disease but all ticks that bite humans are capable of transmitting nasty diseases, some which can be fatal.

Fall 2007

The rash can expand to over one foot in size or it may appear as several smaller rashes similar to ringworm.

Ticks that carry Lyme disease are found everywhere in Canada and are moved around by migratory birds. An infected tick brought to an area by a bird may then feed on a mouse, infecting the mouse with the Lyme bacteria. Then, uninfected ticks that feed on that mouse may become infected. If humans are their next meal the bacteria may be transmitted to the person.

There is also evidence that in areas where Lyme is well established in the rodent population there is a risk of humans acquiring the disease from a mosquito bite or from other biting insects. Lyme disease can initially be like a flu (usually out of the normal flu season). Some people do not get this initial flu-like stage with headaches, pains, fevers, nausea, fatigue etc. In some cases victims of the disease will get a classic bull’s eye shaped rash with a red center point surrounded by a faded layer with a red outer edge, larger than 5 cm. in diameter. 60

Many people do not get the rash and it is only months or years later they start to experience unexplained symptoms like joint pain, mental confusion or brain fog, poor concentration, vision irregularities, ringing in the ears, fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, bowel problems, thyroid problems, heart problems, various areas of numbness and tingling in the body, facial numbness or tingling or paralysis.

People can find themselves having a hard time bringing to mind words that once came easy to them or they may get lost or confused easily. Most people in these later stages have been through many medical tests and have either been told it is all in their heads or they have one of any number of diseases or disorders.

Even if your doctor was wise enough to suspect Lyme disease and had ordered tests, the test will almost invariably come back negative because testing in Canada is very poor with a high rate of false negatives. If you feel you or someone you know may have Lyme disease contact

To prevent you or your children from contracting Lyme disease or other tick borne disease, avoid entering areas that are likely to be infested with ticks, particularly in spring and summer. Ticks favour a moist, shaded environment, especially areas with leaf litter and low-lying vegetation in wooded, brushy or overgrown grassy habitat.

Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks can be spotted more easily and removed before becoming attached and wear long-sleeved shirts.

Pulling socks over your pants stretches the weave of the sock, thus making bigger holes for the flies and ticks to crawl through. A solution to this has been to wear a 3/4 or full boot, pull the pants down over the boot and use a snug fitting elastic band to snug the pants to the boot.

Health Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

The risk of tick attachment can also be reduced by applying insect repellents containing DEET (n,n-diethyl-m toluamide) to clothes and exposed skin, and applying permethrin (which kills ticks on contact) to clothes. DEET can be used safely on children and adults but should be applied according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.

Tick Removal Perform tick checks regularly over the entire body. They prefer warm moist areas. Embedded ticks should be removed using fine-tipped tweezers.

Submitted by: Jim M. Wilson A.I.I.C. President CANADIAN LYME DISEASE FOUNDATION A Federally-registered Charitable Organization PLEASE NOTE: Nothing contained in this document is to be considered as medical advice. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

DO NOT use fingers to pull out tick.

DO NOT use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products. Grasp the tick firmly and as closely to the skin as possible with tip of tweezers. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are contained in the bug’s mid gut or salivary glands. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic.

Seek medical attention immediately. DO NOT wait for symptoms.

Save tick in zip lock baggie with damp paper towel and take to your doctor or public health office.

Hot o the pr ff ess!

MNBC Regional Governance Training Meetings

Vancouver Island - October 20th-21st Location: Holiday Inn Victoria - (250) 382-4400 3020 Blanshard Street, Victoria Northwest Region - October 27th-28th Location: Coast Inn of the West - (250) 638-8141 4620 Lakelse Ave, Terrace Northeast Region - November 3rd-4th Location: To be announced (Fort St. John, BC) Thompson/Okanagan Region - November 17th-18th Location: To Be Announced (Kelowna) Kootenay Region - November 24th-25th Location: To Be Announced

The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) is pleased to announce the MNBC Regional Governance Training Meetings from September – November 2007. The Regional Governance Training Meetings are the second step the MNBC leadership committed to completing at the recent Métis Nation Governing Assembly in March 2007. The objective of this training is to support the Métis Chartered Communities in British Columbia by providing a complete overview of governance and financial administration to support Métis community increased awareness and capacity. REGIONAL SESSION SCHEDULE: Lower Mainland Region - September 15th-16th Location: Delta Airport Vancouver - (604) 278-1241 3500 Cessna Drive, Vancouver North Central Region - September 29th-30th Location: Billy Barker Casino Hotel - (250) 992-5533 308 Mclean Street, Quesnel

Dates and locations may change. Please check the MNBC website @


Fall 2007

The BC Métis Women’s Secretariat Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Getting to Know Us! In the last issue of Whispering Winds, we introduced you to some of the members of the Métis Women’s Secretariat-BC (MWS-BC). We are pleased to introduce to you some of the other wonderful women involved in the Métis Women’s Secretariat-BC. We are so honoured to have so many dedicated and talented Regional and Community Women’s Representatives. Bonnie Merlo Community Women’s Representative for the Tri-Rivers Métis Association, Smithers, BC I am Bonnie Merlo, my husband and I reside in Smithers. I am looking forward to being the Métis Women’s Community Representative for our Tri-Rivers Métis Association. I attended Langara College in Vancouver where I completed an Accounting Diploma. I now work as a Certified General Accountant (CGA) in public practice. During high school I worked as a waitress at the Tastee-Freeze, later I operated machinery and piled lumber in sawmills, was a teller and Loans Officer at the Credit Union, helped my husband with our trucking business and for the past twelve years have been an accountant. During this time I have spent many challenging and adventurous years being a wife, mother and grandmother. Our family enjoys hunting, fishing, golfing, motorcycling and other outdoor activities. I was born in Fort Frances Ontario; my family came to BC when I was very young. We recently discovered that Fall 2007

through our mother’s ancestry we are Métis. Her side of the family descended from Jenkin Daniel who emigrated from Northern Scotland to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Although the Daniel family was part of the Red River Settlement, Daniel’s descendants moved to the Lake of the Woods area and married into the local Ojibwa tribe. Proving and obtaining our Métis citizenship was quite challenging, but through diligent archival research we were able to verify our Métis roots. I am looking forward to working with the Métis Women’s Secretariat-BC and being the Métis Women’s Community Representative for Tri-Rivers Métis Association – Region 6.

Tanya Davoren Community Women’s Representative, Vernon District Métis Association My Name is Tanya Davoren and I am from The Vernon & District Métis Association and have been the Community Rep for the past two years. Growing up I was surrounded by Métis culture and traditions and raised my three children; Shaughn, Ashleigh & Keighan and nephew Jordan in the same way along with my supportive husband Rob of ten years. I am a born nurturer and caregiver, which led me to a career in the health field. I have been a Registered Nurse at Vernon Jubilee Hospital for the past seven years and recently was appointed as MNBC’s representative for the Interior Health Authority Aboriginal Health and Wellness committee. I enjoy working with the women of the Métis Nation and look forward to opportunities to keep in touch.


Kerry Marion Community Women’s Representative for the Nova Métis Heritage Association, Surrey BC My name is Kerry Marion and I am the new Women’s Community Rep and a Board Director for the Nova Métis Heritage Association of the Lower Mainland in Region 2. I previously volunteered at Nova before becoming a director and have been member for 3 years now. I am Saulteaux-Métis, on my Father’s side, and our roots are in Oakpoint, Manitoba, just outside of St. Laurent. Most of my extended family currently lives throughout Manitoba, along with my non-Indigenous mother, who lives in Winnipeg. Luckily, my brother lives 4 km away from me in Surrey, BC. I have spent half my life working in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor, and now, with much help and many thanks to MNBC, I am also attending school full time to become a Registered Massage Therapist. I look forward to being a role model for the Métis Women when I become licensed and promoting Métis awareness throughout this profession. I have always been interested in women’s issues. I am very proud of my Métis heritage and I am very excited to be a part of the Métis Women’s Secretariat. I look forward to liaising with our association, the reps throughout BC, and Rose, Victoria and Carly whose knowledge and support are indispensable in our efforts of creating positive change for the MWS.

The BC Métis Women’s Secretariat Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Carolyn Hutton

Kim Hayek

Victoria Pruden

Community Women’s Representative for the North Island Métis, Campbell River, BC

Community Women’s Representative for the North Fraser Métis Association, Burnaby BC

Director of Women, Métis Nation BC

My name is Carolyn Hutton and I represent the North Island Métis. I’ve been married for the past 16 years and my husband and I have a 12year-old son. I recently graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and I am working as a Public Health and Medical/Surgical Nurse in our local hospital. I look forward to representing North Vancouver Island women.

I was born in Winnipeg and moved to BC in 1966. I started writing poetry at age 10 and have been published throughout Turtle Island in various publications. I am fun, exciting, overwhelming and full of ideas. I have learned life from my adult children. I am honoured to know what I know and do what I do because others have shared their lives with me.

Brenda Briggs

Linda Hart

Community Women’s Representative for the Fort St. John Métis Society

Community Women’s Representative for the Waceya Métis Society, Langley BC

My name is Brenda Briggs and I was born in Fort St. John, BC. I lived there for 16 years and then moved to Vancouver. I married in 1975 and had 2 sons, one in 1976, and the other in 1978. I worked at Revenue Canada in Surrey for 16 years. During that time I enjoyed sitting on the board of directors for the Surrey Minor football. We moved back to Fort St. John in 1996, where I have enjoyed volunteering at the Métis office and at the North Peace Care Home. In 2005 and 2006 I enjoyed coordinating the culture program for the Fort St.John Métis Society.

My name is Linda Hart. (My Cree name given to me by my late Auntie Adelaide is Wasciyap – a little unsure of the correct spelling!) I am CreeMétis and was raised in a small isolated village in Northern Saskatchewan (Cree Lake). I am an Aboriginal Support Worker for School District 35 Langley. I work out of four elementary schools and support Aboriginal students academically, emotionally, culturally and socially. I am also on the RETC Board for Region 2 and an active member of Waceya Métis Society in Langley. My Métis heritage is very important to me, and I keep active in my community as a volunteer in any way I can.


Tansi! I am blessed to be a new mom, and blessed to be working in our Nation as the Director of Women. I am a Métis with Cree, Ojibwa, Saulteaux, Sioux, Inuit, Chippewa, English, French, Scottish and Orkney Roots. I was born in Edmonton and raised in Saskatchewan, and I come from Métis roots that include the Pruden, Landry, Falcon, Grant, Henry, Fisher, and Delorme families. I have had a diverse career that has included Commercial Banking, Métis Television co-host, Women’s Family Violence counselor, Professional Workshop Facilitator, and College Instructor. I left my term teaching position at Camosun College and my work at Bridges for Women Society to begin work with the Métis Nation BC last summer. A former Community President of the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria, it has been a great transition to work supporting our communities and our women as we move forward. I have spent much of my professional life working with Women’s issues and with Women’s organizations and I look forward to supporting our Women’s Representatives with their work for years to come. I have a supportive Métis husband who helps to make work with a new son easier, and I am blessed with a well-behaved baby boy who enjoys afternoons in the MNBC office in Victoria. I look forward to hearing from you, please feel free to email me at vpruden@

Fall 2007

Métis Veterans Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community Columbia Whispering Winds in...British the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

The Métis Veterans Association BC MVA - BC Report by Bob Ducharme, President, Métis Veterans-BC

Greetings / Tansee Neschee This report will hopefully bring you up to speed on the ongoing events in our Veterans Association.

After speaking with many interested people, I soon found that they, in fact, were waiting for a plan to finally seek a long awaited recognition for past patriotic services to their country, long since denied. We started to get a few veterans interested enough to take up the challenge that they, too, could make a difference for those who are not so well off. Today we have over 85 members signed up with an additional 23 enquiries as a result of our latest advertising campaign, and loads of enquiries from across the country. Organizers at MNBC have caught on to a product that we wanted to make available to them in recognition of the strong encouragement and help that they gave continually and generously. We provide a flag party for the grand entry to the varied assemblies. In April of 2006 at a Métis Nation Governing Assembly I had the distinct honour of being named the very first member of the newly formed “Gabriel Dumont Scouts”. Thank you, Bruce, MNGA and MNBC.

Philippe Dore & Bob Ducharme

May we take this opportunity to compliment the president, senators, directors and staff of the Métis Nation of BC, and the citizens whom have provided a tremendous example of encouragement to bring us into an Alignment Agreement with you so we can be a staunch and vibrant support group, not only for our veterans, but also to the Métis communities.

Over the past four years, there have been many veterans sharing their personal expertise to help form the Métis Veterans’ Association BC, with Veterans Affairs minister, Rene Therrien. We also give thanks to Tresley Tourond and Brittaney Katernick for their tremendous help in getting us going and fully functional and accepted by many groups. We continue to be engaged in many different events and people wonder who we are.

When we started there was myself and a lot of open space and thoughts as to whether my overwhelming feeling of helping veterans of Métis descent was in fact worth it all. Many thoughts of, am I going too slowly on this, or too fast. Does it look as if I am unnecessarily and unduly begging for handouts, for whatever we, as a veterans group, can offer and just what is that?

We have a fast tracking procedure with Veterans Affairs Canada and this has cut down the waiting time considerably for answers to those whose efforts went unnoticed for great lengths of time, sometime to the point where paperwork “went missing”.

After a bit of time and encouragement from president Bruce Dumont, Keith Henry and many talks with Tracey Thornhill, and a host of others, a very possible solution was unfolding. You see, Métis people have a deep-rooted and inherent feeling that they should and will look after their own. “It’s their way of life”. Fall 2007

In the near future we should have a qualified service officer in each MNBC identifiable region. We also hope to soon initiate a flag party in each of the regions to add some protocols to various events. 64

Métis Veterans Whispering Winds ...theWhispering voice of the MétisWinds Community...inthe British voiceColumbia of the Métis Community in British Columbia

We are offering services to our sisters and brothers who are hoping to soon start earmarking various places for memorials paying tribute to Métis veterans whose contributions to the liberties and freedoms we, in Canada, enjoy today. At the 2006 AGM/MNBC Assembly in Kelowna, another noted event took place. MVA-BC president Bob Ducharme had been give a 100 mandate (by mailed in ballots) by the membership to follow through with an “Alignment Agreement” with the Métis Nation of British Columbia”. It turned out to be an historic agreement under the name of the “Memorandum of Understanding between MNBC and MVA-BC”. It pledges to work together in one common accord utilizing our own and the governing factors of the MNBC to achieve our on-going mission statement — assistance to access financial help to search for and document veterans of Métis descent whose quality of life may be enhanced through programs and assistance comparable to other secular veterans, that they wouldn’t otherwise know about.

Stan and Doreen Dotchain and Lyle Lloyd

My sincere thanks to Art Lefever, who arranged for me to be the recipient of “The Ambassador of Peace” medal from the Government of the Republic of South Korea and had it presented to me at the banquet of AGM in Kelowna 2006 by MNBC president Bruce Dumont. Thanks Art. In closing, may I additionally say “thanks” to all the people who from day-to-day phone or enquire about the situation of their dads, grandfathers, grandmothers, moms, uncles and aunts who may be considered as veterans. You don’t know how helpful you really are. It is through that kind of enquiry we can follow up and help by filling all the pieces of information. You would be surprised at how close the Métis relationship is with one another.

In April of this year we were invited to host an informational forum for Métis veteran representatives from across Canada. It was so successful that there will now be someone going to each province and territory to hold fair and democratic elections. Our hearts were saddened last February when we lost Henry Stavely, veteran and long time cowboy from up Quesnel way. We have several others in hospital or out having problems. We think of Henry Lauzon of Victoria, our recent association treasurer, who is living with some difficulties as is Ed Ferguson also of Victoria Henry Stavley and many in the George Derby Center in Vancouver including Allen Arnault and Ron Goulet. I would like to personally thank my executive committee, regional offices, and committees. A big thank you to a newly acquired veteran who is on our staff as special consultant — Philippe Dore, pretty good man even though he is an ex-Signaller. We are very fortunate for his presence and help, in fine-tuning our reports, letters and proposals. 65

Fall 2007

SectionVancouver Title Left Island Region Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community Columbia Whispering Winds in...British the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Red River West, Vancouver Island, is a Métis Family Affair.

Red River West Rendezvous 2007 Fall 2007


Vancouver Island Section Region Title Right Whispering Winds ...theWhispering voice of the MĂŠtisWinds Community...inthe British voiceColumbia of the MĂŠtis Community in British Columbia

Generations have fun!

10th Anniversary - July 5th - 8th, 2007 67

It was a fun-filled 3 day event with plenty to do! Fall 2007

SectionLower Title Left Mainland Region Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community Columbia Whispering Winds in...British the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Lower Mainland Region:

Youth and Housing. I attended the Housing portion of the meetings, and found the By Fraser MacDonald Forum a very valuThe past few months have been busy with several able precursor to the upcoming national developments for the Métis Nation in the Lower housing conference. Mainland. At the end of May, I attended the retirement dinner for Judy The National AborigDallin, wife of Jim Dallin, the Past President of the Waceya inal Housing AssoMétis Society, who is leaving her position as Langley School ciation’s AGM was District’s Aboriginal Education Coordinator. All of us at the held in Saskatoon from the 20th – 23rd, Métis Nation BC would like to wish both Judy and Jim all and was the most the best for a well-deserved retirement. On Monday, May 28th, the MNBC Board of Directors were invited to the BC productive series of Fraser MacDonald, Director meetings on housing Legislature to attend the news conference announcing the that I have attended launch of the Aboriginal Youth Internship Program, a new venture that will introduce selected Métis and First Nations for some time. Along students to the Provincial Government as interns in various with MNBC CEO Keith Henry and MNBC Acting Director of Housing Rob Humperville, I believe that we can government Ministries. assemble a number of housing initiatives that are achievThe month of June continued the busy pace with a series able, based largely on the successful programs being run in of productive meetings. The first of these was on June 4th Edmonton by the Métis Nation of Alberta. A few days later with the Native Court Workers at the MNBC boardroom on June 26th, the Justice committee met with Provincial where our Crime Prevention Program was introduced, and and Federal Corrections officials, who were impressed with during which possible partnerships with other organizations the success of our program, to the extent that we expect to were discussed. Later that week, from June 7-9, I attended get the green light to move forward. I wrapped up a busy the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business seminar in month by attending the Greater Vancouver Urban AborigiWhistler with MNBC CEO Keith Henry. This proved to be nal Strategy (GVUAS) General Meeting, which was held to an excellent networking opportunity, and potential business discuss the renewal of the program and to formally anpartners showed a great deal of interest in the MNBC. The nounce that the GVUAS is now under the umbrella of OFI. Lower Mainland Regional Governance Council meeting was With July came the time to celebrate our Métis culture, held in Abbotsford on Sunday, June 10, and was very well as my wife and I attended Red River West on Vancouver attended. BC Provincial Minister for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Mike de Jong paid a surprise visit to our Island from the 5th – 8th, then the next weekend attended meeting, and everyone was quite impressed. The MNBC has the Art Burd Memorial Festival at Senator St. Germain’s ranch in South Surrey. Both festivals were well attended always made it a point to further our relationship with the Provincial Government, and this shows yet again the strides and showcased the excellent talent of our Métis performers, young and old. The highlight of the month was on July we are making, and the regard to which we are held by the government, and by Minister de Jong in particular. The next 24th, when I chaired a joint meeting with the Canadian Lacrosse Association’s Aboriginal Development Commitnight, Monday June 11, I attended, along with our CEO Keith Henry, the final meeting to be chaired by Jim Dallin as tee, Four Host First Nations Society, and the BC Lacrosse President of Waceya. It was my honour, on behalf of MNBC Association to plan an Aboriginal demonstration lacrosse President Dumont and the Board of Directors, to present Jim tournament during the 2010 Games in Vancouver. This with a Certificate of Recognition for his work with the Métis. was an initial meeting, and the prospects are very exciting. There will be more to report on this in the near future. The Urban Aboriginal Forum was held in Vancouver on June 13th and 14th with the focus of the conference being on

Director’s Report

Fall 2007


Thompson Okanagan Section Region Title Right Whispering Winds ...theWhispering voice of the MétisWinds Community...inthe British voiceColumbia of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Thompson Okanagan Region: Director’s Report Submitted by David R Hodgson On behalf of all the Presidents of the Thompson Okanagan and their councils we would like to pass on our appreciation and thanks to those Métis citizens who have worked so hard to move our nation forward. There have

Leo Brazeau, Kelowna Pres and Dave Hodgson, Regional Director.

been a few changes in our communities: a new President has been elected for the Boundary Local Métis Association by the name of Mr. Trevor Murdock. The MNBC would like to thank past President of the Boundary Local, Mr. Danny Williamson for all the hard work, dedication and loyalty that he has given not only to his community but the Métis Nation of B.C and all the Métis citizens of B.C. Danny will continue to work with the Boundary Local as the Vice President. Mrs. Wendy Chernivchan, President of Two Rivers Métis Society, has stepped down

to take a position with MNBC as the Thompson Okanagan Regional Intake Worker. Mrs. Pat Hartford has stepped up to replace Wendy as the President of Two Rivers. Mr. Dan Pitman was elected the new President of the Métis Heritage and Cultural Council of Penticton, replacing Rob Charlton. We would like to thank Yvonne Charters for all the hard work she did on behalf of our region and wish her well in her new journey. President Pete Hourie, who has undergone very serious cancer treatment in Vancouver, is doing very well and our prayers and wishes are with him and his family on his path to recovery. We are all looking forward to him joining us back at our meetings. As all are aware the AGM will be held in Kelowna in September at which time I will give an updated report as the Minister Responsible for Employment and Training, Child and Family Services, and as the Treasurer of MNBC.

David Hodgson, Director

youngest granddaughter, who celebrated her 18th birthday along with my cousin celebrating his 65th birthday as well. I was especially honoured this year to have President Dumont present my granddaughter Cheri Gullason with a Métis sash at her high school graduation ceremonies. I look forward to seeing you all at the AGM and wish you all the best for the remainder of the summer.

This year was a milestone for myself as I celebrated my 65th birthday on July 21. I was able to spend that day with my family, Métis friends, and especially with my 69

Fall 2007

SectionKootenay Title LeftRegion Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Watch our Nation Rise Again Rebuilding a Métis Culture


has been a busy year throughout the North Local of Region Four. 2006 was culturally rich and satisfying for our little isolated local. It generated huge amounts of enthusiasm and participation from members, as well as encouraging an influx of new ones. The following cultural workshops/activities have taken place throughout the year.

Davene Dunn dancing the Broom dance

Annual General Meeting – June 9 – Brisco Hall Plant Recognition workshop, with an emphasis on edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, aimed primarily at Métis children. Métis Yoho Park staff presented Animals of the Rockies workshop, again aimed primarily at Regional Director, Métis children. They were Gerry Legare introduced to tracking, pelts and furs, bones and skeletons, sounds, and habits of local wildlife. Métis Yoho Park Interpreters presented. •

Métis traditional instrument making for children

Métis traditional games played by the children

Métis Traditional Dance Course – First Week in September - An intense week long course presented by Métis Jigger, Yvonne Chartrand.

Henry Hall Presentation on Métis History, Culture and Heritage October 3 - Personable Métis speaker with Métis Nation B.C. rose in traditional Métis culture, spoke to students at five schools in the Columbia Valley as well as to Golden and District Community members. Henry brought with him a van full of Métis artifacts, including a collection of Louis Riel’s personal belongings, various Hudson Bay Blankets, and many other things.

Beginning Jigging Workshop for children, presented by a local Métis youth.

Jigging Performance – Cranbrook Aboriginal Business Showcase October 21 - We left an audience of over two hundred moved to tears with a performance that many reported brought them back to their childhoods. Weekly Jigging Practices – October – The School Aboriginal Support Workers invited the dance troupe to offer lessons at the local schools. Elders and others began teaching weekly at two of the schools, and this continued throughout the year. As well, the Kayla Taphorn & Jocelyn Hamilton

Young Strings Fiddlers perform at David Thompson Days. Fall 2007


Kootenay Section Region Title Right Whispering Winds ...theWhispering voice of the MétisWinds Community...inthe British voiceColumbia of the Métis Community in British Columbia

dance troupe met weekly at the high school to practice. Many of the participants were non- Aboriginal.

Traditional Métis Food and Cooking Workshop / Michif Language Workshop November 18 – David Thompson Secondary School. Local Métis Elder couple provided a traditional Pesident Ed Delisle Métis cooking workshop, in which families made Métis dishes, consisting of deer and elk stew, baked bannock, traditional coleslaw, and rice pudding and bread pudding and sucre a la crème. Throughout the evening, we practiced our Michif language skills, and strengthened our Métis family bond.

The three little girls looking at the beaver in the wheelbarrow are Carrington, Syenna and Sydney Mitchell.

Métis families had a wonderful afternoon in Brisco and enjoyed a potluck dinner complete with bannock.

Métis Village

Woodcarving workshop – January

July 1st – A reenactment of David Thompson’s arrival in Golden with his family and voyageurs 200 years ago. This village was complete with a teepee, Red River cart, the comforting smell of bannock and Saskatoon jam, Métis artifacts and craft displays, beading and wood carving demonstrations, dancing and fiddling.

Elders led community members in carving and whittling animal forms in wood and making traditional Métis toys from alder and willow branches. Smaller children used jackknives while carving in soap. Elders, parents and children worked side by side assisting each other and having a wonderful time.

Trapping Workshop

Owen Mitchell, Trapper

April 14th - Elder Trapper and his family demonstrated how to skin, clean and stretch the fur of a beaver that was trapped for this purpose. This family brought out many different traps and demonstrated what each one was used for ranging from squirrel and rabbit snares to grizzly bear traps. They also arranged a huge display of the furs of many different animals that they had trapped over the years.

Paddle Songs July 22 – One act play written by our own Sharon Wass “My David” – about the life of Charlotte Small with David Thompson as her husband. Li Jigeurs Mechif and the Métis component of The Young String Orchestra performed. Moosham George Strynadka dances with Midori Nagao.


Fall 2007

SectionNorth Title Left Central Region Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community Columbia Whispering Winds in...British the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia Denza Phung, Williams Lake, youngest to walk in Relay for Life Cancer Run.

PROUD TO BE MÉTIS Written by Rose Bortolon, 1994


aribou Chilcotin Métis Association hosts Métis Celebration at Felker Lake, Williams Lake August 11, 2007

Half-breed, I am called Walking silently through our land, Searching, looking and hoping To find the true meaning of who I am.

Sunny skies brought many people to Felker Lake for the 10th Annual Métis Fun Days. Organizers Marlene Swears and CCMA members planned a great event that included opening ceremonies, a Métis idol talent show, horseshoe competition, crib tournament, Fear Factor Race, Boing, Loonie auction and children’s games.

We are forgotten People, And yet we are from two worlds. Each contains a part of us, But none accepts us whole.

There were activities for every age group and everyone participated. People sang, swam, visited and ate. The food tables were laden with a potluck dinner. No one could have left hungry.

It is not enough just to be French, It is not enough just to be Cree. It is painful to hear others Describe me as Half-breed.

Prince George Elders brought a busload down to this celebration and the elders had a wonderful time. The excitement rose during Fear Factor when seniors joined the children in this game of repulsive food and daring races.

I have learned how to deal With the differences I find, That each Culture To me in my life.

Over $300 was raised during the loonie auction and many out-oftown visitors took prizes home. It truly was old time Métis fun.

Although many try to brand me, And try to smother my fire. I take solace in the knowledge That I am braced by my pride. We are children of this Nation, We are fathered by Riel. We are your sisters and brothers, We are simply...Métis.

Fall 2007


Northeast Section Region Title Right Whispering Winds ...theWhispering voice of the MétisWinds Community...inthe British voiceColumbia of the Métis Community in British Columbia The 2007 Métis Talent Show held on Saturday, June 23rd at Unchagah Hall, Dawson Creek BC, was a resounding success. The Muskoday Blue Thunder Dancers started the show on an upbeat note with lively dance numbers and spectacular colour! The popular local band, Native Sons, showed their versatility and talent by providing back up music for the contestants and guest performers. A large enthusiastic crowd showed their appreciation for the incredible, wide-ranging talent by giving several standing ovations. Contestants and members of the audience came from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC all contributing to what we hope will become an annual event in Dawson Creek!

2007 Métis Talent Show Winners Vocals Youth (0-12)

Teen (13-18)

Adults (19-54)

Elders ( 55+)

Fiddling All ages

1st place 2nd place 3rd place 1st place 2nd place 3rd place 1st place 2nd place 3rd place 1st place 2nd place 3rd place

1st place 2nd place 3rd place

Destiny Michalchuk, Grande Prairie, AB Talia Harvey, Hythe, AB Chelsea Bull, Dawson Creek, BC Cory Poitras, St. Paul, AB Kelsey Poitras, St. Paul, AB Meesha Beaulieu, Dawson Creek, BC Ken Gold, Dawson Creek, BC Judy Cardinal, Paddle Prairie, AB Tyrone Laboucan, Dawson Creek, BC Verna Cardinal, Pouce Coupe, BC Ed Poitras, St.Paul, AB Herb Goodswimmer, Sturgeon Lake, AB

Cory Poitras, St. Paul, AB Wilfred Belcourt, Hythe, AB Stan Brocke, Dawson Creek, BC

Red River Jig Tiny Tots (0-6) 1st place 2nd place Youth (7-12) 1st place 2nd place 3rd place Teens ( 13-18) 1st place 2nd place 3rd place Adults ( 19-54) 1st place 2nd place Elders (55+) 1st place 2nd place 3rd place

RaeAnn Batt, Dawson Creek, BC Angelina King, Dawson Creek, BC Cheyenne L’Hirondelle, Dawson Creek, BC Lucy Duncan, Surrey, BC Justice Watson, Dawson Creek, BC Cory Poitras, St. Paul, AB Leo Marcotte, Valleyview, AB Nelson Goodswimmer, McLennan, AB Beverly Lambert, New Westminster, BC Brittaney Katernick, Surrey, BC Herb Goodswimmer, Sturgeon Lake, AB Anne Batt, Dawson Creek, BC Lorne Gauthier, Kelly Lake, AB

Overall Grand Prize Winner:

Cory Poitras, St.Paul, AB


Cheyenne L’Hirondelle, Dawson Creek, BC Fall 2007

Photo Contest Results Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

And the winners are... 1st Place

2nd Place

Marion Couture, Victoria, BC

Victoria Bouchard, Victoria BC

3rd Place

4th Place

Brad LaRose Duncan, BC

Ross Ghostkeeper, Pritchard, BC

Honourable Mentions Amy Quesnelle, Victoria, BC

Jillian Dueck, Gibsons, BC

Carmen Meinders, Mission, BC

Tamika Nagao, Golden, BC

Drake Henry, North Vancouver, BC

Thanks to everyone who entered the Whispering Winds and Ken Davies Photo contest! Ken Davies of Fort St John graciously donated wonderful prizes for our Métis Children’s Photo Contest. We had some outstanding entries! The Winners are: 1st Prize - Marion Couture, Victoria, BC; 2nd Prize: Victoria Bouchard, Victoria, BC; 3rd Prize: Brad LaRose, Duncan, BC; 4th Prize: Ross Ghostkeeper, Pritchard, BC. Honourable Mentions: Drake Henry, North Vancouver, BC; Carmen Meinders, Mission, BC; Amy Quesnelle, Victoria, BC; Jillian Dueck, Gibsons, BC; Tamika Nagao, Golden, BC. Fall 2007


Me, I was born ere. Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia (For best effect, read out loud!)


story is about an old Métis Man sitting on a bench beside a river and he can see a young man walking towards him and thinks he recognizes him and so the story goes…… Submitted by D. Lussier

Me, I was born ere. Tansi , astum , api, Sit, on de bench Sit! Me I was born ere, my fawder and granfawder too, and hee’s fawder was born in dis place. St. Anne is de small place and not to many city peops like it too much. But is de place I live all my life, and dis year I have 87 year. It’s nice place to visit by de river an you can see da dore jomp, an play; sometime da ol mush rat show he’s whiskers over by dat log der. Dis bench have wan long story, you know dat ol church over da way well when my granfawder was here der was not to much peops here just some cabans in da woods, and da place where you can pull up da canoe. He say dat de play the fiddle and dance and drink all night sometime; but he got to marry Felice la Framboise wel dats it da boys don’t drink too much after dat, and den ol Pierre Ritchot he gets Josephte Simard wit da baby and de whole place settle down. Pretty soon dis place grow like ell. My grand

fawder he have wan big trap line, and den he buy Jock Mac Dougalls trap line, well with the place grow like dat, and den wan little school is build and more peeps move on dis place, lots of little cabans. Except Joe Giroux’s place is make de house like in da city with dos fancy boards and all paint wit da white paint fancy red on da door and sash; de wimmens de like Joes place sacre blue, an wants de church jus like dat. Well when I was jus be 23 year is when da pries come to St Anne, he was ride in da big ol river cart an hees got wan big ox to pull dat cart, with not much in it. Fawder Selwyn is hees name come ere, and one good feller dat one, he like a little whisky blanc and den get saved on Saturday. He like to dance also. Well hees stay at my fawders caban and after der while hees move to a ol trapper caban. But hees know hees stuff darn good, he come to da village and talk all the times wit dem wimmens, an soon da all wants a new church, well sacre bleu dis 75

make notting but troub for me. Me and Jean Baptist Callaho is only wans dat have de whip saw for to cut dem boards for hees church. Well me and Jean we take de ol pack and some fishing line and go tru da wood nine mile up to da winter trapper caban. We tink dere no pries come dis far for da whipsaw mans. Well tree day after we eat all da fish we catch and sit on da rock, drink a little whisky blanc an look at da lake, an soon is wan helluva bust up come from da bush. Fawder Selwyn and Pierre Richot come run like ell from da woods wit wan big black bear chase dem. Pierre is short and fat but hees pass de Fawder like de bullet and jomp in da lake. Fawder Selwyn he los wan boot savage and hees collar and hat, da bear hees grab dat boot savage and de Fawder he jomp in da lake also. Me an Jean drunk and laff like ell but dat bear hees not tink much to funny an hees chase us to da lake. Well me I can’t swim me, so is wan big rock on da groun I bust dat ol Fall 2007

Me, I was born ere. Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

bear in hees eye first time an second wan it miss im but hees had enough so hees go back to da bush. Jean Baptist was want to ponch Pierre in da nose for to bring da pries here but he tell hees wife say to “help da Fawder or no more fon for him”; so dat settle dat Jean he like da fon also. We all get drunk for two days an den go back to St Anne. Well we make lot of reason for not to cut dem boards, is no pit to cut dem in, is no stage to cut dem from, and plenty tree for de log caban church. Well noting is no good, dem wimmens de come and tell us build de dam church wit boards. Jean Baptist say hees wimmens tell im dat he will eats lots of fish with no patates until hees see da first board for dat church. Me, I got wan argue and de wimmen hees trou me out I sleep in da root bin, so too much troub not to build dat dam church. I tell dem wimmens me an Jean hees not going to dig da pit an cut da boards so da pries an some boys from da village dig da pit, is wan good pit. Pierre Richot an Archange Goulet hees build da stage for da saw pit. An den it rain like ell but we av to cut dem boards anyway. Well I tell Jean hees da pit man and me the whip well hees say bull shit hees da whip an we get in wan big fight an no board hees get cut. Is not long after sleep in the root bin again an Jean Baptist eat noting but fish, no meat and patates that we tink maybe jus maybe hees Fall 2007

take turn in da pit. Well, in da pit da saw dust in your eye all da time and is wet dis pit so we put da flitch on da groun and hees kep da boot savauge dry. Well its not to bad de peops come an elp wit da saw an Pierre is wan good pit man cause hees haf blin anyway. Is go pretty fas dat wood, an by an by der fall is wan big pile. Fawder Selwyn jomp right in der too he cut da wood wit da whipsaw but hees plenty sore after two or tree day and say hees pray for no more de pain in hees back. Dem wimmens pretty smart too, de say use dem ol dead tree dat got no rot and de board hees be dry, well lotsa dry tree around so most of dem boards is dry like de firewood. It’s good, don hafta wait for dem to dry start for to build dat church right away. Archange Goulet an Joe Giroux is wan good carpenter hees have da tools and de whole village hees help too. Is build dat church near da river on wan little hill is nice place dat place. “See like I tol you is dat ol church over der.” It’s not too big is tirty feets by tirty five feets wit da little place in da back for de pries hees live. Da wimmens paint dat church jus like Joe Giroux’s place is all white and de red sash for de winders an da door. Is nice place an Fawder Selwyn plenty appy wit de new church hees say one mass right away an bless all dat place an all de peops dat build it, hees even bless dat ol ox dat drag dos tree from da bush. 76

Fawder Selwyn make one tabernache wit fancy clot an one big cross on de wall. Ol wimmen Simard hees give pretty much all de candle for da church an tree oil lamp. But der is no place to sit. De fawder say all of da peops mus bring wan chair for de church. Well dat is make it jus fine, comfortable chair from de caban and nice light an wan good pries. On da Christmas we av wan big party after de mass and de peops an de fawder sing all de ol songs; an little peops sleep on da back of de church. Fawder Selwyn hees wan good jigger him; hees won’t tol us

Glossary The names are typical Métis and French Canadian names. A Boot Sauvage is a moccasin usually made in the Métis style. A tabernache is a tabernacle, an altar in a church. A flitch sometimes is referred to as the round part of the log that is cut off when making boards as they are not flat on both sides, they are usually used for firewood. Dore is fish or a type of fish, mush rat is the muskrat. Whisky Blanc is home distilled alcohol. Chapeau, French for hat. Tansi, Cree for hi how are you. Astum, Cree for come here or come. Api. Cree for sit.

Me, I was born ere. Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

where hees learn dat ting, but after de party we all go back to da house an drag da kid wit sleep in der eye wit us, is wan good time yessir. After dat time de Fawder hees have da song in de church every mass. Da whole village is prou of dat little church an Fawder Selwyn. Bye an bye ten, twelve year maybe Fawder Selwyn he pass on, hees have troub wit hees heart. All da peops cry like ell, an yes me also hees my frien and hees wan good pries. Da school teacher hees hold da mass for da Fawder and for wan long time hees take da prayer from da village peops in dat little church. Hees bury Fawder Selwyn in da church yard an make wan big cross for dat little man wit de big heart. Pretty soon wan new pries hees come from de Red River an hees got wan big wagon and de fine horse, an da wagon is full of hees tings, is to much for dat little church so hees get Joe Giroux to build wan little room on de back of dat church. Hees Name is Fawder Prescott, is strange name for de catlic pries but hees der and tell de peops is ready for wan mass and some confession. Well da confession was wan big troub for me I tink I say ten rosary an tree station of de cross and so many ail Mary I go to sleep on my knees, I tink I don like dis Fawder Prescott, an hees don like de whisky blanc hees drink dat scotch. Well me and Jean Baptist is go to da trap line all de winter and I tink dat new pries hees raise de ell wit all da peops. In da spring me and jean go

an trade dem furs an ave wan big whoop up in de Red River, an afraid to go back to dem wimmens. Well dem wimmens appy to see us, give us wan big smile, and a good time. Me an Jean is get too much afraid of dis. Someting is wrong an soon hees tell us da pries” hees want some money for de church, an hees wan no more sing in da church, an no more party in da church”, and hees is throw out all de chair in da church “hees want da bench.” Well I went to da church an look in da back an gets all dos chair an put dem in da barn at Joe Giroux’s place. “I ask de priest how much he pay to get da bench make an how many bench hees want.” “Well hees say de bench is be free” an I say “de wood hees cos money an de time hees cos money hees get money for hees time from de church” well hees make de hmmmmmmmman den da hawwwwwwa. An well I tole him “when hees want dat bench to tole my wimmens an I get da bench build.” Hees take two months an der is no peops in da church becose der is no chair; except ol wimmens Simard hees want de lamp back. Well Prescott hees come to da house an say “hees need eight bench for dat little church an hees pay five dollar for each of de bench but the village peops give some money for da church.” Well Joe Giroux an Jean Baptist an me we tink is not enough for de bench an tole da pries “we want ten dollar for de bench.” Hees not appy wit dat an it take wan week again hees come back an say “ok for ten dollar.” 77

Well what da peops in da village don’t know is Fawder Prescott is very scare de hindians; Joe is hear dis in de Red River from a peops dat live in da village were Fawder Prescott was de pries. Me an Joe an Jean we take de ol wood left from da church dat Joe had in his barn all de years and build eight bench, da peops in da village give da pries eighty dollar for hees church an da pries pay us eighty dollar for de bench, nice bench too. “Is wan ere dat you sit on.” Da Fawder is appy wit da bench an der is no more excuse for not to go to da church, but is no fun in da church, an no sing in da church, an get dark plenty quick wit no oil lamp. Joe, Pierre an Philippe Montarde, hees make some whisky blanc an wit dat eighty dollar we buy tings for a party. Me an Jean Baptist catch wan moose; an da garden is come full so we visit our cousins and oncles and aunties on da reserve since we all ave da Cree blood. We plan wan big party jus behind da church an bring all da young peops, jus turn twenty, twenty five, de like to make plenty of de noise. Ol blind Bob is da Chief, hees come and hees wimmens come and de bring lotsa food an some whisky blanc, an Richard Proudhorse an hees family come, well dam near da whole village come for wan big visit. We dance around da fire an sing an drum an sweat an sing some more, eat lotas a food an have de horse race, well we race the pries Fall 2007

Me, I was born ere. Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

horse, good horse him, but Fawder Prescott make not wan hmmmmmmmm or hawwwwwwwww da whole time; hees hid in da church. Well tree day later da village hees go back home an ol blind Bob hees give wan stone pipe an a wolf skin chapeau, but I tol him hees can’t keep da pries horse so hees want da pipe back. The peops from St Anne ave wan big time an visit all der blood family and some dat not blood; an we say to ol Bob an Richard Proudhorse well next year is wan good time again for dis. Fawder Prescott never come from dat church da whole time. Hees only comes out when hees see dat last pony go over da hill, he must look for dis lak de hawk. Da mass on Sunday was very quiet an I tink some peops is scare, an me an Jean an Joe, well hees ave a hard to no laugh to da pries. Da hindians scare him big an he say “no more hindians come to dis place.” Well da peops tell Fawder Prescott “dat dis is dere place an we ave lotsa blood wit dem an can’t say no to come ere to oncle an aunties.” Jus two weeks later Fawder Prescott hees say da final mass. An hees say “dat hees is very unappy dat hees leave St Ann and dat hees really like dat peops an da village. But, hees church put hees new place in Winnipeg,” well dats fonny, der is more hindians in Winnipeg dan St Ann. Hees wagon is full already an da horse is in de harness jus after mass hees gone down da road to hees new place. Fall 2007

A new pries is not come for wan months an me an Jean Baptist is paint dat church an some wimmens help. We fix one winder and get wan new wood stove. Da new pries must tink were crazy, we take da bench from da church, an tell hees will learn to sing. Da bench is painted an put along the bank of de river under da tree, is good place to watch da river tell hees story to us. Da new pries is wan young feller and I tink hees like dis place. Joe Giroux hees bring all da chair back to da church an hees paint all dos chair, is look nice. Da new pries is name is Fawder Thibeau, good Catlic name an hees not mind to much da whisky blanc. De wan day me, I take de Fawder to de reserve to meet Ol Blind Bob, hees is welcome dere now an not scare de hindians. Fawder Thibeau hees come wit noting hees walk to St Ann. So far so good, hees young an can dance a jig, but not as good as dat Fawder Selwyn. Jean Baptist hees take da Fawder fishing wan time, dam near drown da Fawder in da canoe, an hees still not scare. De Fawder ask de peops of da village for some money, an hees says is for wan big surprise, well hees buy da big stained glass winder for day church. Joe Giroux an Archange Goulet is put dat winder in de church for noting. 78

Well, dats da story of dat bench youse is sittin on, I tole you it is wan long story. An bye da way me , I never see you ere before, dis is long way from de city. “Well my name is Fredrick Selwyn, that first priest you speak of was my uncle and his name was Michael.” Yas, I know dat, hees my frien and I tell you hees gave me hees ol ox an for years hees pull my river cart. An one more ting about that ol ox hees name was mike. “An you know why dis bench is by da river ?” “No I don’t” Well your oncle understand dat not all tings dat are holy is jus in da church. He understand dat many tings are holy an many time me an him sat right here on dis bank an listened to dat river an some time today hees come an sit wit me ere an try to under stand dat rivers story, for you see dat story it takes forever.

Li Jigeurs Mechif Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

A New Métis birth! Family Dance Troupe Is Born! By Davene Dunn and Caren Nagao Name: Date: Weight: Proud Parent:

Li Jigeurs Mechif September 30, 2006 Equal to 26 dancers of all ages Métis Nation Columbia River Society (Region Four )

étis dancing and culture have received a boost in the Columbia River area after a grant was received from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance and the Columbia Basin Trust, in May 2006.


In the first week of September, instructor Yvonne Chartrand offered weeklong Métis dancing course an intensive to both aboriginal and non-aboriginal citizens. It was well attended by all age groups ranging from four to 75. As a result of the training provided, a family dance troupe was formed and within five weeks was traveling out of town to perform. An honourarium of $500 gave the group the confidence and some musical resources to carry on. The group is called Li Jigeurs Mechif, which means Métis jiggers in Métis language. While dance was the medium for drawing out many Métis people, dancers found some very spectacular results. Seniors and elders, who are lonely come to watch, dance or play the spoons, sharing their stories, recipes and the michif language. One of the elders, who had not played the fiddle for 30 years, began to practice and is playing for the group, teaching the children and community Cree songs and new dance tunes. The children help teach Métis dance at the schools locally and they feel so

important and proud. Children of every nationality dance with the performers and love it.

Métis members of the troupe who do not dance are provided with wooden puppet jiggers, spoons or participate with traditional seated footwork; clogging. The community has invited the troupe to participate in many events. “We feel that we have made great strides, not to mention the pride of accomplishment within the Métis community,” said Métis Elder, Davene Dunn. “Recently, we have had the honour of being the fastest growing Métis community in British Columbia. Registration for provincial Métis citizenship This is undoubtedly a result of the exposure that the community has had to the Métis people.” The dance troupe was almost fully booked for June and July. Youth and elders volunteered, throughout June, to teach dance at the Golden Museum to children on field trips. As well, the troupe danced for and taught Métis groups in Cranbrook, Edgewater and Invermere. One of the dance teachers taught a local kindergarten class to dance, and they performed for their families at a Kindergarten year-end celebration.

crafts and sales table and a nanook draw,” said President, Ed Delisle. “Li Jigeurs Mechif provided dance and musical entertainment, as well as offering dance lessons to the audience. Our young fiddler’s group, The Young Strings Orchestra, played for the large crowd. Everyone enjoyed our demonstration of other traditional cultural activities like bannock making, wood carving and beading,” said Dance Instructor, Caren Nagao. “A highlight of the afternoon was when David Thompson, his Métis wife, Charlotte Small, and their small daughter, Fanny, entered the village. Four Métis voyageurs followed, carrying their canoe. Our Métis youth enjoyed their roles in replaying history.” The troupe’s latest honour has been a special invitation by the provincial Métis Nation BC president to perform at the annual general meeting in September. “We are very excited that our youth and elders, as well as those in between, will be able to share what we believe to be a very important part of our culture,” said Caren Nagao. For the dance troupe and the society, it has been a fantastic year. “As some of our ancestors would say, “Attache ta toque! (Hold on to your hat, there’s more to come!).”

In a celebration of Golden’s 50th Anniversary, David Thompson Days and Canada Day, the Métis association participated by setting up a Métis village. “We had a teepee, our Red River cart, an artifact display, Métis 79

Fall 2007

A Canadian Legend Part Five by Leanne Laberge (continued from Summer 2007 Whispering Winds)

Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia


he seasons have succumbed to natures will nigh on three dozen times since we first arrived in the northwest. Both the Township of Duck Lake, and the Mission town of St. Laurent have grown in earnest, as has my precious band of off spring. The Paquin home place is located just north of Duck Lake and southeast of St. Laurent. Although we do not live in town, news of Batoche across the river, Duck Lake, and St. Laurent reaches us daily via friends and neighbours There is no doubt that we love the land. All through the crushing summer cloudbursts on scorching summer days to the mosquitohazed madness of early fall berry picking/hunting. Winter brings with it the keen awareness of an eerie silence as it is suddenly broken by the ping of a tiny arrow shot by the mystical miniature hunters of Cree legends. Then we leap into mottles landscape of gumbo-clay, which can drag a grown man to his knees. Yet, as John James has stated to me often, “I do love this land Marie.” We all love the land and we love it all. Because it is ours, it is our home and because that has made us miss the Red River Valley a little less.

Fall 2007

It is the place where my Louisa, born on the trail from Red River, has grown to be an obedient, joyful and helpful girl. She is a wonderful bread maker. Her papa says it is due to her cow-milking duties, her butchering and salting the slabs of pork, and the various other farm chores which may well be better suited to a boy, but which have resulted in her becoming a hearty young woman with both physical and spiritual strength. “I am not just a farm hand,” Louisa frequently exclaims, “but I am the oldest.” Indeed, she is the eldest. After Louisa we were blessed with two fine boys, Arthur and Phillip. These two young lads are as dark as Louisa was fair. “Many of us were never given government titles for our land making it difficult to prove it is ours. Due to our collective fears, the conversation has quickly drifted towards the political climate of late.” She can be seen daily dragging the two disinterested youngsters about the farm hoping to spark their interest. Those same four blue-black eyes starred up at me as I presented them with a little sister, Charlotte is as bright and winsome a child as one could ever hope to encounter; she is indeed a little treasure. All were healthy and happy children until my last boy, Joseph, was born. Joe has many problems. He cannot walk or do much for himself and I 80

must admit that with his advanced size I am finding it more difficult to move him about. The elders say that he will not live for long, but in my heart I know that they are wrong. I pray to our Lord for guidance daily, and twice a year we ready the children and our family joins the communal pilgrimage to Our Lady of Lourdes shrine at St. Laurent. Like a mama duck I lead my little ones through the Stations of the Cross. Afterwards, most of the worshipers retire in the adjacent field to break bread and discuss the latest news. This year, 1884, has been a particularly difficult year for our people. Many of our company have married people from the local Indian reserves and now our problems are shared by them and their problems are shared by us. It is commonly known that the tribes are having a very difficult time. They are given little rations, yet forbidden from hunting. John James and I are angered that so many Métis have taken up the ways of the whites and are refusing to help our Indian brothers and sisters. Rumours had been circulating that our land is to be taken from us yet again and we are all both concerned and irate. Many of us were never given government titles for our land making it difficult to prove it is ours. Due to our collective fears, the conversation has quickly drifted towards the political climate of late.

A Canadian Legend Whispering Winds ...the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

“Surely their intention cannot be to take our homes!” Madam Dumas cries. She slices the edges of the salt pork that she has just soaked in fresh water and patted dry. It sizzles loudly as it hits the hot frying pan. But even the smells of meats and bannocks and fresh berries cannot distract us from these problems. “Were we not promised a homeland forever?” Madam continues. “AYE!” Old Deschampes declares, as he paces to and fro, “The promise of the Canadien is never to be trusted.” He spits angrily into the dust. “Gabriel and the others rode to my place a few weeks before they went south to get Riel.” John James interjected, lighting his clay-pipe, “they wanted my support in a resistance movement. While it is true we are petitioning to get our land titles before the Anglo come to sell off the land, it is also true that Riel is now called traitor by the Canadien, and that his word will not sway them to our cause. I reminded Gabriel that had Riel listened to my papa and uncle at Fort Garry he would not be thought a traitor today.” John James inhaled deeply, “ Chief Beardys does not want his tribe to get involved, he says that every time there is trouble his people suffer. The government sends then less provisions and bad farming tools. And now many of his people are also our people… perhaps this is not the time for the mice to anger the barn cats.”

“Riel may be a Traitor to the Canadien,” my Papa says, “but to many of us he is a hero. And Gabriel Dumont has never been one to go forth without thinking. I for one will follow their lead wherever that may take me! You, my fellow should be deciding just where his loyalties lie.” Papa glares at John James. “And you Marie, it is time for you to start thinking for yourself. Do you forget that your mama is ailing…must she be cast out yet again?” His tone fills me with shame. I remove the cooked bannock from the fry pans and hold my tongue. Have I forsaken my place as a devoted daughter for that of a devoted wife and mother? Can I not be both? We all leave the gathering today, lost in thought and filled with trepidation; what will 1885 bring? Must we be forsaken yet again? Are we to wonder lost and forlorn throughout this land we now call home? Can my dear mother’s heart stand the strain? Can any of our hearts stand the strain? Irresolute, I hold my young ones closely and pray to Mother Mary to guide me through an unpredictable future and hope that the good Lord will guard and protect us all in the days to come.

A Canadian Legend Part 5 in a 12 part series.

Watch for Part Six in the next edition of Whispering Winds!


Fall 2007


Recipes of the

1818 Fried Squirrel

1830 Indian Cornmeal Cake

Submitted by Leanne Laberge

Very good served with Bannock, spuds, and mustard greens. Rinse skinned squirrel in cold water then pat dry. Dip in Buttermilk and seasoned flour. Fry in hot fat. If Squirrel is old, drain fat, add 1 cup of water and cover to steam until tender. Remove Squirrel and make gravy by using left over Buttermilk and seasoned flour.

Mix together: 1 2/3 cups of sugar 1 cup of butter 8 eggs Add: 1 ½ cups of yellow cornmeal and 1 tsp. of salt. Beat all together. Then add: ½ cup of flour and mix again. Pour into a floured baking pan and bake in a moderate oven until golden.

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The City of Dawson Creek would like to congratulate Metis Nation British Columbia on their 10th Anniversary!


Lifestyle The City of Dawson Creek is the centre of the beautiful Peace River country and part of the ancestral Metis Homeland. As Mile Zero of the world famous Alaska Highway, our dynamic city prides itself on our Northern Hospitality. Located in the foothills of Northeastern British Columbia, surrounded by many lakes, rivers and streams, Dawson Creek and the surrounding area is truly a fourseason paradise. Come experience Northeastern BC, Dawson Creek style!


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Autumn 2007  

Métis and Aboriginal culture and news.

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