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Whispering Winds

A MĂŠtis Publication Spring 2007, Volume 3, Issue 2

Cover Photo courtesy of Ken Davies. See page 37 for bio and photography contest details.

Printed in Canada.

Message from the Publishers:

P ub l is h er s : Noel Minault & 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:

Noel and Diane, Publishers of Whispering Winds, congratulates the Métis Provincial Council of BC on their 10th anniversary. "We have been involved with MNBC for the last three years and have seen strong leadership develop this nation into an organized group of Métis citizens. Many hurtles have been overcome and we strong-­ ly believe that MNBC will come through and accomplish all of the items within the new 5 year plan that was recently adopted at the Métis Nation Governing Assembly! A special thanks goes to all of our contributors for this issue of Whispering Winds. We appreciate your hard work and want to encourage you to send in your articles and photos well in advance of each deadline. That way we have time to make your contribu-­ tion look fantastic. Next deadline is May 10th! Remember to send in high quality photos -­ if you have question about this, feel free to call. If space permits we will print your submission. If we do not receive it by the deadline then we will have to hold it over to the next edition. Editors Note: We do apologize to the Mayor of Dawson Creek, Calvin Kruk. In our haste to complete the Christmas issue we gave him a new Métis nickname, Calvin Hawk. Humour is a way of life in the Métis culture. We are sorry, Calvin. Noel & Diane.

Subscribe to Whispering Winds Subscriptions are available @ $28 per year. Send your cheque or money order (payable to Kiwetin Publishing & Marketing) to P.O. Box 1266, Vernon, BC V1T 6N6. Telephone: 250.558.7997 Toll Free: 1.866.558.7997

Fax: 250.558.4178 Email:

Deadline for material for the next iss ue of Whis pering Winds: May 10, 2007. The next issue of Whispering Winds will feature tourism, arts & culture. Publishers reserve the right to edit all material and to refuse controversial articles that may affect our Métis people.

Thank you...for making each issue of Whispering Winds a success!

Inside this issue of Whispering Winds

Journey to Oregon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Métis Nation BC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Careers & Education . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 The Métis Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Métis Youth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Regional Updates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 A Canadian Legend . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Heroine of the North . . . . . . . . . . . . .64

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

Message from President Dumont: Bruce Dumont

Taanshi kiya'wow / Bonjour Ta'wow / Bienvenue

Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) is proud to announce that this year marks our 10th anniversary as an organization that has evolved into a proud Métis Nation governance structure! MNBC leaders have agreed to use the term "Guiding our Métis Nation" as the theme to bring in this commemorative year. This is such an important year for all of us in the Métis Nation. Our work now and in the future is becoming increasingly important as we continue to ensure the long-­term survival of our unique Métis culture.

and there were over 150 in attendance from across the Province. MNBC organized an amazing cultural/talent show and the attendance by key dignitaries such as the Métis Nation of Alberta's President Audrey Poitras, Vancouver 2010 Olympic/Paralympic Chairperson Jack Poole and our Provincial Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Honorable Mike de Jong demonstrated the significant progress achieved by the Métis Nation British Columbia. The MNGA members were great ambassadors and the debates were respectful. This environment proved very successful for the MNGA to approve a number of the important resolutions that will now require final reading at our Annual General Meeting in Kelowna on September 21-­23, 2007. I believe the most important resolution was the passing of the MNBC pro-­ posed Elections Act. The Elections Act is proposed to be the Métis Nation's fourth piece of legislation and completes the final required piece of legislation outlined in the MNBC Constitution. The discussion regarding this resolution was lengthy but important. There were a number of key issues and our leaders had good discussion on the draft Elections Act. In the end the first reading passed by an overwhelming majority of the MNGA members. This was truly historic!

Since this past January I have been busy visiting Métis commu-­ nities from across this province and working with our Métis Nation leadership and staff at regional sessions held throughout the province. The regional sessions were well attended and I truly enjoyed my discussions with Métis community members. I have never forgotten the importance of listening to the needs expressed by many of you. Many of your points and conversa-­ tion assisted the MNBC design a five-­year business plan. Our leadership designed a strategy to meet the objectives of the Métis Nation Relationship Accord and we have been discussing this strategy since last September. The completion of regional sessions and internal work on draft-­ ing revised five-­year business plans was our priority. In February MNBC supported this by hosting a forum to support public awareness about the Métis Nation. The Education, Health, Child and Family Service forum was located in Victoria, BC. There were roughly 156 forum delegates in attendance and from all accounts this forum proved successful. A number of recommendations and follow up are currently being completed.

A number of other benchmarks have been achieved. The sign-­ ing of the Kelly Lake Métis Territorial Agreement, consistent Presidential Monthly Updates, business plan preparation by the Métis Nation leaders for 2007-­2008, and finally celebration of our first 10 years during the MNGA continues to energize my efforts as your President. I wish everyone well as we head into the spring season. Lets focus this year on celebrating this 10th anniversary with the thoughts of building a long and bright future for our children and families. Please accept my sincere appreciation for the increasing support on behalf of the MNBC Board of Directors and staff.

After the forum in February MNBC prepared for the Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA). The MNGA is continu-­ ing to grow and develop our Nation each year. The MNGA addressed twenty-­two (22) resolutions, the passing of our MNBC Five Year Business Plans, and a number of political/Ministerial reports. The MNGA was a huge success

Spring 2007

Bruce Dumont, President


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

Message from the Chief Executive Officer: MNBC staff was back at work the begin-­ ning of January to prepare for third quarter Federal and Provincial government Contribution Agreement reports. The MNBC staff coordinated over twenty (20) contribution agreement reports and has continued to address increased internal financial controls. MNBC staff is currently working on estab-­ lishing a new financial accounting system. The current Accpac financial software is not meeting the need for timely and effec-­ tive financial administration for the Nation. In fact, the MNBC is delivering roughly thirty (30) Contribution Agreements from a variety of sources. Due to this evolution it has become very important for the finan-­ cial software to be revised. Therefore MNBC will be launching a new software accounting system that will enable MNBC management to provide "real time" budg-­ ets, referred to as commitment accounting. A complete presentation will be provided at the 2007 MNBC Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Kelowna. The goal is to increase productivity with programs while supporting strong internal financial controls.

ing time as the Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) members approved the presentation outlining the needs required to approve a plan. A professional Business Plan document will be development that implements the completion of the Métis Nation British Columbia Provincial Survey. During the MNGA University of British Columbia representa-­ tive Dr. Mike Evans gave a preliminary review of the statistics received by the MNBC. Furthermore, the MNGA mem-­ bers were provided a lengthy overview and this proved to be very informative for the MNGA members and will certainly be very important for the Five-­Year Business Plan development. The next few months will be very exciting and MNBC staff is committed to complet-­ ing the professional product that will show-­ case an approved Five-­Year Plan. MNBC staff are working hard to have this product to the Métis communities by May 2007. Furthermore, the Business Plan will be showcased at the Annual General Meeting in Kelowna.

The MNBC Human Resource Committee completed a revised Human Resource Manual for all MNBC employees. The new MNBC Human Resources Manual updated all job descriptions, salary scale remuneration, and an updated employee evaluation process. The Human Resource committee will implement the revised Human Resource Manual April 1, 2007.

Finally the MNBC is completing all auditing processes to ensure the MNBC financial statements can be completed in a timely fashion for 2006-­2007. MNBC is on target to meet all administrative targets and will present a strong audit at the Annual General Meeting. The implemen-­ tation of an MNBC Finance Committee has proven effective and has maintained strong financial controls.

Finally MNBC staff is preparing for 2007-­ 2008 and coordinating such planning with the MNBC leadership and the recently approved Five-­Year Plan. This is an excit-­

Thank you to the Métis community leaders and citizens for the ongoing support.

Keith Henry

M NB Ce lebra te C 10 t th An he It is n ive rs time a ry! to p M NB la C An n yo ur at nual t end S ep anc Ge C ele br a te t emb er 2 nera l Me e at the our 1 1 - 23 eting G 0 ,2 Wat c ra nd Ok yea r Ann 007. h fo r a na ga ive rs a d ry n E dit i eta ils and in K elow at the on o f a n W his g end a i n a. p e r in t he J g W in une I t's a ds! fam i ly af f air !

Keith Henry, CEO


Spring 2007

A Métis Family’s Struggle (continued from December 2006, Whispering Winds)

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

A Red River Métis Family: Family Journey to Oregon Territory, 1841 Tales of their journey by Ron Nunn, Penticton, BC, Part 2

In part one of our story, the Métis party of 121, from Red River, left with women, children, oxen, horses and Red River carts for Oregon Territory, 3,000 miles away. The first big challenge to the Sinclair Party of Métis was the mighty Saskatchewan River, running high and fast with spring run off. Rafts were built and carts loaded with belong-­ ings, women and children. The rafts then were floated out into the current with the men on horseback guiding the rafts. All was going well until two rafts broke loose. The first raft was quickly brought back under control, but the other one drifted dangerously down stream. The other Métis who had made it safe-­ ly across the Saskatchewan River, leapt to the rescue and averted disaster. The raft, with its cargo and people, was roped and safely brought ashore. No further incidents occurred during the river crossing. The wheels were set back on the carts, goods loaded, and the party set off for Edmonton House. Guide James Bird wrote, in his later journal, that the mosquitoes were awful, bedeviling man and beast. The Métis party arrived at Fort Carlton, south of Edmonton House on June 10th. Fort Carlton, built in 1810, was an important point for the fur trade. It was originally at the con-­ fluence of the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers but in was moved several times. The fort was permanently moved 90 miles upstream from the junction of the streams of the Saskatchewan River. The party stopped only briefly and set out again for Fort Pitt also on the North Saskatchewan River situated near the present day border of Saskatchewan and Alberta (north of Lloydminster and west of Spring 2007

Frenchman Butte), and arrived on July 10th. The Métis immigrants were tired from their arduous journey and rested for a week at the fort. Arriving at Fort Edmonton at the end of July, their leader, James Sinclair, received a note from Governor Simpson. The governor had just been at Fort Edmonton a few days ago. The party that Simpson traveled with had the finest horses, the best canoes and the most skilled Métis Voyagers. Unlike the Sinclair party, they had no families to slow them down. Governor Simpson left orders for James Sinclair to take the Athabaska crossing over the Rockies, then travel south to the Columbia River, and trace its route to Fort Vancouver on the Pacific coast. Fort Vancouver was in what is present day Washington State. James Sinclair ignored the orders of Governor Simpson. He chose instead to seek out new paths through the Rockies -­ some that only Indians had traveled. When the party left Fort Edmonton on its way to what is today, the district of Canmore, they were in hostile Indian territory. The Blackfoot, Assiniboine, Peigan and Cree fought pitched battles over the disputed terri-­ tory. The group found themselves surrounded by hostile Indians and hid out until nightfall, then swam their horses across frigid rivers and streams. They arrived safely at the Métis immigrant's camp. As the immigrant party went south, they rested at Lake Minnewanka, near present day Banff. It was now early September and the Métis families faced perhaps their greatest challenge -­ the Rocky Mountains. Their guide, James Bird, left the party to return to Red River. And a Cree chief by the name of Macipictoon, also called Crooked Arm (due to a physical defor-­ mity), was engaged as a guide. 6

After they crossed the Bow River, the party soon realized that the mountain terrain would be impassible to the Red River carts. The carts were abandoned and all the goods were loaded on the oxen and horses. The party set out on their high country challenge. What happened next is best described by John Flett, in a Tacoma Daily Ledger article: "The oxen were unused to this mode of trav-­ eling, and were frightened, and a stampede ensued. Then what a sight, oxen bellowing, kicking, running;; horses neighing, rearing, plunging;; children squalling;; women crying;; men swearing, shouting and laughing;; while the air seemed full of blankets, kettles, packs of pots, pans and jerked buffalo. At last the cattle were again secured, all of our goods that could be found were gathered up, and the remnants repacked and we started again." Crooked Arm led then through the White Man Pass with three new babies in tow, born on the trail west. The party emerged from the Rocky Mountains not far from the headwaters of the Kootenay River. They followed the stream southwestward to the Kootenay River. The mighty Columbia was ahead of them, but their adventures were not finished. Sweat and tears lie ahead of them and worst of all … betrayal. To be continued June 2007, Whispering Winds

Métis Provincial Council of BC Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Canada's New Government Supports the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia Vancouver, February 24, 2007 -­ On behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, Jim Abbott, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage today announced funds of $146,369 for the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia. These funds will support the council's day-­to-­day operations. "The Métis people have a rich cultural heritage," said Minister Oda. "We are proud to support this organization to ensure that the Métis people continue to have a voice in British Columbia and in Canada." "Canada's New Government is committed to enabling Aboriginal people to fully participate in the social, political, economic and cultural life of the country," said Mr. Abbott. "We are pleased to sup-­ port the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia." "The help that such financial support will bring to the Métis Nation is crucial for our long term sustainability", said Bruce Dumont, President of the Métis Nation of British Columbia." "The Métis Nation has continued to leverage this fund-­ ing to support a number of Métis specific initiatives each year that continue to

address the socio-­economic needs of our New Government will provide funding Métis communities." through the Aboriginal Organizations component of the Aboriginal Peoples' "The Métis people have a rich cul-­ Program. This Department of Canadian tural heritage," said Minister Oda. Heritage program aims to maintain a "We are proud to support this consultative framework of Inuit, Métis organization to ensure that the and Non-­Status Indian representative Métis people continue to have a organizations through which govern-­ ments can address the social, economic, voice in British Columbia and in political, and cultural issues affecting the Canada." lives of Canada's Aboriginal peoples. This funding will enable the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia to continue to consult members, address their needs and concerns, and work with various levels of government on behalf of its constituency. In addition, the fund-­ ing will work to build the capacity of the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia to maintain communications with its membership, including those in remote communities, and to enhance community input into policy and pro-­ gram development processes. The Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia is an Aboriginal organization that represents the rights and inter-­ ests of Métis people living in British Columbia. Canada's

Information: Véronique Bruneau, Press Secretary Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women Telephone: (819) 997-­7788 Donald Boulanger, A/Chief Media Relations Canadian Heritage Telephone: (819) 994-­9101 (This news release is available on th e

Internet: under Media Room.) Canadian Heritage, News Release.

President Dumont, Senator Gerry St. Germain and Jim Abbott, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage 7

Spring 2007

2010 Aboriginal Business Summit Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Aboriginal Business Summit

Prepared by VANOC and the Four Host First Nations Secretariat. In three short years, the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will welcome the world to the shared ancestral territories of the Four Host First Nations -­ the Lil'wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-­Waututh.

Chief Leah George -­ Wilson Tsleil-­Waututh First Nation

Hereditary Chief Bill Williams Squamish First Nation

This February, Aboriginal people from across Canada gathered in Vancouver to participate in the Tourism British Columbia 2010 Aboriginal Business Summit. "It's inspiring to have so many members of our First Nations, Inuit and Métis at one event, sharing ideas that can benefit our communities and create legacies across the country," said Chief Gibby Jacob, Squamish Nation Hereditary Chief and Member of the Board of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). Jacob delivered the first of four keynote addresses during the Summit, followed by the Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia;; the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-­ Whistler Olympics, and John Furlong, VANOC CEO.

Gary Youngman, Consulting Director Aboriginal Participation, VANOC

Organized by the Four Host First Nations (FHFN), Province of British Columbia, Government of Canada and VANOC, the Summit brought together

more than 500 First Nations, Inuit and Métis business leaders representing nine provinces and territories. Over the two-­day Summit, delegates attended informative workshops on a variety of subjects including: Building, Supplying and Servicing the 2010 Games;; Retail and Licensing Opportunities, Arts and Culture;; and Aboriginal Tourism. Information was provided on the opportunities available, relevant timelines and suggestions for steps that should be taken. The Summit ended on an inspirational note with the final keynote address from VANOC CEO, John Furlong. Sharing stories of his recent trip to Northern Canada, and of his days of coaching in Northern BC, Furlong emphasized the importance of continuing to work together and encouraged everyone to embrace the spirit of Canada's Games. Four Host First Nations Launch their Logo The highlight of the Summit was undoubtedly the official unveiling of the FHFN logo on February 1st. The Chiefs of the FHFN -­ Chief Leonard Andrew (Lil'wat), Chief Ernest Campbell (Musqueam), Chief Bill Williams (Squamish) and Chief Leah George-­Wilson (Tsleil-­Waututh) -­ were joined on stage by the Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier of British

Four Host First Nation’s Chiefs & dignitaries at Logo Launch Spring 2007


2010 Aboriginal Business Summit Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Vancouver 2010 Columbia;; Jack Poole, VANOC Chairman;; and Tewanee Joseph, Executive Director and CEO of the FHFN Secretariat. Together they shared words of respect, inspiration, gratitude, and partnership, before revealing the logo to the 550 guests in attendance. Designed by Squamish Nation artist Jody Broomfield, the logo features four faces representing the four First Nations on whose ancestral territories the Games will be held -­ Lil'wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-­Waututh. The logo reflects the unique culture and spirit of the FHFN -­ respecting each other and working cooperatively -­ united with-­ in the circle of life. The rim of the logo represents the Creator and the ancestors who watch over their communities, while the design at the centre represents the people of the four Nations holding their hands up to welcome the people of the world to their traditional territories. "This was an important day for us -­ not only for the Four Host First Nations but for all Indigenous peoples, said Tewanee Joseph, Executive Director and CEO of the FHFN Secretariat. "This is the first time in Olympic and Paralympic history that Indigenous peoples have been recog-­ nized as partners in the Games. Billions of people around the world will see our mark alongside the Olympic rings -­ this is significant."

Four Host First Nations Coin Unveiled as Par t of 2010 series On February 2, one day after the FHFN officially launched their logo, the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-­ Whistler Olympics, had the honour of unveiling a new collector coin featuring the FHFN logo. Minister Emerson was joined on stage by the FHFN Chiefs and Susan Dujmovic, a Board Member of the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) The coin is part of a series of 36 collector coins and 17 circulation coins being issued by the RCM over three years in celebration of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. "We are very pleased to have minted the emblem of the Four Host First Nations of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games," said Ian Bennett, CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "This collector coin is a worthy tribute to the people of the four First Nations, whose traditions and steward-­ ship of an exceptional part of Canada has made it possible for Vancouver and Whistler to host the world at the 2010 Winter Games." The coin is 14-­karat gold, has a face value of $75, and will go on sale in February 2008.

Premier of British Columbia Gordon Campbell

Tewanee Joseph, Executive Director, Four Host First Nations

Winning Logo Artist, Jody Broomfield & Susan Dujmovic, Board Member of Royal Canadian Mint

Four Host First Nations Olympic collector coin unveiled. 9

Spring 2007

Kelly Lake Territory Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Kelly Lake

Kelly Lake Métis community makes his-­ tory February 17, 2007 when they sign the first Métis Nation Territorial Affiliation Agreement in British Columbia.


Lyle Letendre, Kelly Lake Métis leader, joined Bruce Dumont, Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) president and Dan Pope, MNBC northeast regional director in signing the historic document in front of over 40 Kelly Lake Métis com-­ munity residents, Feb. 17.

Territorial Affiliation Agreement

“This is truly historic and our community is committed to building a strong nation for all Métis people in this province,” said Letendre during the ceremony. “People must remember that today we have accepted our first ever community consti-­ tution. The Kelly Lake Métis Territory Constitution shows that the Métis people in Kelly Lake want to self-­govern.

We have discussed developing a constitu-­ tion for our Métis community for years and now it is finally here. This is why I supported the need to work with the MNBC and sign the Métis Nation Territorial Affiliation Agreement.” MNBC and Kelly Lake Métis leadership will immediately focus on meeting objec-­ tives in health, housing, education, eco-­ nomic opportunities, renewal of the tripar-­ tite processes, and Métis identification and data collection, identified in the Métis Nation Relationship Accord signed with the provincial government in May 2006. MNBC is continuing to revise all areas of Métis Nation governance in British Columbia and has already signed Métis Nation Community Governance Charters with 34 other Métis community associa-­ tions.

New Board is sworn in.

Kelly Lake Métis Territory President signs agreement with MNBC President Bruce Dumont. Spring 2007


Bruce presents President, Lyle Letendre, with the MNBC sash to honour this occasion.

Kelly Lake Territory Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia During the Métis Nation governance restructuring MNBC leadership identified the historic importance for Métis people in Kelly Lake and the need to recognize the unique historic characteristics defin-­ ing this community, stated a press release on the event. “Therefore MNBC spent the last year working with Kelly Lake Métis president Lyle Letendre to design and negotiate the Kelly Lake Métis Territory Constitution and the Métis Nation Territorial Affiliation Agreement.

MNBC northeast regional director Dan Pope also commented on the unity. “The need for the Métis communities in north-­ east British Columbia to be united is very important to me. For years the Métis communities in our northeast region have remained fragmented. The inclusion of the Kelly Lake Métis community is another step in rebuilding our region and our province.”

“The signing of this agreement and sup-­ port to develop the Kelly Lake Métis Territory Constitution was very important to all Métis citizens in British Columbia,” said MNBC president Bruce Dumont. “It is a true sign of the renewed unity for the Métis citizens of British Columbia.”

Bruce congratulates Kelly Lake Métis. Walter Andreeff, bp, Canada Energy Company and Tony Savard

G et yo u r c op y o f

Whispering Winds:

d el ive r ed t o yo ur door! Grand Opening of Headstart Day Care program in Kelly Lake.


Whispering Winds :

It’s easy! Subscriptions are available @ $28 per year. Send your cheque or money order (payable to Kiwetin Publishing & Marketing) to P.O. Box 1266, Vernon, BC V1T 6N6

Industry partners Mike Caisley, Tumbler Ridge Mayor;; Caroline Campbell, Elder;; Dan Pope, Region 7 Rep and Greg Dueck, Peace Energy 11

Spring 2007

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

Métis Nation British Columbia

Ministry of Education Kay Dahl The Government of British Columbia identified the five great goals to be achieved by 2015. One of these goals is to make British Columbia the best-­educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent. Métis Nation British Columbia is taking progressive steps to assist the Provincial Government achieve this goal in conjunction with the Métis Nation Relationship Accord and to ensure effective Métis education that reflects today’s realities and the needs of Métis citizens. The MNBC is developing our vision regarding Education in British Columbia. Education is a key objective of the MNBC’s vision and as such we must be involved in every aspect of education. This requires meaningful input into Early Childhood Development programming, the Kindergarten to Grade 12 school cur-­ riculum, and post-­secondary education. The MNBC continues to be challenged with identifying where the gaps are in all levels of education. We know that Métis curriculum is being introduced but this is only a small part of what we believe must be a long-­term solution in education. Building relationships with our Métis

Spring 2007

communities and involving them in all 4. Increase engagement in Aboriginal education programs will define Métis Enhancement Agreements culturally relevant support programs in Educating our citizens and maximizing all levels of education. their academic and cultural potential is The Métis Nation British Columbia has the key to success for any nation. been seeking new relationships with the Education assists children understand Ministry of Education, the Ministry of their culture and creates pride in knowing Advanced Education, and Early Learning who they are. Such a strong foundation and Child Care. These relationships will leads to long-­term social and economic provide the Provincial Government with improvements. a Métis perspective on legislation and The Ministry of Education supports a policy development, as well as improving holistic approach to education by recog-­ our awareness as a distinct Aboriginal nizing the importance of Health;; Child people. and Family Development and Housing in The MNBC Ministry of Education has the future success of all Métis students. identified four goals that will lead us through MNBC’s five-­year plan, and Kay Dahl, guide us as we eliminate the barriers that Métis Nation British Columbia stand in our way. 1. Self-­identification: improve the collec-­ tion of accurate and reliable data in all levels of education 2. Métis Curriculum Development & Integration: culturally specific & rele-­ vant 3. Increase the number of qualified Métis educators in British Columbia


Minister of Education

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

Life Long Learning... By Colleen Hodgson, Director of Education, MNBC

We begin our education when we are born into this world and continue learn-­ ing until we leave it. One of the most significant events in our life is our first day of school. I have an acute memory of standing on the cracked sidewalk in front of our rental house. Myself and my sister and two brothers, freshly scrubbed faces and our new school clothes. We all nodded our heads when our Mom told us that as soon as we got home that we had to put our old clothes back on. And thus began my journey in education. I spent the first nine years on a school bus, or so it seemed. Every time we moved it was further away from town and a longer bus ride. We finally moved into the far north where there were no buses. We would help our Mom pack in the day’s wood and then start class. The schoolroom was a 12 by 12 kitchen in an industrial trailer parked at the bottom

of a mountain, our teacher’s name was Mom. Mom had done her best to spruce up the place with new curtains she made from bed sheets and some pretty wild looking Mac-­Tac on the walls. My edu-­ cation continued. Some of the lessons included running a trap line, learning how to survive when it was –50 degrees Fahrenheit, and making moss berry jam.

We don’t always have the opportunity to know who we are and be engaged in our heritage and culture. As an educator and as a Métis citizen, I am distinctly aware of the need for our culture to be present at every level of education. It is who we are.

Colleen Hodgson, Director of Education Métis Nation British Columbia Years later I left our home on the moun-­ Telephone: (604) 329-­1109 tain to pursue a post secondary educa-­ Email: tion. When my plane was circling Vancouver airport, I stopped breathing and broke out into a cold sweat. I later learned that this was called “Culture Shock”. After some twists and turns on life’s road, I began my journey as an educator. We are all teachers and we are all learners. The classroom is often Life, and the lesson plans are not always easy to under-­ stand.

Colleen Hodgson, Director of Education

Kim Hodgson with sister, Colleen.


Spring 2007

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

Education & Training

Opportunities Abound!

By Pamela den Ouden


ven with the brisk economy throughout northeastern British Columbia, many people are choos-­ ing to take advantage of training opportu-­ nities available through public post-­sec-­ ondary institutions and private-­sector training providers. For Métis people, among others, there are funding opportu-­ nities as well. Marlin Ratch, MNBC Employment and Training Coordinator at the Abbotsford office, says part of his job is to "move people towards employment" by provid-­

Not all the programs focus on the oil and gas industry. Construction trades training takes place in Abbotsford, with a mobile training unit for other areas of the province. Students can take Carpentry Levels 1-­4, in addition to other construc-­ tion trades, including pile driving and interior systems mechanics.

Ratch spoke highly of the instructors in ing training programs and funding. "Lots the programs, mentioning their excellent of people come through our doors, and credentials and industry experience: "One our main purpose is to help them upgrade instructor had five Red Seal tickets," he said. their skills." With a "significant need" for training because of a general shortage of skilled trades workers, these programs are filling a need for both men and women. Ratch said that many women are drawn to fin-­ ishing carpentry and cabinetry work, although women have also participated in The Bear Training Institute near Red Deer, Alberta, is a partner that provides the oil and gas field programs. the training. Students in the course train "We try to find out what is best and most for 24 days straight, 12 hours a day. important for the client," said Ratch, him-­ "Many of them have little or no previous self a trained trades person, formerly experience," said Ratch. "They're seclud-­ working as a chef, and then as an employ-­ ed in residences. We're getting them phys-­ ment counselor. "We move people ically and mentally ready to be on the towards employment, so we talk with them more about what job they want, not job." One very successful venture, the Oil and Gas Roughneck program, has resulted in 80% employment among graduates of the course. "We've had 48 students in three courses, with about a 97% graduation rate," said Ratch.

According to Ratch, team-­building, group dynamics, and self-­esteem are all part of the training "boot camp." Students also do ENFORM training for drilling and serv-­ ice rigs. Industry partners, like Encana and Trinidad Drilling, have supported the programs with equipment and test rigs. In addition, said Ratch, "safety is the first thing and the last thing." With people from all over the province participating in the training, the courses have been a "fantastic success." Ratch said that Service Canada provides fund-­ ing through the Métis Human Resources Development Agreement (MHRDA). Métis students learn "hands-­on" on oilrig. Spring 2007

"They're an extra-­good partner, and are the keystone to program dollars."


Careers & Education Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia Other education and training oppor-­ tunities are also available in the northeast. Northern Lights College, with campuses in eight communi-­ ties, provides programs covering a wide range, including Adult Basic Education (ABE), academic, career technical, trades, and workforce training. The two largest campuses, at Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, have new residences with dormito-­ ry-­type facilities: rooms have either two bedrooms or four-­bedrooms, with a common kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Verna Collins-­ Amos, the residence manager at the Fort St. John campus, says that for the price of $350-­$375 a month, stu-­ dents get "a real bargain. They have easy access to the college, and they can study together." With current and predicted future shortages of skilled trades workers, Photo courtesy of Northern Lights College. many students are enrolling in entry-­ about what schooling they'd like to have." level trades training, apprenticeships, and The employment counseling offered con-­ short-­term training. siders shorter-­term, less expensive train-­ Programs at Northern Lights College ing with good possibilities of employ-­ include Aircraft Maintenance ment at the end. Engineering, Automotive Service Technician, Heavy Duty / Commercial Transport Technician, Welding, Millwright, Forest Resources Technician, Plumbing, and Steamfitter / Pipefitter. Oil and Gas Field Operations and Residential Construction ready people for the workforce in a short time. Although the main campus of the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is in Prince George, UNBC offers academic courses throughout the northeast by distance delivery as Lindon Pinay, VANASEP, presents cheque to well as face-­to-­face. The North Malonie Langthorne, MNBC 15

East Native Advancing Society (NENAS), as the Aboriginal Human Resource Department Agreement Holder for northeastern B.C. and as a registered post-­secondary institution, offers training and employment assistance to all First Nations, Status, Non-­Status, and Inuit people residing in the area. Cindy Rost, Industry and Trades Liaison Officer, says that NENAS tries to "fill the gaps," with mentorship programs and employment and job readiness skills training. This summer, NENAS will offer "GoKarts for Girls," for 12-­to-­15-­year-­old girls. Rost said the program will run in four different locations-­one urban and three on-­reserve: "It's to expand girls' options into the trades." It's always the right time to seek further education and training, and opportunities are wide open in the northeast. Pamela den Ouden has lived in Fort St. John for 30 years. A former weekly news-­ paper editor, she is a partner in Bear Print Writing Services.

Photo courtesy of Northern Lights College. Spring 2007

Spring 2007


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

The Métis Skills and Employment Centre Enters Its Second Year ... and still growing! Submitted by MHRDA Management In May 2006, the doors opened at the Métis Skills and Employment Centre (MSEC) focusing on construction trades and a solid partnership with the Vancouver Aboriginal Skills Employment Partnership (VanAsep). The centre set out to improve the abili-­ ty of Aboriginal people to gain entry certificates in the construction field. “Running four CORE programs this year has proven to be the opportunity our students needed to enter the con-­ struction trades,” said Malonie Langthorne, Director of Employment and Training. “Industry is in desperate need for workers, and they desire individuals that want to be there and have safety training and certi-­ fication, that is what we provide with the CORE program.” Many of the CORE gradu-­ ates will be returning in April for their first year of Carpentry Apprenticeship. So successful was the CORE programs for VanAsep that it has now become Government recognized and is to become a high school delivered course with credits towards gradua-­ tion. It will also be delivered in the summer by MSEC for students in grades 10-­12 in part-­ nership with school districts. Talks are under-­

way to pilot this new CORE for credits ver-­ sion this summer. The centre is now moving into a new exciting phase. The Public Career Training Institutes Agency (PCTIA) has accredited the school and soon Industry Training Authority (ITA) accreditation will follow. “This means we will be on par with other trades training institu-­ tions like BCIT and other training centres around BC,” said Marlin Ratch, MHRDA Regional Development Coordinator. “We hope to be delivering before this time next year courses for the full Carpentry Red Seal trades training, Interiors System Mechanics (Ceiling and Drywall), and Pile Driving.” The centres current main instructor is Dick Ainsworth. Dick holds five trade certifica-­ tions, is a twenty-­five year veteran BCIT instructor. Not only has Dick been an instruc-­ tor, he has developed various programs, and has many years experience working in the construction industry. Dick has been such a tremendous asset to the MNBC Employment


and Training program and the school. It is not often you can find a man of Dick’s qualifica-­ tions and be able to coax him out of retire-­ ment to teach in an untested program and institution. “His contribution to our centre is tremendous and a big reason for the success we have had to date,” said Malonie. “It is truly an apprentice and master relationship we have going on in our school.” The MSEC starts its first Carpentry level pro-­ gram April 2nd. The centre strives this year to offer other levels of Carpentry (2&3), Interior Systems and Pile Driving. All of the various VanAsep Partner Centers will deliver an array of different courses over the next year. Included are: Iron Work, Plumbing, Welding, Heavy Equipment and other trades. For more information on any constructions trades programs or advice, contact your Regional Employment and Training staff or the MSEC at 1.888.850.0832.

Spring 2007

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

Eric Meinders In December 2006, the VanAsep Training Society hosted a Christmas luncheon and awarded four students with “Student of the Year” awards inclusive of a cheque for $500.00.

Student Success Stories

One of our CORE students Eric Meinders was a recipient of this award. Eric is now working full time for Cornerstone Construction in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Congratulations, Eric!

Dawn Patenaude I took the course Home Support/Residential Care Aide through the North Island College. If I didn’t have the support of the Vancouver Island Regional Metis Employment and Training I would not have been able to take this course. Also, with the positive attitude that came with the people at the office, I am greatly appreciative. So, thank you so much. I am now doing a career that I enjoy. I started with the Campbell River Home Support on September 21, 2006. I usually work five days a week, with roughly 20-­30 hours a week. Now, with this job, I am able to spend more time with my children.

Danica Hemmerling Interior Academy of Hair Design & Esthetics Received funding from the MNBC – Thompson Okanagan Region. Danica completed the esthetics program and gained employment at a local spa. Danica has always known what industry she wanted to work within, thoroughly enjoyed school and would eventually like to own and operate her own spa. Danica was invited to BC Skills Competition and placed first in Nail Technology.

Justin Enockson Peace Officer Community Skills Centre – Surrey, BC Justin has successfully completed his program and is now employed with Corrections Services Canada working in a provincial correctional centre as an inmate guard. He highly recommends this program to anyone interested in law enforcement.

Spring 2007


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

More Success Stories Katrina Judge

Christina Patterson Administration, The B.E.S.T. Center I had been out of the work force for six months and applied for funding through the MNBC Employment and Training office in Prince George BC to attend the B.E.S.T. Center to take the Business Essentials pro-­ gram. I was accepted and have improved my skills for employment greatly. Since my completion I have working at the North Central Regional Office of MNBC and am utilizing the skills I learned. My self–esteem and confidence is improved a lot. Thank You.

Jim Savard Jim Savard was injured in a falling accident and lost the use of his legs. He has not let that stop him from enjoying and participating in life to the fullest, as he says “I am the full wheel deal!” Jim is very active in the local Metis community where he sits on the Northwest BC Metis Association. He also is the act-­ ing president of the Terrace Metis Elders Group. Jim is a fluent Cree speaker and looks forward to helping others with Michif and Cree languages. Jim approached the MHRDA about some skills enhance -­ ment for self-­employment and volunteer work. Jim received his certification in Food Safe Level 1 and Food Safe Level 11 (for managers). The rumor has it that there will be a “Buffalo Burger Cart” in the Terrace area as soon as it is warm enough to set up. Congratulations Jim!


I am 20 years old and was born June 21, 1985 in Dawson Creek, B.C. I lived in the Dawson Creek area until I turned 18 when I left for a year to travel in New Zealand and Australia. While I was away I went to different spas and got to experi-­ ence a new take on spa treatment in another country. These experiences made me interested in this occupa-­ tion. I could see myself doing very well in that envi-­ ronment, as I love making my friends and family feel and look great. I decided to come to Kelowna for school because once you have lived in a hot country it is hard to go back to the north! Since being at Marvel I have learned many things-­ not just about esthetics but also people in general. Our first cycle began learning procedures for sanita-­ tion and disinfection and how infection control and cleanliness is one of the most import aspects of this industry. Manicures, pedicures, waxing, tinting and artificial nails were practiced in the spa for 5 weeks on clients. Next we learned about facials and back treatments in Cycle 2. Anatomy, chemistry, electrici-­ ty and physiology are a few more chapters we stud-­ ied. Cycle 3 brought us to learn relax massages, body polish and other body wrap treatments, hot stone therapy and reflexology. By working in the spa on "real clients" we had the opportunity to practice our people skill, interact with those not associated in the school, upsell and sell retail items. While I enjoy doing all the treatments my favourite thing to do and learn about are body treatments and facials. I would like to take more advanced courses such as microder-­ mabrasion and laser. My education and experience here at Marvel wouldn't have been possible without help from MNBC. They funded me for my schooling and related needs and gave me the opportunity to pur-­ sue a career in this industry. Thank you everyone for all of your time and energy and for helping me get to where I am now!

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


LADERUNNERS is an internationally recognized, award winning employment program assist-­ ing multi-­barrier and disadvantaged youth in gaining on the job experience in various fields including construction training and apprenticeships. Participants are referred by pre-­employment programs, past and/or pres-­ ent BLADERUNNERS and community organizations. BLADERUNNERS is a non-­partisan pro-­ gram that works in partnership with ACCESS, MNBC, Employers, Trades Organizations, Unions, Community Organizations, Government and the Aboriginal Community to increase opportu-­ nities for youth in British Columbia. BladeRunners: • Identifies and recruits candidates aged 15 to 30 who have multiple barriers to employment. • Prepares participants for job placement with job readiness skills through a struc-­ tured standardized training program. • Provides participants with local meaning-­ ful work experience through on the job training to enhance their long-­term employment prospects. • Creates on going support for participants to ensure long-­term attachment to the workforce, and where possible, laddering individuals into apprenticeship positions in the trades. • Identifies, creates, maintains and strength-­ ens partnerships with key stakeholders such as youth, community organizations, employers, trade unions, post-­secondary institutions, and various levels of govern-­ ment.

Spring 2007

H ow B l a de Ru n ne r s Wo r k s The BladeRunners model ensures overall consistency, continuity, integrity and identity through a provincially standardized service delivery model that reflects the original intent and purpose of the program, yet at the same time offers regional flexibility. The BladeRunners model is built on the foun-­ dation of cooperation, success and measura-­ ble results for all. These are outlined in the BladeRunners mandate and objectives. The participant, employer/industry and the BladeRunners coordinator work closely to ensure that all partners benefit and partici-­ pants succeed. The Métis Nation BC MHRDA (Employment and Training) has signed a service delivery agreement to delivery BladeRunner services to the Prince George area. The program's first intake of youth participants will be in late March.

Or for more information on the program try "We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Community Services."

For more information or to register for the program please con-­ tact David Segerts, Bl adeR unner s P r o g r a m Coordinator, at 1-­250-­961-­2177.

BladeRunners is supported by: BladeRunner Provincial General Meeting -­ David Segerts -­ MNBC BladeRunner Program Coordinator, Darcy Castaneda -­ Provincial BladeRunner Coordinator, Doreen Spence -­ MNBC MHRDA Program Coordinator, Marlin Ratch MNBC MHRDA Regional Development 20

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

Education / Health / Child and Family Services

Forum 2007

MNBC Showcases Métis Nation Relationship Accord with the Provincial Government.

Victoria, February 9, 2007 -­ An exciting forum was hosted by MNBC to share the new MNBC vision in Education, Health, and Child and Family Health service. Over 125 people attended this forum, many of whom were visiting an MNBC event for their first time.

ness as to who the Métis are as a distinct Aboriginal people and the future of the Métis Nation British Columbia five-­year strategies. The MNBC targeted the Ministries of Education, Advanced Education, Health, and Child and Family Development.

The purpose of this forum was to increase Provincial Government Ministry aware-­

This event gave participants an opportu-­ nity to explore the purpose of the MNVC Centralized Registry and the establish-­ ment of the citizenship process. The speakers were able to identify the strate-­ gies that support increased education suc-­ cess at all levels of education, promote holistic, high quality education and learn-­ ing experiences that respond to the needs of Métis individuals and their families.

Dave Hodgson, Minister of Child and Family Services

MNBC created an awareness of the Métis Nation BC Health plan and community wellness ventures. They showed how they provide for culturally relevant pro-­ grams to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent chronic diseases and injuries with British Columbia's thirty-­five Métis com-­ munities.

No Métis event is complete without a band…

...without Métis Jiggers and..

The forum speakers also confirmed to this audience the Métis Child and Family Services course of self-­determination and renewed commitment in leadership and setting the standards of Métis service and accountability.

Dean Trumbley, MNBC Chief of Operations

Spring 2007

Those attending the event were treated to traditional music (fiddles, guitars and the wash basin), Red River jigging and vocals. Bev Lambert, MNBC's Métis jig-­ ger, and Rene Therrien, Minister of Culture and master fiddler organized the entertainment throughout the day while Henry Hall, Director of Cultural Services, showcased Métis historical artifacts and artwork. 22

...without culture, Henry Hall, Director of Culture.

Careers & Education Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia (contnued from previous page) Citizenship registry clerks were on hand with the many books and sources where Métis genealogy can be researched. All reports from the participants and the organizers say the forum was very suc-­ cessful! Keith Henry, MNBC CEO, stat-­ ed, "I feel the day was very successful.

We were able to truly showcase our Métis culture and our determination to enhance the relationship between all Provincial Government ministries and assist the Métis Nation in building that new rela-­ tionship. MNBC has taken progressive steps to assist the provincial government achieve the Five Great Goals in conjunc-­

tion with the Métis Nation Relationship Accord and to ensure effective Métis services that reflect today's realities and the needs of Métis citizens."

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

IN SEARCH OF MÉTIS ELDERS! The Métis Nation British Columbia is developing a Provincial Elders Committee. The committee will support the development of culturally appropri-­ ate programs and services for Métis Elders throughout British Columbia. The committee will also have opportunities to evaluate existing public health and other social programs providing service to Elders. Ultimately, the committee will be a mechanism to mobilize and empower Métis Elders to par-­ ticipate in the design and evaluation of programs and services affecting them. If you are a Métis Elder with an interest in social advocacy please contact the MNBC Ministry of Health by telephone, email or regu-­ lar post, on or before May 15, 2007. Committee members will be select-­ ed based on communications abili-­ ty and suitability. MNBC Ministry of Health 255-­560 Johnson Street Victoria, BC, V8W 3C6 Toll Free: Telephone: Email:

1.866.293.1504 250.220.8450

MNBC ELDERS COMMITTEE DRAFT TERMS OF REFERENCE (Complete terms of reference available online at:

1. PURPOSE The purpose of the MNBC Elders Committee is to: • Assist in guiding the development of strategies and programs that support Elders independence and health • Identify barriers for Elders in accessing health and other public programs and services • Provide a two way conduit for information, support, advice and guidance between Métis Elders, the Ministry of Health, Health Authorities (HA), Province of British Columbia and Government of Canada • Assist in the coordination of efforts among Elder service providers to maximize resources and services for Métis Elders • Provide expertise and knowledge in the development and dissemination of educational materials that will preserve and perpetuate the Métis culture • Provide a mechanism for Métis Elders to communicate and collaborate regarding issues of importance to Métis Elders 2. ACCOUNTABILITY The members MNBC Elders Committee are accountable to: • Métis Elders within their respective regions. 3. RELATIONSHIPS • Link between local Métis Elders, MNBC Ministry of Health and other health stakeholders • Link with Provincial/Federal/Community Service Providers

DEADLINE: May 15, 2007

"Funded by the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program" Spring 2007


Métis Child & Family Services Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia


second protocol agreement has been signed outlining a new rela-­ tionship between Métis service agencies and the Métis Nation. Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) signed the agreement with Okanagan Métis Child and Family Services, Feb. 17. “This agreement provides the political support that ensures services for Métis children and families are culturally appropriate,” said Dave Hodgson, MNBC minister responsible for Métis Child and Family Services. “This is the culmination of many long hours of work” by both organizations. Richard Gauthier, president of Okanagan

Métis Child and Family Services added, “This will pro-­ vide the foundation of a strong partnership that will enable our agency to provide professional, accountable, and ethical servic-­ es and program to Métis citi-­ zens of the Okanagan.” “It is truly a great day for the Métis Nation, said Bruce Dumont, president of MNBC. “This agreement is the impetus for the Métis Nation to begin to implement our five year strate-­ gic plan in the Okanagan regard-­ ing Métis child and family serv-­ ices.”

Richard Gauthier, President of Okanagan Métis Child and Family Services signs new protocol agreement with MNBC Dave Hodgson, Minister of Child and Family Services.

Métis in Business Sheryl Engdahl, a Métis woman, left her hometown of Kamloops in 1979. She and her younger sister moved from the small interior town to seek better opportunities in the big city. In 1991 she began working with urban aboriginal organizations in var-­ ious capacities. She worked mainly within pre-­employment/life skills programs. During that time Sheryl had the opportuni-­ ty to work with hundreds of aboriginal peo-­ ple from different nations across Canada learning about their aboriginal cultures and assisting them in accessing employment and/or training. Through her work experi-­ ence, she then applied to the Institute of Indigenous Governance to enter into their Indigenous Governmental Studies program as a part-­time student. "It was then I clear-­ ly understood, through the coursework, the history of colonization and the impact on indigenous peoples throughout the world. I felt grateful to the instructors at the institute for the greater understanding that I received" she commented. She completed an Associate of Arts degree in Indigenous Governmental Studies with a

focus on community and economic devel-­ opment. "My long-­term goal was to work in this particular area within aboriginal communities. In the meantime I believe in being aware of opportunities and making conscious choices of whether or not to take them," she stated. After accepting a contract working with an aboriginal employment initiative, a cousin encouraged her to register for the Mortgage Finance coursework through U.B.C. Sheryl's cousin offered to hire her once she received her license. "I always felt as if I had an entrepreneurial spirit so I went ahead and took her advice. I signed up for the Mortgage Finance course at U.B.C.'s Sauder School of Business. Honestly, the coursework was truly challenging. The math calculations were difficult and I ended up registering for an additional real estate/mortgage finance prepatory class that I attended twice a week for 3 hours each for 5 weeks. Even with the additional help, I struggled. I did not have an accounting or financial background and


I have to admit Math wasn't my favorite subject in Sheryl Engdahl high school. The only thing I had on my side was sheer determination to master the coursework well enough to pass the 3 hour exam at U.B.C." In one year, Sheryl received her certificate from U.B.C. and became a Mortgage Consultant in her cousin's com-­ pany. "I am hoping that I can assist people in the aboriginal community to realize their dreams of owning their own homes. I would also be happy to mentor any person who wishes to enter into either real estate or mortgage finance as a career option. If community members have any questions about obtaining a mortgage (anywhere across Canada) or the coursework itself, please feel free to contact me by e-­mail: or phone 778-­996-­5184. I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have."

Spring 2007

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

A Child’s Roots Are Forever: A Collaborative Initiative

Valerie Richards

My name is Valerie Richards and I am Métis from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. I have seven children, three grandchildren, and a wonderful, supportive husband. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work for Okanagan Métis Children and Family Services in Kelowna as the Métis Roots practitioner for over two and a half years now. I am contracted by, and work closely with, the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) Aboriginal Services team here in Kelowna, B.C. T h e Ro o t s P r o g r a m

A primary goal of Roots is to ensure that each Métis child and youth in care of MCFD has a plan to respect, preserve, and promote his or her cultural identity and ties to his or her family, community, and heritage. Roots is committed to ensuring the best possible placement plans are explored for Métis children and youth in care. Roots Practice is based on a framework developed by Dr. Martin Broken-­Leg, co-­ author of Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future, who advocates the use of the "Circle of Courage" model to meet the needs of 'at risk' Aboriginal chil-­ dren and youth. This model implements four concepts in meeting these needs:

• Belonging. Dr. Broken Leg describes this value as the most critical. Children and youth need to feel val-­ ued and connected within a group. Family and community are the most important influences in securing this need and in the development of self-­ esteem. Involvement in community events and culturally specific prac-­ tices will assist in such development.

The Roots Program was developed because about half of the children and youth in care of MCFD are Aboriginal. According to Kelowna statistics, about a third of these children and youth are of Métis heritage.

• Mastery. The desire to accomplish.

Roots is a collaborative initiative involv-­ ing MCFD, and First Nation and Métis organizations. The Métis Roots Program also works in conjunction with other services and programs within Okanagan Métis Children and Family Services in order to facilitate increased connections between Métis children and their fami-­ lies, community, and culture.

• Independence. Being responsible for

Spring 2007

Children and youth must be compli-­ mented for what they have done, con-­ gratulated for what they have achieved, and praised for what they have attempted to do. oneself. Allowing the child or youth to participate in plans of care will allow some sense of independence to be realized.


• Generosity. The natural human need to be a good person. Children and youth must be afforded the opportu-­ nity to experience the pleasure received from helping. Participation in cultural and community events will provide such opportunities. Other significant strategies used to imple-­ ment these concepts include the develop-­ ment of detailed genealogies and Métis cultural packages that contain informa-­ tion on history, traditions, the Michif lan-­ guage, recipes, music, song, and dance, which are presented to groups of Métis children and youth at special celebrations to honour their heritage and culture. They are also presented with a sash and a certificate by an Elder. These celebrations have been well attended by birth families, foster families, social workers, Elders and other Métis community members and everyone enjoys the stories, fiddling, and feast. T h e E vo l u t i o n o f Ro o t s oots has evolved since its incep-­ tion in several different capacities. First, it started as a "Project", which suggests there were specific tasks to be completed within a time frame of its existence.


Then Roots became accepted as a "Program" when it became clear it had the capacity to implement and facilitate the concepts from Dr. Martin Broken Leg's work: belonging, independence, mastery, and generosity, and that the orig-­ inal expected outcomes were insufficient. Roots has now developed into a frame-­ work for "Practice", which embodies the intentions of existing laws, policies, and standards for Aboriginal children.

The Roots Program Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia Second, Roots was started with the inten-­ tion of exploring the heritage of Métis children who had a legal status of a Continuing Custody Order, in order to reconnect them with their families, com-­ munities, and cultures. However, it has been the intention of Roots practitioners across the province to move into the front end -­ MCFD Intake and Investigations -­ to support families and communities to establish appropriate safety plans and support networks and prevent Métis children from coming into care in the first place. Roots in the Interior region has experi-­ enced some success with this shift and is now involved in family group confer-­ ences and family development response. Third, Roots has been conducting educa-­ tional and cultural presentations to the wider communities of Kelowna, Vernon, and Penticton, through such avenues as university, school district, and foster par-­ ent forums and gatherings. Furthermore, in the case that a Métis child is in the process of being adopted, Roots has been involved in the review of adoption home study reports and in facil-­ itating the development of detailed cul-­ tural plans to ensure familial and/or cul-­ tural continuity occurs. Roots has also initiated changes within MCFD, such as the integration of a com-­ prehensive cultural section in the child's file, the development of an Aboriginal planning guide for social workers when

conducting plans of care, and changes to the Interior region's Aboriginal adoption operating policies and procedures guide. Interior Roots has just completed the regional service delivery model, which illustrates integration of Roots work throughout a continuum of service deliv-­ ery. As a member of the provincial Roots steering committee, I will be involved in the development of the provincial model that will set practice standards for Roots throughout the province, while ensuring flexibility is built in to account for social and geographical differences of the five regions. Interior Roots has also developed a strategic plan that informs best practice for child welfare and the government's plan in shifting responsibility for child welfare to Aboriginal authorities. I am truly blessed to have the opportuni-­ ty to do this work, as I have witnessed families being reunited;; an increased connection between our Métis Elders and youth;; an increased understanding and appreciation for what it means to be Métis in our children and youth, and in government, foster parents, social work-­ ers, and other service providers;; and a growing pride in the eyes and hearts of our young Métis people. It is for these reasons that I am commit-­ ted to promoting Roots Practice as a best practice within child welfare services and programs in B.C.

Roots Practitioners Meeting hosted at Okanagan Métis Children & Family Services

Cultural Celebration Participants


Métis Nation Governing Assembly Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Métis Nation British Columbia Governing Assembly 2007

Dignitaries at MNGA 2007

Métis Nation Alberta President, Audrey Poitras and President Dumont.

Second sitting of MNBC MNGA. Spring 2007

March 10th, 2007 marked the first anniversary of Métis Nation British Columbia Governing Assembly. The fiddlers were fiddling, the dancers were jigging and everyone was tapping their toes to the music as they entered the room where the MNGA was about to begin. 23 Presidents of MNBC were in attendance along with 7 Ministers / Regional Representatives and 7 Senators. Many Métis people filled the gallery to witness the second sitting of the Assembly. The veterans lead in the colour party and Senators Edkins and Gladue began the day's deliberations with an opening prayer spoken in both Cree and English. Entering the second decade of its exis-­ tence, the Métis Nation British Columbia is at a turning point. "We are entering a new time, a time that will forever be remembered as a turning point for the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC)," Bruce Dumont, MNBC president, told delegates at the opening of the second official Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA), Mar. 10. "It has not been an easy ten years for many of us in leadership, but in 2007 we stand proud as Métis leaders, shoulder to shoulder with federal and provincial gov-­ ernments." After watching a slide show celebrating the 10th anniversary, he said, "It is always so important for us to remember those who have walked before us and to remem-­

Hon. Michel De Jong, BC Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation addresses Métis Nation Governing Assembly, 28

ber them for the positive things that have evolved in this nation." The Métis Nation was first incorporated in October 1996 as the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia and Métis Nation governance began to evolve short-­ ly afterwards. To celebrate the anniversary, he announced the adoption of a new theme "Guiding our Proud Métis Nation". Dumont recognized the hard work, which has taken place by leaders and staff during the past year "to create a new vision that would support this new chapter". During the Governing Assembly MNBC will "present a draft five-­year forecast, outline new social and economic strate-­ gies, and seek a new mandate for our Métis community leaders. Your provincial leaders are committed to charting new programs and services and further gover-­ nance reform. For me that is what the MNGA was meant to do," he said. MNBC leaders and staff have "worked extremely hard this past year to create a new vision that would support this new chapter." Further professional development was also promised by Dumont. "I hope all of you enjoyed the professional development provided by MNBC yesterday. MNBC will continue to provide more opportuni-­ ties for professional development this year. Many of the Governing Assembly members will see why professional devel-­ opment will be so important during the five-­year business plan presentation."

Bruce Dumont is pleased with progress.

Métis Nation Governing Assembly Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia Delegates attending the MNGA included members of the MNBC Senate, Métis Veterans Association -­ British Columbia, British Columbia United Métis Youth Circle, British Columbia Métis Assembly of Natural Resources, Métis Women's Secretariat, MHRDA employment and training program co-­coordinators, MBC staff and others. During his remarks Dumont recognized British Columbia's Minister for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, the Honorable Mike de Jong. "I have to say that in the minister's rela-­ tively short time as our minister (since last August), Honorable de Jong has continued to demonstrate a strong commitment to support the objectives of the Métis Nation Relationship Accord. Minister de Jong's presence here today showcases his leader-­ ship that will build our relationship between the provincial government and the Métis Nation British Columbia."Audrey Poitras, Métis Nation of Alberta, was also welcomed by Dumont. "She has done a tremendous job for the Métis Nation. I have been hon-­ oured to work alongside of her and look to her guidance during a number of challeng-­ ing issues." Dumont's comments followed opening remarks by MNBC vice president Lorne LaFleur who said, "The MNGA is an important institution of governance and the work each of our MNGA members has to complete this weekend will continue to develop progress for our nation."

Jack Poole Vancouver, 2010 Chairman, is congratulated by MNBC President.

He noted that since the first assembly in March 2006 there have been a number of Métis Nation achievements. The first assembly addressed over 40 resolutions. "Last September our delegates at the annual general meeting in Kelowna passed all of these resolutions approved at the first sitting of the MNGA. I say this because I believe the MNGA process works. I believe the assembly allows our leadership to discuss governance in an open and transparent fashion. The results speak for themselves when together we become informed and learn about one another."

Patty Mayo and Rene Therrien entertain the crowd.

Throughout the two-­day event Métis per-­ formers entertained all participants. Bev Lambert coordinated all of the entertain-­ ing and did a wonderful job! Bev volun-­ teers her efforts and tirelessly jigs, organ-­ izes and travels wherever the MNBC staff needs her. "The most important thing to me is to get everyone truly involved. I just want peo-­ ple of all ages to get up and dance!" com-­ mented Bev after the MNBC executive thanked her for her hard work and dedica-­ tion to the Métis citizens.

Dale Brophy Presents "tub" to Entertainment Chairperson Bev Lambert.

The work has just begun but with the ded-­ ication of all participants attending the MNGA, Métis Nation British Columbia will continue to improve the lives of all Métis in B.C. Everyone is encouraged to attend the Annual General Meeting held in Kelowna September 21-­23, 2007 at the Grand Okanagan.

VANOC attends MNGA Banquet. 29

Brittenay Katernick is honoured by Métis youth for her hard work and dedication.

Second sitting of MNBC Presidents, Ministers and Senate 2007. Spring 2007

Métis Nation Governing Assembly Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia VANOC Chair man Jack Poole receives Or der of the Sash

Michif Stompers delight the crowd during Saturday night dinner.

Maddy McCallum dances the Fancy Shawl Dance (Cree).

Spring 2007

On March 10, 2007, Jack Poole, a Métis from Mortlach, Sask., was honoured with the Order of the Sash for a lifetime of achievements. Presented with the Sash by Métis Nation BC (MNBC) President, Bruce Dumont, Poole expressed his gratitude for the honour and shared stories of his heritage, dating back to the 1750s when the daughter of a Cree Chief married a fur-­trader from the Hudson’s Bay Company in Moose Factory, Ontario. “I’m incredibly proud to receive this honour and proud to be a part of this community,” said Poole. A prominent businessman and phil-­ anthropist, Poole currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and

Paralympic Winter Games and is credited with bringing the Games to Vancouver. “We’ve made a commitment to hav-­ ing unprecedented Aboriginal partic-­ ipation in the 2010 Winter Games,” said Poole. “I’m proud to say that the Métis Nation has been involved in the Games since the Bid stage, and that we continue to work together.”

Senator swear in new Charters -­ Clarence Mineault, Northeast MétisAssociation, Marlene Beatty, Vernon Métis Association and Lyle Campbell-­Letendre, Kelly Lake Métis Territory. 30

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

The Senate Report -­ Brief Overview Since the end of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Kelowna the Senate has refined its position in the Social fab-­ ric of this Nation and proceeded to devel-­ op the area where we would train our-­ selves and the prioritizing of the needs of the Nation in judiciary areas. Legal counsel instructed us in the follow-­ ing areas: jurisdiction, bias, liabilities and the history and application of Natural Justice. We also acknowledged the aspect of taking on a role with alternative justice and working with the BCMANR to understand how and when the Senate can start working with them in an author-­ itarian manner and how the steps of enforcement are to be established. Senators Edkins and Snider were second-­ ed to the Special committee to work on developing Appeals documents and to conduct an overview of the Registrars Citizenship Appeals and screening sys-­ tem, they did so and reported back to the November sitting of the Senate. The Senate then detailed its priorities as fol-­ lows:

• Finalize and present our Policies and Procedures to the MNBC Board for ratification.

• Develop a Citizenship review and appeal process

• Develop and begin to draft an Elections appeal process and docu-­ ments

• Work in conjunction with the MNBC Board and Staff to put forward a 5 year plan conducive to the enabling of the Senate to take on an ambitious work load and to cover off other jus-­ tice areas

• To

interview and decide on a legal coun-­ sel dedicated solely to the Senate

The finalized Policies and Procedures document was presented to the Executive Board with explanations on March 1st, 2007 for their input and with the caveat to present the agreed upon final draft to be presented to the full Board for ratifica-­ tion before the sitting of the MNGA, it is of important Senators: (Back Row l. to r.) Bill Thibeault, North central, notice that the MNBC Bob Adams, Kootenay, Ron Snider, Northwest BC, Gerald Board has seen fit to grant Pope, Northeast BC. Front Row (l to r): Philip Gladue, extreme importance to the Lower Mainland, Margaret Penner Thompson/Okanagan and working relationship of the Alan Edkins, Vancouver Island and Chairman MNBC Senate. Justice system and the MNBC in that the We have studied and have delivered an Liaison connection of both will be the opinion to the MNBC Board that in the Chairman of the Senate to the President MNGA of 2008 that the word "arbitra-­ of the MNBC for support and instant tion" be removed from the scope of cov-­ erage required by the Senate in that it communication. would put us in a position of rendering We have structured and used a great deal interpretations of tort Law and put us in of the Registrars procedures for the direct conflict with the established laws establishing of the Citizenship Review of the Province of British Columbia to Board, it will be composed of three (3) the possible liability of the MNBC. Senators after all the Senators have gone through the first 2 or 3 sittings for train-­ The Senate at the last sitting has estab-­ lished that the Chairman of the Senate ing and experience. will sit for a one year term and be subject Upon the anticipated adoption of the to review each year and that the Elections Act we are structured to Chairman of the senate will start to take appointment 3 Senators to sit as an on the work load of authorizing travel Elections Appeal Tribunal. claims and other monetary claims in con-­ We are in the process of setting up meet-­ junction with the Treasurer and COO . ings with the BCMANR ministry and its Captains to explore the Senates future This is a brief overview of the Senates work since October 1 /2006. role in being the legal and enforcement arm of the MNBC and to accept training In service to the Métis Nation I remain, and jurisdiction of our peoples in this Alan Edkins field. The Senate also proposes to seek Senator, Vancouver Island and take training on a priority basis from and a Supreme Court Judge of the Province of Chairman of the MNBC Senate BC in how to run a courtroom type setting and the protocol of justice in a society. 31

Spring 2007

Registry / Citizenship Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Primary Source Documentation -­ A Closer Look A closer look at what a Primary Source Document can reveal. The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) Centralized Registry receives many inquires regarding historical docu-­ ments such as the marriage record below. This is a marriage record for Charles Nabes and Philomene St. Denis, obtained from the Sacred Heart Parish in Lebret, Saskatchewan. The document was col-­ lected by a Métis Citizen as part of the required documentation for their applica-­ tion for MNBC Citizenship.

Please Note: The surname spelling variation: Nabes to Nambese to Nabeas.

The marriage record at a glance does not appear to reveal much other than the mar-­ riage between Charles Nabes and Philomene St. Denis. A closer look reveals the following information: Year of Marriage: August 23, 1898.

Groom's Parent's Names: Louse Nabes and Marie Bosquet

Marriage Number for that Year: Marriage number twelve performed that year. Surname Spelling Variations: Nabes has three spelling variations on the docu-­ ment.

Bride's Parent's Names: Cuthbert St. Denis and Cecile Laviolette

Handwriting: Information recorded by one person only, this is evident by the writing.

Groom's Mother's Maiden Name: Bosquet Nabes family's community: Stoney Mountain

Brides's Mother's Maiden Name: Laviolette Second Marriage for Groom: Previously married to Isabelle Favel. Bans of Marriage: Yes, read two times prior to the date of marriage.

Requested Missing Genealogical Elements

Please Note: This indicates Charles Nabes marriage to Philomene St. Denis was his second marriage. Charles Nabes first wife was an ‘Isabelle Favel.’

Spring 2007


A Primary Source Documentation Marriage Record.

Registry / Citizenship Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia Tracing your genealogy can be easier than you think. Rob Humpherville from Vancouver Island found these pieces to the puzzle while travelling and going through family papers.

Sioux lookout Ontario. This is the first in our European family line to come to Canada.

Flin Flon Boxing club and my grandfather’s brother is Norman "Smokey" Humpherville and on the far left, my great uncle.

If you have any questions regarding the application forms or necessary documentation, we have a regional registry clerk in your area to assist you every step of the way. Provincial Registrar

Assistant Registrar

Registry Admin Manager

Provincial Registry Clerk





Regional Registry Clerk Contact Information Vancouver Island Region

Lower Mainland Region

Thompson Okanagan Region

Kootenay Region

Telephone: (250) 710-­3400

Telephone: (604) 329-­1109

Telephone: (250) 280-­0008

Telephone: (250) 919-­1119





North Central Region

North West Region

North East Region

Telephone: (250) 961-­1181

Telephone: (250) 615-­9700




33 #

Spring 2007

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

RV Canada On A Dime And A Dream By Barb Rees

Load a 27' motor home with driftwood, black-­ berry sauce, books, the old 'dawg', a couple of 50'ish explorers, and what do you get? You get a cross-­Canada adventure with the "Geriatric Gypsies" who wouldn't let scarce funds stop them. June 21, 2003 Dave and I left Powell River, B.C. with a dream: sell at farmers' markets to pay for the trip. We worked our way across, one gas station at a time, in our 'old gal' with her insatiable thirst for fuel. I grew up in Calgary, my deceased father Métis, but I didn't know that until just a few years ago when I found my lost family. I've learned that my family's heritage runs from St. Paul, Alberta to southern Manitoba and the St. Francois Xavier cemetery. There I found my great-­great grandpa's tomb-­ stone. Sitting in the dry grass surrounded by history, my hand on the weathered writing for William James Todd, I felt his power. It sang down to me through the ages, confirming my heritage, and deepening my roots. What an endowment! In Winnipeg we visited Louis Riel House, and at a Norberg historical park we were fascinated that Métis built homes without nails. By Ontario, we'd sold at many markets, and

the people were always amazed that we dared to depend on the sales. Sometimes we only had $10 in our pockets before a market, but we never went without. Ontario was immense! The scenery constantly changes and the architecture ranges from ultra-­modern to heritage buildings. Outside Thunder Bay we walked on sparkling amethysts … life is rich! On our return trip we traveled along the St. Lawrence 1000 Islands Parkway. For exqui-­ site beauty, history, and the hospitality of Prescott and Brockville, it's hard to beat. While on the east coast we slogged through Bay of Fundy red mud, and walked under the towering Hopewell Rocks. The highlight of the trip was crossing the 12.9 km. Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island. I danced around the tourism parking lot with the little foam potato mascot that had been taped to the dashboard with "PR to PEI 2003" written on it, squealing, "We did it. We really, really did it!" We took Pacific water and spilled it into the Atlantic bringing some back to pour into the Pacific at Powell River. We ran out of gas and were rescued by an angelic burly tow truck driver, met beautiful people, and fell in love all over again. It was a three month, 34 market, 10,299 mile journey that tested our determination. We have a broader understand-­ ing of what makes Canadians alike but inter-­ estingly different. The trip birthed my book, "RV Canada On A Dime And A Dream", which we're taking back across Canada this summer to make our dream to see Newfoundland come true. With imagination you too could travel on a dime and dream. A bo u t t h e au t h or Barb Rees grew up in Calgary, the oldest of three children. In spite of a rough childhood with her father dying when she was 12, she has always loved reading and writing.

Spring 2007


Her first book, "Lessons From the Potholes of Life", containing 26 potholes she fell into and the diamond lessons she learned, was released in 2002. She married Dave, her best friend, 14 years ago, and moved to Powell River where he'd lived all his wife. Between them they have a blended family of nine children, nine grandchildren and two great-­grandchildren. Not bad for a 61 and a 64 year old. They love travelling and exploring what nature has to offer. Barb has also operated her writing-­ speaking business, Dreams Inspirations Seminars, since 2002. When Barb suggested they put her teachings, to have faith in the universal law of attraction for making dreams come true, to the test by working their way across Canada, Dave was-­ n't too sure about it. But once on the road, he soon became a believer and now he can't wait until they do it again in June. During their trip in 2003 they loaded up Dave's beautiful pieces of art made from drift-­ wood, and 112 jars of brandied blackberry sauce which they sold across the country, the last jar in Thunder Bay. Their 2007 trip will be a book tour, returning to previous markets, but also trying some new routes with book signings. This trip will take them to Newfoundland and Labrador. The blackberry sauce is being hoarded away in readiness. RV Canada On a Dime And A Dream is part adventure story and part guide book as Barb researched where the markets were and the tourism offices among other things. It is heart warming and inspiring people everywhere to follow their dreams. Barb would love to mail you a copy for $19.95 plus $2.70 postal. Send cheques or inquiries to: #14-­7624 Duncan St. Powell River, BC, V8A 5L2 or call toll free: 1-­866-­373-­2607 or email:;; Dreams Inspirations Seminars website: OR if you would like them to give a talk or sell in your area once on their trip, please call..

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

"My ancestors are Cree but my husband is Coast Salish. I try to teach our children the different "Many times people ask me why I paint in styles of their culture."

Carla Aubichon-Joseph

A self-­taught artist, Carla Aubichon-­ Joseph, enjoys creating new pieces of art while exploring different styles.


two different styles," she said. "My ances-­ tors are Cree but my husband is Coast Salish. I try to teach our children the dif-­ ferent styles of their culture."

two styles of culture.

Painting for the past 12 years, she said it takes anywhere from two to five hours to complete a piece of art. Her latest project is painting a mural, with her twin sister, at the Reconnect Youth Hostel in Prince George. She has also illustrated the published novel, The Adventures of Grey Dawn, by Ghost Writer. "I really enjoyed doing that and would someday love to do my own series of children's books."


A resident of Prince George, the 31-­year-­ old has "a wonderful family of five". She's designed many logos including for the First Nations Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative, the Northern Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia, and the Northern Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Task Force. While she creates with her self-­taught skills, she'd like to go to art school for more formal training someday. "I have done many paintings throughout the years and can remember each of them in detail." To contact Carla Aubichon-­Joseph for current or customized art pieces, please email her at:

Spring 2007

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


2007 Winner of the Peace Hills Trust National Aboriginal Art Competition


ithin the artworks of Laird Goulet, it is easy to see that there is a powerful emo-­ tional reflection of the joy one encounters in the events of a commu-­ nity where the roots of the Métis still strongly abound. You can see the immense pride he possesses for the Métis heritage that he has carried forth in his hands for artistic re-­cre-­ ation. Laird Goulet originates from The Pas, Manitoba and his ancestral roots are mixed between the Métis and First Nation. Laird's maternal grandmother (Carriere) and grandfather (Goulet) are Métis and come from the northern Saskatchewan community of Cumberland House and the oldest Métis settlement in Western Canada. He is exceptionally proud of this Métis heritage. Goulet is very knowledgeable and proud of his ancestors' political roots Spring 2007

during the Métis resistance in 1885 and the revengeful stoning death of Elzear Goulet in the Red River, for his part in the condemnation of Thomas Scott, during the Métis resistance. He continues to pay homage to his Métis heritage because he is aware that his ancestors were proud and fought for their nationhood. His artistic reflections, he is sure, would make his grandparents and great grandpar-­ ents beam with pride that their traditional Métis ways are not for-­ gotten and will never be forgot-­ ten. In this artwork Goulet tries to capture the magi-­ cal and hypnotic energy that the 36

fiddle player possesses in the per-­ formance of a musical barrage of the Red River sound. The jigger to the centre is moving so quickly that he appears frozen in a bull-­legged stance of pride and strength. Doesn't this art-­piece make you smile when you look at it closely? Laird Goulet is the 2007 winner of the Peace Hills Trust National Aboriginal Art Competition.

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


hotography is a hobby Ken Davies has recently discovered. Otherwise in his spare time he can be found hunting, fishing or fossil hunting. Through his images he¹d like to inspire others to capture the beauty of their sur-­ roundings through photography. Recently Ken received a letter from a national publication that stated, "Ken, you should be genuinely proud of your accomplishment. Of the thousands of photographs we see each year, only a fraction can be published. We are pleased that your picture will appropriately achieve the recognition that a national publication can give it. Again, congratu-­ lations, Ken." "If an amateur like me can have a photo-­ graph published in a national hardbound book then it's possible for the first, sec-­

ond or third prize winner to accomplish the same. I wish all the entrants, the very best." said Ken Davies. Davies was born and raised on Vancouver Island, the descendant of both white and Coast Salish ancestry. After attending school at Sooke Elementary and Edward Milne Secondary he spent 23 years in the remote Indian village of Ingenika, now called Tsay Keh Dene (people amongst the rocks) at the top end of Williston Lake, B.C. in the Rocky Mountain trench.

Ken Davies...

(Cover Photo Photographer)

For the past 15 years he has lived in the Fort St. John area, working for Randon Enterprises Ltd. of Arras, B.C., as a heavy equipment operator. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Métis Society in Fort St. John, which is in Region 7, Northeast region.

...a Métis Photographer

Enter your photograph to win! Contest Details Eligible to all Métis youth ages 10 -­ 17. Send your entry by mail to: Whispering Winds, P.O. Box 1266, Vernon, BC V1T 6N6 or by email to (Electronic images must be submit-­ ted in 300 dpi, .jpeg format.) Deadline: May 10, 2007 Prizes 1 st Prize: Digital Camera (SVP xthinn 870;; 8 mega pixels) 2 nd Prize: $150 3 rd Prize: $100 Winning photos to be featured in June 2007 edition of Whispering Winds. Winners will be contacted by telephone or email. Contest sponsored by: Ken Davies, Photographer.


Spring 2007

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


former teacher and princi-­ pal, David Bouchard didn’t start to read until he was 27 and didn’t write until ten years later. But now he’s an award-­ winning author of more than 25 books and an active promoter of lit-­ eracy and reading. He attributes his ideas to his Nokums, his grandmothers, so it’s no wonder his most recent book, published last fall by Red Deer Press, is titled Nokum Is My Teacher. He calls the book “stunning and a great source of pride”. “An Odawa Elder once asked me who my teacher was. I didn’t know. I do now. My Nokums inspire and direct my writing and most of my personal life,” he wrote on his website. “I am grateful to have them in my life and equally as grateful to recognize the role they play. Nokum is the source of much of what I write, how I think and what happens to me. At times, she is exhausting!”

David Bouchard ...award winning writer

Nokum Is My Teacher, which is also available in French/Cree, blends poetry with the art of renowned Cree artist Allen Sapp “in a way that invites read-­ ers to participate in a journey of discov-­ ery”. The child in the story asks the universal question ‘why should I’? The grand-­ mother patiently guides her grandchild ever gently towards discovering the answer within the self. “Bouchard skillfully carries the reader along with a rhythmic tempo of dia-­ logue between wisdom and youth,” said a review from Alberta’s Voices maga-­ zine. “Allen Sapp’s paintings seem to rise out of the telling, assaulting the senses as only he can. His haunting depictions of life for native people tells a naked truth while infusing beauty onto the page Spring


with every brush stroke. The combina-­ tion of word and line works its magic on each visitor to a page,” the review con-­ tinued. Accompanying the book is a CD record-­ ing of Bouchard reading the story in English, as well as a Cree language ver-­ sion. The book is the first of a series of aboriginal books Bouchard is develop-­ ing with Red Deer Press. The author spent his youth growing up at College Mathieu, a private French school in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan, knowing nothing about his Métis her-­ itage.

“The greatest gift we can give our children is the gift of reading.” He’s a descendant of Louise Sauvage Manitouakokou, recorded in two cen-­ suses as being Algonquin. Around 1800, his ancestors moved from Quebec to the Northern U. S. and lived somewhere near Cuthbert Grant (the father of the Métis Nation) at the time of the birth of the Métis Nation, reads his biography. One of his grandfathers farmed in Wisconsin and fought in the American Civil War. Then some ancestors made their way further west and eventually into Saskatchewan. Through the internet he’s been able to trace his mother’s side of the family. His father is also of Algonquin descent. “As in many French Canadian families, there was talk of mixed blood however names of individuals were always and deliberately avoided. “With the help of family and friends, I am learning. My first lesson on this exciting journey was to discover the great efforts my ancestors put into hid-­ ing our heritage. I cannot fathom a life of such shame and deception. And my

The Métis Arts Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia and most of all, fire. We cannot hope to light a fire in the hearts of others without a fire burning in our own. Light and stoke yours, then spread the flames fast and furious. Let literacy be your legacy,” he encourages from his website at You can also order Nokum Is My Teacher and his other books from the interactive website. Just touch the bottom right cor-­ ner of the pages to turn them. The book’s also available through other major book stores.

story is not unlike that of thousands of other Métis people. We are a people who, for well over a century, were denied our birthrights.” “I do not know the stories that were my grandmother’s and her grandmother’s before her. I do not know the stories nor do I know the songs that should be mine.” “I am on a mission. I am searching through records and papers and forms … and into the hearts of my grandmothers and grandfathers. And I am seeking with-­ in myself. It has taken some time but I have learned that so much of what I am has come to me through my DNA, through my genes … through memories that I have inherited from one of my grandmothers. I recognize her presence and I celebrate our family’s collective memories. I now know that SHE, my Nokum, is my inspiration, my teacher. My successes are OUR successes. Marcee Nokum.”

As Bouchard learns more about his ancestry he’s sure to discover more ideas and intertwine those into fascinating books which will join Nokum Is My Teacher in opening the eyes of readers. Which brings us to Bouchard’s other passion. “The greatest gift we can give our children is the gift of reading. There is no magic in giving it. There is no toy or program that will do the job for us. It takes time, commitment

w w w . d a v i d b o u c h a r d . c o m 39

Spring 2007

The Métis Arts

Summer Sage

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

Spring 2007

Congratulations go to an exciting Melissa, Laura's sister, began performing with Laura as they entertain audiences new Métis Duo, Summer Sage! These sisters are presently releasing a new CD, Medicine Winds, which is now in production and will be released in the summer of 2007. Summer Sage is comprised of Laura Langstaff and Melissa Hall. They are sis-­ ters who are Saskatchewan-­born Métis descendants from the historic Red Rover Métis community of St Boniface, Selkirk Country, Manitoba. Laura and Melissa perform original contemporary Métis folk music written in the ballad tradition of Pierre Falcon, who is a cultural icon of Métis people across the Métis Homeland. Laura released her debut album CD entitled “Summer Sage” in 2002. Laurel’s musical credits are impressive and include performances at Carnegie Hall, Lillith Fair and with Tom Jackson's production, “Trickster, 2000”, a performance for Health Canada.

with their genetically matched harmonies and humorous Métis perspectives and anecdotes.

“We strongly believe that humour and music are two necessary tools in bridging gaps and building bridges of understand-­ ing among diverse cultural groups,” explained the sisters at a recent Métis gathering. On March 10, 2007 Summer Sage dedi-­ cated the song “Batoche”, written by Langstaff, from their new CD "Medicine Winds" to MNBC President Bruce Dumont. The delegates to the Métis Nation Governing Assembly for MNBC were treated to this special debut performance of the song "Batoche". “We just felt very strongly that this song was written for him,” said Langstaff. “We wanted to honour our warriors, past and present,” added Hall. The song “Batoche” is one of the songs included in their new CD, which is being recorded at Quadra Fusion, Merisa Donoghue, Producer. “It is a great joy to perform this honour song for our Nation,” Hall concluded. For more information or to book a musical performance by Summer Sage, please email:

Summer Sage dedicates new song “Batoche” to President Bruce at MNGA. Sisters, Laura & Melissa reside on Vancouver Island. 40

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


EMPUS HEATRE of Vancouver Who -­ or what -­ is Tempus Theatre?

In 2005, five actors -­ Anna Hagan, With "intelligent direction of Anthony F. Anthony F. Ingram, Bert Steinmanis, Ingram and "strong" "assured" and "con-­ Valerie Sing Turner and T Weir -­ were vincing performances, … this is a well brought together as part of the cast of conceived production of a seldom pre-­ Caryl Churchill's groundbreaking work, sented, but well written and interesting Cloud 9, which became both an audience play… it is well worth going to Jericho and critical success. Challenged by the Arts Centre to see this maintenance of A complexity of the play and inspired by Delicate Balance". -­ Jane Penistan for each other's talent, ideas and passions, reviewVancouver. they sought a way to continue working together on scripts that challenged actor and audience both artistically and intel-­ lectually. Thus, Tempus Theatre was born. Celebrating the ephemeral essence of theatre -­ the unrepeatable moment of performance -­ Tempus Theatre is committed to producing strong, text-­based work that provokes con-­ sideration of the past that has shaped us, the present we live in and the possible futures we may Anthony Ingram, encounter. For more information Métis Actor and Director about Tempus Theatre, visit Anthony Ingram, a Métis and son of Gary and Frances Ingram, is an actor and a Their latest and current production, director. He has traveled throughout A Delicate Balance is funny, intense Canada taking on all types of roles and and ultimately tragic. "With their has directed many theatre performances. home-­life already under strain from Publishers of Whispering Winds, Noel an alcoholic sister and a daughter and Diane, have had the pleasure of fleeing her fourth marriage, Agnes watching Anthony perform at the and Tobias find their lives further Caravan Theatre in Vernon (MacBeth) unbalanced when their oldest and in Vancouver to watch The Delicate friends arrive at their door seeking Balance. "It is exciting to observe one of shelter from an unnamed terror. our Métis citizens doing so well in his Their arrival forces the comfortable, chosen art." states Noel, "I know his par-­ middle-­aged couple to negotiate the delicate balance between charity ents are very proud of him." Standing: (l. to r.) T. Weir, Valerie Sing Turner, and self-­protection." Anthony F. Ingram Seated: (l. to r.) Anna Hagan, Bert Steinmanis 41

Spring 2007

BC Métis Association of Natural Resources Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Knowledge from Métis being used in process for declaring endangered species. A representative from MNBC is con-­ tributing to changes in the way endan-­ gered plants and animals are determined in Canada. Aboriginal knowledge about Canada's flora and fauna is being combined with scientific knowledge to determine endan-­ gered species, following recent changes to federal legislation. In the past science was the only criteria. Following redrafting of the Species at Risk Act scientists must now consider both western-­based science and aborigi-­ nal traditional knowledge when making decisions to assign designations such as rare, threatened and endangered. To gather this knowledge, a Species at Risk Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Sub-­Committee (ATK-­SC) has been formed. Dean Trumbley, chief of operations for MNBC, has received a ministerial appointment to the committee which includes two appointed individuals from each of the five national aboriginal organ-­ izations. The purpose of the committee is to ensure that the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), which includes Canada's top research scientists in their fields, inte-­ grates aboriginal traditional knowledge into all aspects of procedure in the desig-­ nation of Canada's Species at Risk.

Spring 2007

Each member of the aboriginal commit-­ tee sits as a lead or co-­lead on two of the COSEWIC species sub-­committees. Mr. Trumbley was assigned the lead on the freshwater fisheries sub-­committee and co-­lead on the terrestrial mammal sub-­committee. He recently attended his first three-­day meeting to discuss freshwater fisheries candidates for designation under the act. The meeting, in Edmonton, brought together the top freshwater research sci-­ entists from all over Canada. The scien-­ tists were extremely excited to have Mr. Trumbley present to help them not only integrate traditional knowledge with their science but to bring an entirely new knowledge to the table. Western-­based science has only been around Canada for roughly 50-­60 years whereas aboriginal traditional knowledge has been around for hundreds of years. Science is based on hypotheses and test-­ ing whereas traditional knowledge is based on generational observation and relationship understanding. Although dif-­ ferent, these two knowledge types com-­ pliment each other if respect is paid by both sides. The scien-­ tists went out of their way to ensure that e v e r y study had a de qu at e aboriginal traditional knowledge and if it didn't they postponed the desig-­ nation to allow

Mr. Trumbley to collected the necessary knowledge. To do this he'll request information from other members of the ATK-­SC about species in their territories. Those mem-­ bers will then collect knowledge from elders, land-­users, harvesters and medi-­ cine people of their respective nation (Métis, Inuit and First Nations). The information will be relayed back to Mr. Trumbley for presentation to the sub-­ committee so it can be incorporated into the designation of the species. In British Columbia, Mr. Trumbley will use the B. C. Métis Assembly of Natural Resources (BCMANR) to gather tradi-­ tional knowledge of the Métis citizens. Committees like BCMANR offer an excellent opportunity to access traditional knowledge. Presently the ATK-­SC is reviewing BCMANR as a best-­case sce-­ nario for gathering this knowledge. The next meeting of the freshwater fish-­ eries sub-­committee will be in the fall or winter of 2007.

Back (l. to r.) Dean Trumbley (MNC), Gabriel Nirlungayuk (ITK), Jason Harquail (CAP), Ronald Gruben (ITK), Dan Benoit (MNC), Norma Kassi (NWAC), Josephine Mandamin (NWAC) and Donna Hurlburt (CAP).Front (l. to r.) Jeannette Armstrong (AFN), Larry Carpenter (Co-­Chair), Henry Lickers (Co-­Chair) and Sue Chiblow (AFN).


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

Métis Veterans The Métis have had a full winter and are gearing up for a busy spring. At the MNBC Annual General Meeting in Kelowna, we co-­signed an Alignment Agreement with MNBC and we had over-­ whelming voter support of 100% for this move. On December 10-­11 we were invited to a meeting in Vancouver and learned that through MNBC we had been given some financial support from the Office of the Federal Interlocutor (OFI) to help us organize and finally get our Métis veter-­ ans away from the poverty that some of them have been suffering for many years and ultimately give them some dignity to be living in such a great country as Canada. At the meeting we had a request from the OFI to use our Alignment as a model for other provincial Métis veterans associa-­ tions across Canada, to be hosted by us in the hopes that all Métis veterans may engage in and enjoy at last the freedoms and benefits that we enjoy. In pursuing this, a forum is now sched-­ uled for April 12-­16 in Victoria area. All participants will be duly informed and travel arrangements made for this event. We hope to have the MNGA present to assist us and we will also feature a special speaker who is no stranger to any veteran. What this Alignment means is that we are getting a tremendous amount of adminis-­ trative and strategic help from MNBC and Métis citizens. We are proud to say The Métis Veterans Association of BC 3629 RockCliffe Drive Nanaimo, BC V9T 5S2

Submitted by Bob Ducharme, President

we have been welcomed by MNBC and If veterans are experiencing problems citizens in a very unique way and even with medals and awards for your war have our own Veterans' Affairs minister. efforts, if you feel you do not have the We are saddened that Tresley Tourond is appropriate medals, please contact our not with us any longer, but we all wish membership chairman, Darrel Byron at 1-­ her well and thank her for her help in get-­ 250-­246-­4492. Some people go to various ting this Alignment put through. We wel-­ organizations and procure medals that come Rene Therrien as our new minister they think they are not in possession of and are looking forward to working and these are not "archived" so you don't together. We have also had the untiring know if you are getting the right ones or efforts and expertise of Brittaney not, and even all of those that you may be Katernick who has done all the paper-­ entitled to. In order that your medals are real and attributable to your service, they work and administration for us. must be archived and registered with We have been invited by President Bruce Ottawa. and the Métis Nation Governance Assembly to share their meeting time, Darrel can give you the necessary forms March 8-­12 in Richmond. All MVA-­BC to send to archives in Ottawa and you regional reps will have been informed as don't have to pay for them, only court-­ mounting. You may also request to have to arrangements. them officially presented to you and we Our service officer, Arthur Lefever, is can arrange that. In the near future we doing a great job in getting veterans serv-­ will be engaging the free services of pas-­ iced by Veterans Affairs Canada. Should toral care for anyone who is in need in anyone have any disability or pension most areas of the province. problems, call him at 1-­250-­716-­1247. See you next time! Happy New Year to We are saddened by the passing of two of all. our staunch veter-­ ans, Henry Stavely of Quesnel and Ray Sanregret of Winnipeg. We offer our prayers and con-­ dolences to both families and friends and that our Lord will comfort and heal them.

Métis veteran, Art Lefever CD, takes time to talk to Grade 4 students at Park Avenue school in Nanaimo B.C. to help enhance their study of Aboriginal People. 43

Spring 2007

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

BC Métis Youth Circle The BC Métis Youth Circle (BCUMYC) seven Regional Youth Representatives proudly celebrated Métis Nation BC's (MNBC) 10th Anniversary at the second sitting of the Métis Nation Governing Assembly in Richmond on March 10-­11th 2007. Tresley Tourond, Minister Responsible for Youth noted during her speech at the Assembly that, "…this is the first time we have had a full compliment of Committee representatives". The BCUMYC was formed in 1998. It will cele-­ brate its 10th Anniversary next year in 2008. Background The BCUMYC is an integral part of the MNBC governance structure. It is an institu-­ tion of governance that operates and lobbies on behalf of Métis youth in the province of BC. It operates as a provincial youth political body within MNBC. The BCUMYC strives to ensure Métis youth are equally represented and engaged in all levels of governance for future sustainability. BCUMYC Bios Tresley Tourond, Minister of Youth Tresley Tourond was born in 1980 to parents Brenda McAuley (nee Springer) and Arthur Tourond. In 1988 Tresley moved with her parents, Brenda and Chris McAuley, and two of her three siblings from their family farm in Manitoba to British Columbia. Her family moved throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley for several years before settling in Surrey in the early 90's. After a short time attending Douglas Community College in New Westminster in 1999 Tresley began working full time, gain-­ ing experience in retail management, the medical industry, not-­for-­profit sector, and for the past 5 years in the construction indus-­ Spring 2007

try. She began volunteering in the Métis community in 2002. In 2003 Tresley was elected as the Chairperson of the BC United Métis Youth Circle, the Provincial Youth Committee of the Métis Nation BC. In September 2003 the Métis Nation BC Constitution was ratified, recognizing the youth voice on the provincial Board of Directors of the Métis Nation BC. For the past three years, in addition to work-­ ing full time outside of the Métis Nation BC, Tresley has been the Provincial Youth Chairperson of the BCUMYC, a Board of Director for Métis Nation BC as well as the Minister Responsible for Youth. In 2006 she also served as the Métis Nation BC Minister Responsible for Métis Veterans Association -­ BC. Tresley has represented the voice of BC Métis youth at the Métis National Youth Advisory Council since 2003, serving as Co-­ Chair for the past two years. Since 2006 Tresley has also participated in the Dominion Institute's Advisory Committee for the, Our Story, Aboriginal Youth Writing Challenge. Recognizing the tools that education provides Tresley has made efforts to balance her work schedule and gain certificates and training in several areas in the past years including Effective Communication in the Workplace, Leadership and Team Development, Conflict Management Skills for Women, as well as graduating successfully from the GVUAS Media and Mentorship Program in the Spring of 2006. Tresley currently resides in Surrey, BC with her fiancé, and aspires to begin her university education in the fall of 2007. Vancouver Island Region -­ Jennifer LaRose;; Jennifer LaRose is 24 years of age and has one brother, two sister, and three stepbrothers. Jen grew up on Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Valley. 44

She currently resides in Victoria, BC where she is currently completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Jennifer also works in a group home with developmentally disabled teenagers and young adults. She was elected youth representative in February 2006, after serving two years as the regional youth alter-­ nate. Being involved with the BCUMYC and the MNBC has given Jen the knowledge, con-­ fidence and experience to participate in polit-­ ical processes. Most importantly, she now has a strong connection to her culture and the Metis people. Jen is very proud to be Metis and is honored to be able to serve the youth of Vancouver Island and the Metis Nation BC. Lower Mainland Region -­ Stephanie Albiston;; Stephanie has been part of the BCUMYC since February of 2006. She is the Lower M a i n l a n d Representative, grew up in Port Moody, and now lives in Vancouver. Stephanie completed her under-­ graduate degree in History at UBC in 2006. She then traveled around Europe for several months, and is now attending Law School at UBC. Stephanie is currently working as a lifeguard, swim coach and fitness instructor. She has also been a summer camp leader for 4 years, and a programmer for 1. Stephanie is fluent in French. She played both the piano and violin growing up and has just started fiddling-­ on her new Pink fiddle! One day, she will become a fiddler. Sports have played an important role in Stephanie's life. She was captain of her high school basketball team, and provincial record holder in summer swimming. She continues to participate in both, forging lifelong friend-­ ships, and staying active. She also competed in volleyball, and cross-­country running. In March Stephanie completed her very first

Métis Youth Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia triathlon at UBC finishing in less than 3 hours. Stephanie has already been successful in merging some aspects of her law education with the BCUMYC, and is excited for the future. Stephanie is looking forward to a long and exciting journey with the BCUMYC and Métis Nation BC Thompson / Okanagan Region-­ Lydia Bernardo Lydia was born in Vernon BC, grew up in Ontario and spent a few years in Halifax Nova Scotia. She didn't find out that she was Métis until she moved back to BC to meet her father when she was 20 years old. She was asked to be the youth rep for Vernon after attending her very first meeting, and has never looked back. So far she has attended four AGMs and gone from local youth Rep to Regional Youth Rep for the Thompson Okanagan. She is proud to be Métis, and she loves the culture and arts most of all. She makes and sells her own jewelry, so you might even see her set up at the AGM with her creations. She has been running her own business for four years now, selling her jewelry at the Kelowna waterfront. She hopes to expand her business even more, by making a career of lampworking (glass bead making). Lydia had a chance to give a small workshop at the 2006 AGM, showing a group of youth how to make glass beads from scratch. Lydia has enjoyed many events and activities over the years, and learned a lot about herself and her background through them. Kootenay Region-­ Chelsea Mitchell Chelsea has been a proud representative of the BCUMYC for one year. She grew up in Brisco on a ranch. Chelsea is in her first-­

year of college at College of the Rockies in Cranbook. She is working towards a Bachelor of Science degree. She enjoys riding horses, hockey and dance. Northcentral Region-­ Casey Nault Casey is the newest representative of the BCUMYC. She lives in Prince George and is in currently complet-­ ing her Bachelor of Arts degree in First Nations studies at the University of Northern BC. She enjoys com-­ munity volunteering, fishing and being in the outdoors during her free time. Northwest Region -­ Kim Roberts BCUMYC Executive Secretary Kim Roberts is 27 years of age and one of four children born to her parents Linda and Gerry Roberts. She has resided in the Northwest community of Prince Rupert for the past 22 years. She is the proud mother of her daughter Danika whom you can often see jigging at various Métis gatherings. Kim's family is originally from the Métis community of Cathleen, which is located in Northern Alberta. Currently Kim works as a Family Support Worker with the Prince Rupert Community Enrichment Society. She is working towards obtaining her Bachelor of Social Work. She has been an active citizen of the Métis Nation for the past ten years. At the age of eighteen she was elected as president of the Northwest Métis Association of Prince Rupert. From there she went on to serve as the Provincial Youth representative to the Métis Women Secretariat of BC, Northwest Region 6 Youth representative to the BCUMYC, Provincial Chair of the

BCUMYC, and a BC representative on the Métis National Youth Advisory Council. Kim has also remained active within her commu-­ nity serving as a board member on the Prince Rupert Transition House Society, and the Westview Child Care Center Society. She has also served as a volunteer with, Planned Parenthood, Choices, CHSS Teen Parent Program, Restorative Justice, White Stone, Time Out Parent Support Group for young Mothers, and Success by Six. In 2005 Kim became a foster parent opening her home to aboriginal children in need of placement. She is a dedicated volunteer and believes in con-­ tributing to her community and to the Métis Nation. Kim is proud to be Métis and is honored to be serving as the Northwest Youth representative on the BC United Métis Youth Circle. Northeast Region -­ Angela Thomas Angela Thomas was born in Fort Nelson. Her parents always encouraged her to pur-­ sue her dreams and set goals for herself. Angela studied drama in high school and has been in two plays, receiving an award for out-­ standing achievement in Drama. Upon gradu-­ ation she received two Bursaries, one of them for Arts, which has allowed me to further pur-­ sue my goals. She also wrote an essay on drinking and driving that was submitted to the Gulf Island Film and Television School, and received a scholarship from them to attend film school. To date Angela has stud-­ ied Drama, Acting on Camera, and Independent producing with the Film school and was nominated for outstanding achieve-­ ment in Acting and Editing. She is very proud to be Métis and very active with the youth in the northeast for the BCUMYC. Presently Angela lives in Fort St John. In her spare time she jigs whenever she hears the fiddle.

"L e a d i n g To d a y, f o r To m o r r o w" 45

Spring 2007

Métis Youth Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia BCUMYC cont. Updates UMAYC Funding for Community Youth Projects The BCUMYC is currently finishing up this fiscal year and planning for 2007/2008. The BCUMYC's has completed its annual Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centre (UMAYC) Request for Proposals. The BCUMYC would like to thank all of the com-­ munities who submitted youth project propos-­ als for 2007/2008. The Committee received a total of twenty (20) proposals. Successful applicants will be notified by letter shortly. All of the 2006/2007 Community Youth Projects have either been completed or are in the process of being completed before March 31st. Past projects have included: Métis canoe journeys, cultural workshops, trips to Batoche, etc. LearnM The official launch date for the web site is set for March 31st 2007. A formal press release will be sent out announcing the launch date with further details. The BCUMYC and its partners have applied for an additional year of funding through the Department of Canadian Heritage's Gateway Fund to continue the development of the site. Planning Ahead for 2007/2008 In looking ahead, the main focus for the BCUMYC in the next fiscal year will be: youth engagement at the community level, establishing 35 Métis Local Community Youth Representatives, strengthening rela-­ tionships between the Regional Youth

BCUMYC Regional Youth Representatives voting seats on Regional Governance Councils • Since September, each Regional Youth Representative has had the opportunity to participate and vote at their first Regional Governance Council Meeting • As of November 2006, BCUMYC now has a full Committee of Representatives, fol-­ lowing the addition of Casey Nault, our new North Central Regional Youth Representative • Regional Youth Representatives participat-­ ed in the Regional Community Consultations across the province • Electoral Act passed at the 2007 Métis Nation Governing Assembly which in effect creates a democratic process for the election of the Regional Youth Representatives and the Provincial Youth Chairperson Upcoming 2008 MNBC Election The BCUMYC is strongly encouraging Métis youth (15-­30 years) in BC to apply for their MNBC Citizenship card before the upcoming 2008 election in order to vote in the election. To obtain an application, please contact MNBC head office at (604) 801-­5853 For more information, please contact: Ginny Gonneau, Director of Youth (604) 801-­5853 ext. 232

Representatives and their respective commu-­ nities, effective communication and a lobby-­ ing action plan for full integration of the BCUMYC Governance Structure and increas-­ ing communities knowledge, and understand-­ ing of the BCUMYC Five Year Plan, Youth Act and Strategic Governance Plan. Accomplishments for 2007/2008 Resolution passed at 2006 AGM to give Spring 2007


Essay Contest MIKI'SIW Métis Nation is proud to present the winners of the High School Métis Essay Contest. Each winner received a cash prize. Following a winning submission.

The Métis: A Culture Of Diversity By Ervin Ironstand The word originally comes from the Latin word miscere meaning "to mix". In history the Métis were known by other names given to them by various other tribes like the Ojibwe that called them wissakoddewinmi, which means " half burnt woodsmen". The Métis people come from a mix of Aboriginal and European heritage, specifically from a French or Scottish European background, and an Ojibwe or Cree native background. In short the Métis have a diverse and original culture similar to some European or Aboriginal cultures but also different in its own way. So the question is: what differenti-­ ates the Métis culture from other European or Aboriginal cultures? In this essay I am going to describe just a few of the many components in the Métis culture. The sash is finger woven using many colours all with a special mean-­ ing. It is approximately three meters long and was traditionally used as a belt, scarf or rope. The Métis flag of infinity had two variants: blue and red. The flag has either, a red or blue background and bears in the middle a white horizontal figure eight, which represents the coming together of two vibrant cultures. There were more than one language spoken amongst all the metes but one most common language was the Michif language. This lan-­ guage was composed of Cree and French put together. The flag of infinity was the first ever, patriot-­ ic flag indigenous to Canada. The Métis flag came before Canada's maple leaf flag by about 150 years. The infinity symbol (the horizontal figure eight) represents the coming together of two nations. The blue background emphasizes the symbol and represents the Métis people living forever. The two back-­ ground colours used were red and blue. They

Métis Youth Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia say that perhaps they used the blue and white colours because they were the colours of the fur trading company, which employed most of the Michif speaking Métis. The blue and white flag also closely resembles the St. Andrew flag, the national flag of Scotland. The colours blue and white are also the tradi-­ tional colours of the French. The fact that the French and Scottish had a big influence on the colours of this flag is not surprising, however, the flag is uniquely Métis. The red and white colours are said to have come from the Hudson's Bay Trading Company. The red and white flag is also said to be the hunting flag, which was held by the expedition guide dur-­ ing a hunting expedition. During the great resistance movements, neither the red or blue flags were used, and it is said that they were forgotten temporarily. During this period they used flags with catholic and French Canadian symbols. For a while the flag was only remembered By oral tradition, but with the rebirth of Métis pride, the flag was brought back and to this day remains a strong symbol of Métis her-­ itage. The Métis sash was a finger woven belt made with various colours all with a special mean-­ ing. The sash was not only used as a belt but also used as a scarf or rope. It is made of wool and is approximately three meters long. It is made of many interconnected threads, when you look at the sash;; you see different colours, many strands, and many patterns. These all contribute to make something beau-­ tiful much like the Métis themselves. The sash is not only a belt or tool it is a good rep-­ resentation of the Métis culture. Much like the sash the Métis have been "woven" togeth-­ er from a variety of cultures, religions, and beliefs. The different languages and ethnic backgrounds blend into one another to create the Métis. Today the sash is still worn by the Métis around the waist traditionally tied in a knot in the center with the fringes hanging down. Also the women wear it over their shoulder occasionally. The sash is also nowa-­ days draped over any table where the Métis gathered for discussion: this is a new tradition started by the Manitoba Métis Senate. The colours on the sash all represent something.

The black represents the dark period in which the Métis had to endure repression, the red is the historical depicted colour of the sash, blue and white represent the colours of the Métis flag of infinity, green signifying fertility, growth and prosperity, it also means we should move forward and reclaim our rightful place in history. The Métis sash was also called "L'assomption" sash named after a town in Quebec where it was produced. The sash served other uses in addition to the uses stated above, it also served as a key holder, washcloth, towel, and saddle blanket. The most common language spoken by the Métis is called Michif. This language is spo-­ ken in scattered parts of Canada including Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and also parts of the U.S. such as Montana and North Dakota. There are also some speakers of Michif in Northern Alberta and the North West Territories, and Minnesota and Oregon in the U.S. Michif is said to be a peculiar language. It is derived from Cree and French. Michif speakers rarely know how to speak French or Cree. There is no other mixture quite like Michif in any other part of the world. This language tends to raise a lot of controversy for a few reasons: first it contradicts the language family tree model. This model explains that all languages come from a "parent" language;; a "parent" language can have different "daughter" languages. These languages are said to be "genetically" connected. Michif does not classify under this model. Secondly, it is a problem for the theories of language contact. Last of all the Michif challenges theoretical models of language. As I said before the language is made of two compo-­ nents with different sound systems, so this raises a few questions, like how this would process in the brain? How would you make a grammatical model when using two gram-­ matical systems into one language? It is important for the Métis to preserve this unique language. My name is Ervin Ironstand and I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I was raised there and I have known many people of Métis Ancestry. Unfortunately I was never all that knowledgeable about my Ojibwe heritage. I think in writing this essay I have learned a



lot of new things I never knew about the Métis people. I have seen the flag of infinity and the sash in many of my friends' houses, but I never really knew the true background of these artifacts. In this essay I wanted to touch on how the Métis culture differentiates from other Aboriginal and European cultures: also I wanted to point out some things that made the Métis original. The sash, flag of infinity, and Michif language are only three of many cultural components that make the Métis who they are. These components are original to the Métis and they represent who the Métis are and what they stand for as a nation. You cannot find a lan-­ guage at all similar to Michif in any other part of the world. The sash is a genuine artifact of the Métis and it has a spiritual value. The flag of infinity also strongly represents the Métis culture, although it may look like a simple flag at a glance, it also has a strong historical meaning. These are a few of the things that I believe strongly originate the Métis Culture. Miigwetch! Ervin Ironstand Beshaswnaquet Peabecogabo (Watch for another winning essay ‘Métis Role Models’, By Tyler M. Wiesselmann in the next issue of Whispering Winds)

Youth in Sports

Vancouver 2010

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

Find your passion in sport (First of three articles) Vancouver 2010 celebrates the achieve-­ ments of three promising Aboriginal ath-­ letes with launch of a new poster series. From the Arctic tundra of Iqaluit, to the forested hills of Gatineau, to the steep slopes of Whistler, Aqpik Peter, Mareck Beaudoin and Chelsie Mitchell are ordi-­ nary youth with extraordinary passion. Their stories will inspire young people in communities across Canada with the launch of the first-­ever Vancouver 2010 poster series -­ Find Your Passion in Sport. "At Vancouver 2010, we have set a goal of unprecedented Aboriginal participation," said John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Games (VANOC). "These three athletes have dreamed bigger, reached higher and have celebrated what's possible when you try. We are very proud of their accomplishments and are excited to have them on our team, encouraging Aboriginal participation in sport across the country." In partnership with the Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC), Canada's national voice for Aboriginal sport, VANOC put out the call for nominations, looking to find young, aspiring Aboriginal athletes with a passion for sport. VANOC looked for nominees who were dedicated to their sport, led healthy, drug-­ and alcohol-­free lifestyles and were good role models for other young people in their communities. More than 60 nominations were received from across Canada. "Each of these athletes embodies the Olympic spirit. Every day they strive to be the best they can. They've set goals, and are working hard to achieve them," said Lara Mussell Savage, Aboriginal Participation specialist with VANOC.

Spring 2007

The three athletes chosen to appear in the posters reflect the three Aboriginal groups within Canada -­ First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Not only do the athletes compete in different disci-­ plines, but they come from different parts of Canada. Chelsie Mitchell is a First Nations snowboarder, based in Whistler, British Columbia;; Aqpik Peter is an Inuit short-­ track speed skater, based in Iqaluit, Nunavut;; and Mareck Beaudoin is a Métis biathlete, based in Gatineau, Quebec. The posters showcase each athlete, framed by the natural landscape where they live and train. Whispering Winds will highlight each of these athletes in separate editions starting with Mareck Beaudoin. "This is the first poster series VANOC has created and we're really happy with how it has turned out," said Leo Obstbaum, VANOC's director of design. "Our goal was to create something kids would want to take home and put up on their walls. We want the posters to inspire youth to participate in sport -­ any sport that may excite them." More than 20,000 posters have been produced and are being distributed across Canada to Aboriginal commu-­ nities, schools, 48

youth organizations and Friendship Centres. The posters are trilingual, with text in English, French and the language of each athlete's respective Aboriginal her-­ itage. Mussell Savage hopes the posters will inspire young people to discover their own passions. An accomplished Aboriginal athlete herself, she knows, from first-­hand experience, how participation in sport can help youth to overcome barriers in other areas of their lives, and help create health-­ ier Aboriginal communities. "Sport not only keeps kids active and healthy, but it also builds things like self-­ confidence and self-­esteem," said Mussell

Youth in Sports Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia Savage. "Aqpik, Mareck and Chelsie demonstrate how sport can instill self-­ motivation, determination and passion. We hope their stories will inspire other Aboriginal youth to become healthy and active role models in their communities."

to depend on for motivation."

The 2007 Aboriginal poster series is the first phase of a series that will be launched between now and 2010. The Aboriginal poster series is open to Aboriginal athletes from across Canada participating in Indigenous and mainstream sports.

Sixteen-­year-­old Mareck, who is Métis, trains between two and four hours per day, six days a week, in her hometown of Gatineau, Quebec. In the summertime, Mareck uses cycling and rowing to stay in shape. During the racing season, which usually lasts from January to March, she competes in an event every weekend, driv-­ ing up to Estrie and Quebec City to partic-­ ipate in up to 14 back-­to-­back races per year.

To nominate a young Aboriginal athlete for future editions of the Aboriginal poster series, visit the web-­ site for nomination forms, beginning in 2008. Nomination forms will also be avail-­ able on the Aboriginal Sport Circle web-­ site at

Mareck said that, after competing in so many events over the past two years, she no longer gets nervous before a race. "I get in my bubble, I concentrate and I visualize my race," she said. "If other athletes are stressed out around me, I try to avoid them so that I don't become stressed."

Mareck Beaudoin

Driving to a different competition every weekend takes up to 10 hours round trip. Sometimes Mareck uses the time to relax, listen to music and chat with her family. Other times she mentally prepares for the race ahead by practicing the shooting

age group at the Lake Placid biathlon in New York State. She has been classified as one of the best relay athletes in Canada. Mareck credits her passion and dedication for sport to her mother, who taught her to ski, pushed Mareck and her brother to play outside when they were young and "never let us watch TV." While her dream is to make the 2014 Olympic biathlon team, Mareck hopes to practice for as long as possible, and to share her passion with other youth through coaching, because "biathlon is a great sport, the feeling you have when you ski is so strong. It is really worth a try."

Vancouver 2010

Racing her way to the 2014 Winter Games -­ Mareck Beaudoin takes aim

By the age of 10, Mareck was already an extraordinary athlete -­ she biked, ran, sailed, played soccer and participated in many other sports. But it was when she watched her older brother compete with the cadets that she discovered her real pas-­ sion -­ biathlon. She had cross-­country skied for six years, but in biathlon she saw a sport that was greater than skiing alone. "Biathlon com-­ pletes cross-­country skiing," Mareck said. "The element of precision for shooting balances out the raw effort of cross-­coun-­ try skiing." She had to wait until she was 12 years old, the youngest age cadets are allowed to start shooting and has been chasing her dream of competing in biathlon in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games ever since. It is a dream that demands extraordinary dedication. "In biathlon, everything relies on you -­ on what you do, what you eat, if you are sick," Mareck said. "There is no one else

"When I ski, I feel like I'm in another world. If I feel sad, I get on my skis and it seems that everything is going well," Mareck said. "Skiing is what made me who I am." For more information on the 2010 Winter Games, please visit

element in her mind: she visualizes slow-­ ing down her breathing, taking aim and making the perfect shot. Mareck has already made remarkable achievements in biathlon. She has been a member of the Quebec team in biathlon for the past two years, ranked sec-­ ond among senior girls in the Canadian biathlon champi-­ onships last year and recently won second and third place for her

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 49

Spring 2007

Vancouver Island Region Whispering Winds... the voice of the Metis Community in British Columbia Comox Valley

Cowi chan Lake

Greetings to everyone, best wishes in the upcoming year from the MIKI'SIW Métis Nation. We had a successful event at the Comox Valley Community Arts Council, Muir Art Gallery from November 10-­ December 2, 2006. The theme was "Métis: Past, Present and Future"

A Stellar Elder By Leanne Laberge

Four workshops were held including Beading, Jigging, Drum making and Michif language. These workshops were very successful in spite of the extreme weather conditions that plagued us. We had to cancel some classes that were going to take in the display. Henry Hall was trapped in Vancouver due to heavy winds, much to the chagrin of the Middle and Senior Secondary students who were looking forward to hearing his presenta-­ tion and seeing his display. Nevertheless approximately 250 students did make it to the gallery to see the dis-­ play and did learn a little of Métis Culture. Thanks to the teachers and par-­ ents who drove them to the Gallery.Our showing concluded with a Buffalo dinner held at the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay. 120 people enjoyed a buffalo roast dinner. Cash prizes were handed out to the 2 best essays: by Ervin Ironstone and Tyler Wiesselmann. 2 door prizes were drawn. Trish Parent won a drum made by Jackie Finnie and a student helper won a minia-­ ture Red River Cart. Brittaney Katernick, Director of Youth was presented with a braided sweetgrass. We are now planning to co-­host Fiddlefest with Craig Freeman to be held on April 14, 2007 at the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay. This will be a multicultur-­ al event. It would be nice to have as many Métis fiddle players and dancers come to this event. For more information call Bryce at 250-­ 339-­5843.

Spring 2007

and Michif, has been an asset to Stella all her life.

Stella Johnson When asked how she acquired her vast knowledge of Métis culture Stella Johnson's reply is a simple statement fol-­ lowed by a lilting laugh. "I lived it." She says. Born in 1945, the daughter of a Cree/Métis mother and a Cree/ Métis father, Stella was raised in McLennan, Alberta, by her paternal grandmother, Margarite Erasmus. "My Kookum often told me stories about her father, Joseph Noskey. He moved to Alberta after getting scrip in 1875. And my mom used to talk about her mother's family, the Ghostkeepers;; just the sound of that name was exciting." Raised as one of nine children in post-­war Alberta, Stella and her family utilized the natural resources around them to sustain a livelihood. This hands-­on experience of daily Métis lifestyle, Stella's skill with Métis arts and crafts, plus her ability to speak both Cree 50

In the late 1960's Stella moved to Dawson Creek, B.C. where she has raised her four children. In 1987 Stella migrated to Vancouver Island and lived in Nanimo, working in the Health Care field until 2002. Sadly, in 2003 Stella lost her hus-­ band to complications of Diabetes. Even during this tragic time of her life, Stella traveled for four consecutive summers to Hobbema, Alberta. She used her yearly summer holiday period to achieve a life-­ long dream. In the fall of 2005, Stella became the first student over the age of 60 to receive her Cree Instructors Certificate. Now a grandmother of six, Stella has recently achieved another first. In the fall of 2006, Stella was hired as the first Métis Aboriginal Support Worker for School District 79 and works with the stu-­ dents at the Lake Cowichan, B.C. schools. Her position is administrated through the Cowichan Valley Métis office and the number of heartfelt e-­mails and complementary phone calls that the office has received is truly outstanding. Stella Johnson has taught many courses throughout the Vancouver Island Métis community: from Michif to finger weav-­ ing. She continues to be both an asset to our cultural community and a role model to young and old.

Plan to attend the 10th Anniversary of Red River West Rendezvous July 5-­ 8, 2007 at the Fish & Game Club 700 Holker Rd (top of the Malahat). Non-­stop entertainment, traditional games, music, dance and food. Watch for updates on Camping is available! Entrance by dona-­ tion.

Lower Mainland Region Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Vancouver Métis Cultural Society Tansi President Bruce Dumont proudly welcomes newly elected President Leonard Laboucan as the newest community chartered by MNBC. Vancouver Métis Cultural Society is the first charter to be voted in by the Métis Nation Governing Assembly.

On behalf of its membership, The Board of Directors of Vancouver Métis Cultural Society (VMCS) Are pleased to announce that VMCS Was incorporated as a society in February 2007.

VMCS was created to help preserve our Métis heritage And further our advancement as a Nation Through cultural and community development programs and initiatives in the Greater Vancouver area. VMCS is also currently working towards affiliation with the Métis Nation British Columbia . For information, please contact: President Leonard Laboucan Email: or Telephone: (778) 329-­2892 Fax 1 (866) 903-­4309 VMCS Board of Directors Leonard Laboucan -­ President Colin Sanderson -­ Vice President Kim Bayer -­ Secretary Daryl Piper -­ Treasurer Cameron McBeth -­ Director

Frazer McDonald, Regional Representative and Minister of Sports, Housing and Justice, Premier Gordon Campbell, and Keith Henry MNBC CEO take time for a photo while attending Vancouver 2010 Aboriginal Business Summit.


Spring 2007

Thompson Okanagan Region Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Lottie Kozak: An Extraordinary Métis Woman Tea came in the form of Indian tea. Moose, deer and bears were harvest-­ ed by Lottie's rifle, as well as small game. While shepherding the sheep in the hills she faced marauding griz-­ zlies and coyotes and all ready for a feed of spring lamb. Though of short stature and small build, she broke range horses and trained them for rid-­ ing and working -­ to pull farming implements like ploughs, harrows and mowers.

This is a story of a Métis woman who, against great adversity, lived a full life, pep-­ pered with adventure, hardship and love. Lottie is now a respected Elder of our Métis Nation. She has raised her children with love despite physical and emotional abuse. She now brings great knowledge to her role. Lottie had humble beginnings. She was one of 12 children born to a Métis father and mixed blood mother. Lottie spent her early years on a homestead in the Coquihalla coun-­ try north of Merritt. She became self suffi-­ cient very early in life. Her parents would leave her and two brothers and a sister to fend for themselves. The parents would come to visit them on a semi-­annual basis to take whatever livestock and produce that she and her siblings had raised and harvested. Lottie raised sheep as well as growing oats and other crops. She and her brothers trapped in the winter, braving temperatures of more than -­30 ° below. Through their efforts they made cash returns for her parents but they would not see much of it besides being given staples such as flour, oatmeal, baking pow-­ der, and sometimes sugar. The rest of their diet came from the land. Spring 2007

When Lottie was a pre-­teen, her mother brought her brothers and sis-­ ters to be cared for. Though they were only little infants, she took the responsibility and looked after them for long periods of time. The time came for Lottie to leave the home-­ stead and, at the age of 14, she walked the miles to Merritt, the closest center. As a country girl, she was a hard worker, but had no training in how to count and handle money. She was shy by nature and not used to strangers making small talk with her. With the assistance of her older brother who lived in Merritt, she was taught how to handle money, talk to strangers and generally fit into town life. Her brother gave her a place to stay and found a job for her with a couple that was expecting a baby. The house the couple lived in was a mess, but Lottie dove right in and cleaned the house, looked after the little boy they already had, as well as preparing meals and generally cleaning up. All though Lottie's life, her talent as an artist was developed. Having no proper equipment to draw with, she used charcoal to draw on birch bark. She had great talent in wood and bone carving, using driftwood logs and the


antlers and bones of the game she hunted. She and her husband logged, and she ran the Caterpillar tractor to deck the logs. A mishap occurred while working. Lottie, while run-­ ning the Cat, was knocked off of the machine by a log and without realizing it, broke her back. She was in tremendous pain for months. Finally, when the logging was done, she drove herself to the hospital in Kamloops. The doctors told her that she was lucky to be able to walk into the hospital. If she had left it any longer, she probably would not have walked ever again. Ending a violent and abusive marriage, Lottie supported herself and her children with no help from their father. She found love again with a good man and married him. Today, even though she is lim-­ ited in her mobility, she still can shoot a moose or a deer without missing a single shot. As an Elder, Lottie continues to paint, carve and make moccasins, and is well known for her unique style, incorporating intricate designs in all that she does. Her knowledge is vast. She knows much about bush craft, hunting and overcoming adversity. Lottie now resides in Falkland B.C., and looks forward sharing her great knowledge with visitors. Lottie Kozak is truly an extraordinary Métis woman and wise Elder. I hope you too can meet her.

Thompson Okanagan Region Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia Sal mon Ar m, BC Salmon Arm Metis Association Coffee House M a n a g e r Margaret Stingel is proud to announce that our 2007 Coffee House Season is off to a great start. Margaret Stingel The Friday Evening Coffee House is hosted by the Salmon Arm Metis Association on the last Friday of every month. A two dollar cover charge is collected at the door;; proceeds from the gathering go to support the operations of the SAMA Community Office. At the monthly gath-­ ering in Salmon Arm the local members make available Coffee and home baked goodies for a nominal donation. Folks young and old get up and dance to the

tunes of local musicians who volunteer there talents to make our event success-­ ful. There is also a door prize available for a lucky visitor. Margaret reports that at our Coffee House gathering we have an average of 18 musi-­ cians sharing there talents for all to enjoy. Playing such instruments as;; the guitar, fiddle, mouth organ, accordion, mandolin, tam-­ bourine, keyboard, and more. All playing to a Country-­Bluegrass-­Gospel Music theme.

Dr. Tracey Murphy BSc., D.M.D.

FAMILY DENTIST TELEPHONE: 250.314.1234 FAX: 250.374.1192

We at the Salmon Arm #101 -­ 629 Lansdowne Street Metis Association would (Riviera Gardens) like to extend an invitation Kamloops, BC V2C 1Y6 to all Country-­Bluegrass-­ Gospel Music artists and Music lovers alike, within our region and elsewhere to come share their talents with us on the last Friday of the month at the Salmon Arm Downtown Activity Centre. If you would like more information on SAMA Friday Night Coffee House we can be contacted by e-­mail at: or Margaret can be contacted directly by telephone at: (250) 835-­2205.


Spring 2007

Kootenay Region Whispering Winds... the voice of the Metis Community in British Columbia

Dance Troup: Li Jigeurs Me'chif Our local dance troupe "Li Jigeurs Me'chif" who have been dancing since the end of September participat-­ ed in a big way in Golden's 50th Anniversary Celebration of its incor-­ poration as a Town.

We constructed a 7 foot canoe lantern which illuminated the night as we fol-­ lowed it around the huge bonfire doing the heel and toe polka. We stopped and sang Kispin Kisakahin with an elder singing the verses while the children sang the Cree chorus. When the festivities were completed (the whole community was involved with masques, costumes and lanterns of every kind -­-­ours was the best) our Métis troupe and families in great numbers followed the canoe up the Kicking Horse River to the Community Centre.

dance and the rabbit chase dance. President Bruce Dumont and his wife Jo, Bruce's sister Doreen and her hus-­ band Larry Bergum along with Rene Therrien travelled to Golden to help us celebrate. We were so proud of them as they appeared in their Hudson Bay Coats and Capotes. They danced with us and led us in the Red River Jig and the sash dance. We were indeed honoured to have them as our guests. Rene played fiddle with Ann Lederman who was brought in by the Golden Arts Council for the benefit of the Métis population in Golden. Ann wrote her thesis for her Masters Degree in Traditional Métis Music and has made it her life's interest. She held fiddle workshops for our youth ranging in age from 5 to 11 and for our elders. At a second workshop, she taught us the seven step dance, clogging and traditional fancy steps to the Red River Jig. Ann was thrilled to play with Rene and they played as if they had always played together. What a weekend! Our Métis Group was recognized by this community for the first time and were amazed that we were such a large population in Golden. It was our first local performance.

On Thursday, February 22, 2007 Gerry Legare, MNBC Kootenay Director, and Brandy Roberts, Client Support Worker, of the MNBC -­ Kootenay Region had the opportunity to meet and shake hands with Premier Gordon Campbell at the reception held at the Rocky Mountain Prestige and Conference Centre. When asked, "Who do you represent here at the banquet?", a proud Métis youth proudly smiled and replied, "We represent the Métis Nation of British Columbia, it's an honor to meet you sir," said Brandy Roberts. Premier Campbell showed a great interest in how many Métis there is in the Kootenays when he was told that there is 4000+ Métis residing.

Brandy Roberts meets Premier Gordon Campbell in Cranbrook

We performed the duck dance, drops of brandy, reel of 8. The community participated with us in the broom

Spring 2007

Cr anbrook, BC


Métis Trading Outpost Sashes, Clothing, Beadwork, Footware, Purses, Music Books, Glassworks, Flags and Accessories designed by local and non-local Métis Artists!

Merchandise available online@ ww w.m n b c .c a o r c a l l To l l F r e e : 1 . 8 0 0 . 9 4 0 . 11 5 0

“The MNBC Cultural Department strongly feels that it is important to keep the awareness of the Métis Culture alive, so that it is never forgotten.”

North Central Region Whispering Winds... the voice of the Metis Community in British Columbia Pri nce George, BC

Zane Pickering attends Vancouver 2010 Aboriginal Business Summit In the demanding world of general con-­ tracting Zane Pickering has built a suc-­ cessful business while continually demonstrating his pride in his Métis her-­ itage. The 49-­year-­old owner of Falcon Contracting Ltd., of Prince George, gained his early experience working in a family-­owned and operated aggregate and civil contracting business. Later, after ten years in heavy construction, he decid-­ ed to pursue his entrepreneurial aspira-­ tions as a general contractor and estab-­ lished Falcon Contracting, in 1996. “There is no project complexity that is too challenging or unique, too big or small. Innovation, hard work and integrity are the keys to FCL’s success,” states the company’s website.

Areas of expertise include design build, civil and infrastructure construction, pipe installation, general excavation, road building, rock blasting and site preparation. “We service the commer-­ cial, industrial, oil, gas, mining and forestry sectors. We provide experienced construction knowledge and solutions to projects of every size.” Falcon’s management “has the ability to work closely with design engineering firms and government regulatory bodies to promptly move the client’s projects ahead from start-­up to completion”. The company prides itself on providing employment and training opportunities for aboriginal people wherever the work takes us. “We try to keep our work fairly local using the people of the community and we like to stay specific to aboriginal peo-­ ple, the best we can,” said Pickering in a recent newspaper interview.

Other attributes which the company her-­ alds include working “effectively in building social and economic relation-­ ships with aboriginal, government and industry clients and participating in nego-­ tiating culturally relevant policy and strategic planning”.

Pickering is proud Falcon is “an environ-­ mentally conscious company”. The com-­ “We have past experience with HRDC pany has a strict environmental protection training programs, that’s something we’re policy with stringent service require-­ really proud of. Lots of hands-­on, on-­the-­ ments for all its heavy equipment. “We job training, be it general labour, skilled leave no tracks behind,” Pickering stated. labour, heavy equipment operations, Falcon’s goal is “to build our customer supervision or project management.” base, adding new customers who will Quality service at competitive prices, lis-­ value our expertise and trust our capabil-­ tening and responding to customers’ ity.” needs and demonstrating integrity and fairness are part of the company’s mis-­

Lyle Letendre, Pres Kelly Lake Métis Association, Zane Pickering, Falcon Contracting and President Bruce Dumont proudly display Métis Historical document. Spring 2007

sion. It also pays specific attention to Aboriginal Business Relations with a spe-­ cial section devoted to the topic on its website. Falcon has successfully worked with several aboriginal organizations on culturally sensitive work sites throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Northwest Territories, Pickering indicated. “It is our intent to work with Aboriginal govern-­ ments to ensure that the arrangements are fair for both parties with socio-­economic benefits to extend beyond the initial proj-­ ect,” the site states.

To that end, at a recent aboriginal busi-­ ness conference in Vancouver, Falcon

Grand opening of Daycare Centre in Kelly Lake, February 17, 2007. 56

North Central Region Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia was added to the federal government’s aboriginal business procurement list as a 100% aboriginal owned and operated general contractor.

Prince George

It is actively pursuing opportunities to work on projects planned in conjunction with the 2010 Olympics as well as other major projects, not just in British Columbia but across Western Canada and the territories.


Pickering recognizes that it’s important to contribute back to the communities which support his company and is quick to offer support and assistance to youth organizations as well as to MNBC and Métis projects.

Métis Elders members are never Rene Therrien playing his fiddle and Marge Goulet playing guitar


Some of the organizations which have received corporate sponsorship from the company are Prince George’s sports organizations, Métis Provincial Council of B.C. Youth Committee, United Native Nations hockey tournament and food hampers, Kelly Lake Métis Youth Group, Lheidli T’enneh Youth Group, McLeod Lake Indian Band Youth Group, Prince George Métis Community Association, and Kelly Lake Settlement Youth Jiggers.

Gathering blankets.

The PGMES went to help start and develop Elders group in Terrace.

The PGMES playing Indian Bingo with the Terrace Elders.

Marge Goulet & Romley Goulet entertaining the PGMES at healing retreat, Camp Friendship 57

Spring 2007

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

Northwest Region Update

Workshop. The Workshop will be held at Camp Friendship in Prince George. Minister Responsible for The travel days are March 31st and Submitted by Rene Therrien Culture/Language/Heri tage April 6th. For the Michif Language to survive it has to be spoken in the I have been an active member of the As the Minister Responsible for home. We have asked for three partic-­ MNBC Executive Committee and Culture/Language/and Heritage I ipants from each region, preferably there have been a number of commit-­ have been working on taking a differ-­ from one family. tee meetings during the past few ent approach in the delivering of the months. The role of the Executive Michif Language Workshops. We Our Goals: Committee is to address urgent issues have learned in the past 5 years from 1. Create a larger number of Michif relating to the Métis Nation between the feedback collected that we need to speakers in BC. change our Michif Language our regularly scheduled MNBC Board meetings. The Executive Workshop learning strategy. I do not 2. Development and implementation of a monitoring and feedback Committee meets on an adhoc basis believe that the past years, 1-­day system. as issues arise requiring clarification workshops throughout the region for staff, Métis community leaders, or have produced Michif speakers;; 3. Further development of an Métis citizens. I have been the MNBC therefore we are introducing a seven-­ inventory of contact information of Board of Directors appointed day all-­inclusive Michif Language Michif speakers in BC. Secretary for the past several years. The Secretary serves two functions: • Participate on the Executive Committee • Assist completion of official MNBC Board of Directors min-­ utes The Northwest Region has continued to develop and evolve. Our last Regional Governance Council meet-­ ing was in January. I also continue to support Métis community events and the following is a list of some dates and activities that I have completed within the Northwest Region during January 2007. • January 24, 2007 In Terrace attended the General January 28th 2007 Regional Session in Terrace B.C. (l. to r.) Rene Meeting of NWBCMA. Therrien: NW Region Director, Heather Kroeker: President, NW BC Métis • January 27 -­ 28 2007 Association, Kim Hodgson: President, Tri-­River Métis Association, Kim Regional Session. Roberts: NW Region Youth Rep. and Don Reynierse NW Métis Association: Vice President Spring 2007

I will continue to work with the com-­ munity leaders to ensure communica-­ tion is maintained.


Northwest Region Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia accomplished by our past MNBC Minister Tresley Tourond. Rene Therrien, Secretary Regional Director for the Northwest Region MNBC Minister Responsible for Culture/Heritage/Language MNBC Minister Responsible for Métis Veterans.

Some of the NW Region Members participating at the January 27 -­ 28 2007, Regional Session in Terrace, BC Minister Responsible for Veterans

I have recently been appointed the new MNBC Minister Responsible for Veteran Affairs. I have initiated meet-­ ings with the Métis Veterans Association-­British Columbia and

their President Mr. Bob Ducharme. The MNBC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the last MNBC AGM in Kelowna. I am com-­ mitted to continuing the positive work

Arnold Anderson receives an honour by his peers from Northwest Region, Rene Therrien, Ron Snider, Kim Roberts. Keith Henry (back), Sid Peltier, Kim Hodgson, MNBC Minister of Culture, Heritage & Language. 59

Rene Therrien, plays his fiddle across the province. Spring 2007

Northeast Region Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia The Conser vation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) Program -­ B C Wildlife Federation Fort St. John Métis Society arranged a C.O.R.E program for its youth. The goal of the C.O.R.E program is to ensure that prospective hunters meet the acceptable standards of knowl-­ edge and skill for safe and ethical par-­ ticipation in hunting recreation. The C.O.R.E program consists of a practical firearms handling test and a written examination on all of the fol-­ lowing subjects: 1. Conservation 2. Ethics 3. Law and Regulations 4. First Aid and Survival 5. Animal Identification 6. Bird Identification B.C residents 10 years of age or older and who wish to obtain a hunting license are required to complete the C.O.R.E program. Fort St.John Métis member Al LaFleur requested that Herb Stumpf who has very high cre-­ dentials,teach the course to the 12 stu-­ dents that showed interest in the pro-­ gram. Herb has been a resident in the North Peace for at least twenty years and is an author of Government hunt-­ ing regulations and teaches survival courses. He has taught the C.O.R.E program to hundreds of people. The Métis youth met February 16th at the Fort St.John Métis office and were introduced to their instructor and Spring 2007

(l. to r.) Dylan Paynter, Jackalinn LaFleur, Desarae LaFleur, Casey Paynter,Naden Bitterman,Cayla Bitterman, Renee Wright, Michaela Beattie, Louis Cardinal, Edward LaFleur, Bobbi Cardinal. Kneeling in front, is the instructor Herb Stumpf and Katelyn Paynter.

viewed a short video. The following two days of the course focused on oral and written material and the prac-­ tical aspects of hunting and ended with a 75 question written exam. All the youth passed their exams. Herb Stumpf was asked what he thought of the class and he was quot-­ ed as saying,”the class was very atten-­ tive and that they showed alot of com-­ mon sense.” He also said,”this type of class is very rewarding.” The youth should receive their certificates in about 4 weeks. The Fort St.John Métis Society would like to thank the volun-­ teers, Al LaFleur, Lou Cardinal, Ken Davies and Earlene Bitterman, for their help throughout the duration of the course.A special thanks goes out to Velma Alexander for taking care of the group’s lunches.


Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education Program

Faces of the Métis Nation BC Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia

Gary Biggar camouflaged with Prairie chicken.

President Bruce Dumont erects teepee in his yard.

BCMANR holds meeting in the north.

Minister Rene Therrien and Patty Mayo meet Premier Gordon Campbell in Cranbrook.

Caught! Reading on the job.

Bruce, with brother-­in-­law Larry Bergen, Gary Ducommun on horseback keep warm in Golden, BC checking his fences.

Emma, Diane's granddaughter, 1 year old, wear-­ ing her Daddy's hat.

Young Métis Hunter

Senator Phil Gladue does the Jig.

Director of Child & Family Services Glenn Parker.

A Canadian Legend Part Three by Leanne Leberge (continued from December 2006, Whispering Winds)

Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia (Continued from the December 2007 edition of Whispering Winds.)


e have been on the journey west for several weeks now. It seems that we encounter anoth-­ er group of Indians daily. Some of our companions have been worried, but Papa Paquin says that if we speak the name of our friend, Monsieur Gabriel Dumont, they will allow us safe passage. Thus far, this appears to be the way of it. Fortunately, the favourable weather has held of late and our carts have been in need of few repairs. But recently many of the children and elders have begun to suf-­ fer with maladies of the stomach. Although the healers have pouches of dried medicines, they tell us that some remedies require fresh leaves, roots, barks or grasses. Today the elders have determined that we will stay encamped here, in what is known as the Touchwood Hills, to harvest. Once a guard has been posted and the men have left for hunting, Mamas Paquin and Primeau and other women, who are wise in the ways of medicine, prepare for harvesting.

“The sun is wonderfully warm today and the hills dance with life.”

"We will dig its roots," an elder tells me, "for they will heal many ills, and they will soon ease the stomach complaints."

sometime. The pungent smell of fresh Cow Plant (Ground Growing Sage) finds After more praying and more digging we our nostrils. The women murmur soft had filled everything we carried. Only our prayers as they pick the plants. hands are free. "We boil these pieces into a tea," mama "Help us take the petals my girl," Mama explains. "It will help the worms pass Paquin asked, "for they sweeten the tea from the sore bellies." and strengthen our hearts." I smiled and Near a small steam we locate Red Willow. she merely nodded, her smile was seldom Even I know what to do here. We will seen. give thanks to the creator before stripping As we walked back towards our encamp-­ the tender bark from the stems. Once ment I listened to Louisa cooing content-­ back home, we will dry it and then mix it edly and reflected on the small, but life with our dried Bear Berries to create saving, lessons of this day. Lessons which tobacco for the pipes. I resolved to pass along to Louisa on When we descend the hills we come upon some other fine prairie day in the future. a field covered with Dandelions and Bread Root Plant. These are both very

I have asked to go along. "Yes, I believe it is your time my girl", mama replies after consulting the others, and I hurry to locate my digging stick and adjust my carrying bags band across my forehead;; it rests soundly on my lower back, just below baby Louisa's cradle-­ board. The sun is wonderfully warm today and the hills dance with life. This is such a change from the flat country around St. Norbert and we lean our bodies towards the inclines. The breeze smells moist and green as small clumps of Stinking Grass (Prairie Wild Onions) are found. They will be used to flavour our stews for Spring 2007

familiar to me. Dandelion greens are tasty and a very good spring tonic is made from it, as well as a wine that the men love to dance to. And the Bread Root Plant's root is a large tuber that is white and sweet and wonderful in stew. The elders spot a cluster of Wild Rose Bushes and they heave a collective sigh. I am confused.


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

The men had returned with many rabbits and prairie chicken and were off now switching guards and caring for the ani-­ mals. Some of the women set about cleaning the game and others set about cleaning and sorting our harvest. Water was put on to boil and soon a fine medic-­ inal tea was being dispensed to those in need of it. A very large pot was beginning to fill with joints of rabbit and chicken and chunks of Bread Root plant. After that had all boiled for about an hour we added blades of Stink Grass and hands full of fresh dandelion greens. The smell was overwhelming. Someone was already mixing Bullet to drop into the boiling pot at the last few minutes. The lid went on and we had to wait. Most sat sipping at the sweet tea AND fresh rose petals steep-­ ing at the fireside. When we had finally all eaten our fill and the pots, plates and utensils cleaned and stored, the men sat back with their pipes, in the evening sun, while the women con-­ tinued processing the leaves, roots, bark and stems. I must admit, I was as sur-­ prised as anyone else when Mama Paquin softly began.

"As my mama used to say, (translation) Only before we became beg-­ gars were we truly a free people -­-­ we are no more.”

"When I first come to my senses the world was quiet and green and game was plentiful. We were happy like we are this day. There were no fancy carts, few hors-­ es, and even fewer white men. We only walk or paddle to go -­-­ we know the place where we belong. We follow the game and it not let us hunger -­-­ we store the grain (Wild Rice and Tiger Lily bud seeds) and it not let us hunger -­-­ we learn our land at our mama's skirt-­tail -­-­ now we follow Wisahkecahk's (trickster) tail into this west." "Now, now, mama," my John James cajoles. "Time and change does not stop because we wish it so. We will find a new place of belonging -­-­ you will see." "As my mama used to say, (translation) Only before we became beggars were we truly a free people -­-­ we are no more." Mama Paquin continued, and then fell silent. We all knew this sadness, which sat dark and angry within her eyes. It was for her beloved mother, killed in a Blackfoot raid of the Cree camp. Only Mama Paquin and her grandma had survived in their teepee. Many were lost that day. Suddenly, a familiar sound broke the deafening stillness, as the rhythmic clack-­ ing of the Turtleage (spoons) grew stronger. My papa came forward with his fiddle and within minutes all spirits had been raised. Even Mama Paquin was seen to smile briefly as we sang and danced until well past dark. Tomorrow, God willing, we will reach Fort Ellice and possibly rejoin many friends and kin. This had indeed been a night to celebrate for we are nearing the end of our journey. In less than a fortnight of our departing from Fort Ellice we shall reach Batoche, our new homeland, and we shall begin our new life in the north-­ west. 63

Spring 2007

A Canadian Legend (Part 3 in a 12 part Series)

Heroine of the North

Extracts From Mrs. Bompas’s Journal (continued from December 2006, Whispering Winds)

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

Heroine of the North The Cathedral Church of St. David, Fort Simpson, Diocese of Athabasca. The last service in the church was the Sunday before Christmas, 1930. The building was torn down in the Spring of 1931;; but, its’ furniture (pews, pulpit, etc.) are still used in “new” St. David’s, Christmas Day, 1930 to the present. Bishop & Mrs. Bompas knew well, the old church. Photo was taken about 1928. Jackson / NWT Archives (Reference N79-­004:0018) St. David’s Church, completed by Easter 1861.

Extracts From Mrs. Bompas’s Journal: Fort Simpson, Mackenzie River, North-­West Canada. December 1874 -­ March 1875 February 2, 1875. Feast of the Purification. Sunday last, January 31, was, I think, one of the happiest days of my life. I arose at six o'clock and had my sweet, quiet time by firelight. Then I had to see to the tubing and dressing of two chil-­ dren. (I had taken charge of the two "mother-­ less bairns" of Brown, the carpenter, for a few weeks while he was from home.) We were all assembled at the breakfast-­table when sud-­ denly came the sound of sledge bells. A bright, merry sound it is at all tunes, nor at all an unusual one on Sunday morning, a favorite day of arriving at a fort among the Indians. "But these are not Indians," said the school-­ master, who was in the room. "These dogs have such smart tapis, they must be strangers." He had scarcely finished speaking when the door opened and William was before me. He had left me on December 8, nearly two months before, and I had no expec-­ tations of seeing him until the middle of March. Judge then of my amazement and delight. There he stood, looking quite hand-­ some, with white, snowy beard fringed with icicles, in a deerskin coat and beaver hat and mittens-­a present from Fort Rae. He had come with one of the Hudson Bay sledges from Fort Rae, having changed his plan of

Spring 2007

going on to Athabasca at present. He came by Hay River, having left Fort Rae on January 5, so they had been three weeks coming, and in the morning had been walking for four hours. But half my joy was yet to come. The Company's sledge meant an extra mail, and it had brought letters-­dear, precious English let-­ ters for which I had so longed and prayed and wept for eight months past. I don not think that ever in my life I felt such a thrill of joy and gladness as when William poured them down upon my lap. How I cried and laughed and kissed my treasures and thanked God that my long night of waiting was over-­that "joy had indeed come in the morning"! But there-­ I was forced to stop in the midst of my ecstasies, for there sounded the school bell, and my Sunday class had to be attended to, and then our church bell sounded, and we all started walking through the crisp snow, two and two, under the bright sunshine, towards the dear little church. How thankful one was at last to kneel down in peace and quiet and thank God for all His overflowing goodness to me. Then came the rest of our Sunday duties-­a hurried dinner-­the Indian afternoon service and English Evensong. At the Indian service I stood sponsor to a mother and her two sons who came to be baptized. Mr. Reeve, the chaplain, read the service solemn-­ ly, and I was very thankful as I led the three 64

up to the font. Poor little lads! The mother had done her best to make them, as well as herself, neat and presentable, but Indian faces have a perverse habit of griminess, and Indian hair is ever think and shaggy and rough, espe-­ cially in times like the present when grease is scarce. The font looked pretty with the heap of snow in it, so pure and foamy, put to melt during the service, and it was only melted just in time for the baptism. It is only a temporary font, for, strange to say, our cathedral has never yet been provided with a proper one, though we hope it will soon be forthcoming. Now, our three services ended, we return home, and I may think of my letters. They had been with me all day, and now I might open and read them. Thank God! I had no misgiving now, and I had had so much of late, as to the tiding s they might bring me. My heart was too full of joy and thankfulness to find room for any other feeling, and so one after another of my treasures was opened and devoured.

Heroine of the North Whispering Winds... the voice of the Métis Community in British Columbia February 9, 1875 We are getting on through this month, which is wonderfully bright and cheerful. People are beginning to talk of spring as if it was really at hand, and the days are lengthening rapidly. How little I have suffered from this my first winter of intense cold compared with what I endured from the heat and the mosqui-­ toes! I shudder even now to look upon those three summer months of suffering. I have had peaceful days since William's return home. There Indians, like all sav-­ age tribes, despise women. They call them among themselves "the creatures," and will not submit to a woman's way, so my household was disorganized, and Jacob was growing more and more insub-­ ordinate. It was time for the master to return, and he had put things to rights, and the peace and quiet is most refreshing. February 12, 1875 The chief event of the past week has been the arrival of a number of Dogrib Indians from Fort Rae, bringing sledges of moose meat and deer, and -­oh, joy!-­some grease. The men have been constantly in and out from early morning to between ten and eleven o'clock at night. One evening came the Chief with three of four others. He was a very nice-­looking man, and remarkably friendly and sociable. They walk straight in without knocking, and extend their hand for you to shake. I was just going to have some tea, having been suffering all day with a bad headache. We made the men welcome, and then all say down-­some on the benches, some on the floor-­and I gave them tea and a barley cake all round. This made me immensely popular, and the next day one and anoth-­ er brought me bladders of grease and marrow-­the former for candles and soap, the latter for cooking purposes. I paid them0some in tea, some in pieces of col-­

ored braid. I got also one small bladder of pounded meat. They promise next time to bring me more meat and a deer-­skin for shoes. Old Martha came in this morning just as we were going into school for prayers. I must try and draw this dear old Indian for you. Her quaint leather dress coming not much below the knee, and fringed all round. Her dark, grimy face and black tangled hair. The blanket-­wrap is discarded now, for it is pronounced very warm-­that is, two or three degrees above zero. Dear old thing! She squatted down on the ground while we had prayers, and then proffered her petition for some medicine for face-­ache. William gave her some, and she went away satisfied.

possible, but here months and months must elapse before the tidings could even reach our friends in England, and in the meantime, to what extremities might we not be reduced! One shudders to think what men are driven to do at the pangs of hunger. There is an old Indian even now pointed out here who is said to have eaten his wife and children. February 24, 1875.

I walked to an Indian camp to see the wife of our Indian "Moses' who has a bad throat. I thought it looked like quinsy, but she is better. She promises to send her boys, Frank and Francois, to school. They are my godsons. Another Indian wife came yesterday and brought me five of the sweet snow-­white partridges. February 15, 1875 Pretty things! I do love to see them cower-­ My Sundays are now fully occupied with ing down in the snow, only to be detected first the Sunday school and then the three by their pretty black eyes. These partridges services-­one English and two Indian-­at form a pleasant variety to our perpetual all of which I play. The harmonium is at deer's meat. I am always glad to get any. the west end of the church. I have the Our Sunday school, which I started as elder girls close to me, and find all their soon as I came here, is a great success. places, which require quick work to be The numbers still keep up, and the chil-­ also in time with the music. A small dren enjoy coming. Mr. Hardisty came Indian boy, "Mission Ned," stands by me yesterday (Sunday) to take a class both to turn over. I feel tolerable spent by the morning and afternoon. The Bishop takes time evening comes, and only fit to sim-­ the Indian children after the Indian serv-­ mer over a book by firelight. ice in church. I have a nice class of little ones about five years old. My elder class-­ es I have now in the week for Prayer-­ February 18, 1875 Book, reading, etc. We had a nice little lecture last night from Mr. Hardisty on our cause for thankful-­ ness for God's merciful provision for us. Truly His mercy has been very great. Mr. Hardisty said that in order to increase our thankfulness to God for His merciful supply of our needs, we must realize what is the meaning of famine in this country. In India and elsewhere, as soon as such a calamity is made known, subscriptions are raised and supplies sent off as soon as 65

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Heroine of the North Whispering Winds... the voice of the Metis Community in British Columbia March 11, 1875. No sign of the Packet as yet. Everyone is on the qui vive, and at the faintest sound of bells we rush to the window. Everyone records their experience of the various times at which the sledges have arrived during the past six or eight years. March 15, 1875. The sledge Packets are beginning to arrive. On Friday evening, about eight o'clock came the sound of sledge bells. Everyone rushed out. It proved to be Mr. McDougall from Fort Liard. Yesterday came another from Fort Nelson. We are on the lookout now for the Fort Norman Packet, with which is to come W. Horn, one of the native catechists, and then, we hope for the outside Mail Packet from Athabasca, which brings our English let-­ ters. Oh, how long it seems in coming! Mr. McDougall called on us on Saturday, an agreeable, gentlemanly man, with all the northern calm and quiet fully devel-­ oped. He has been over here since 1862. March 18, 1875. The glare of the bright sun upon the snow begins to be most painful to the eyes. I have to draw down the blinds in the sit-­ ting-­room, as we used to do in Naples in the summer days. March 19, 1875 Good news this morning! A cow has calved, and two more are expected to do so this month, which means that I may soon hope for a little milk, a luxury which I have scarcely yet learned to dispense with altogether, and yet my allowance has been gradually dwindling away to noth-­ ing.

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The Mail Packet comes not. Mr. McDougall, who arrived this day week, is weary of waiting for it, and returns to Fort Liard on Monday or Tuesday.

scent for food is so keen that I have to be most careful where I keep the butter, etc., as the soon find out and make their way to any cupboard of shelf. A gentleman told I went on a charming walk yesterday me that once he had just had three fine through the woods, and discovered a new Stilton cheeses out from England, but los-­ camp. You find this first by seeing the ing sight of them for a moment, they were smoke curling through the trees. Then gone, and for ever! The dogs had you come to sledges fastened up in the devoured every crumb. branches, and bundles of clothing, and pieces of deer's meat, etc. At last you Easter Monday, March 29, 1875. come upon the "Lodge" itself, as it is The Mail Packet arrived on Good Friday-­joy called, which is just a cluster of long of joys, I had twenty letters! I must write all poles fixed in the ground with a number my answers now, so Goodbye Journal! of skins sewn together all over them, leaving only an opening at the top for the smoke. The aperture for the door is on [This previous part of the Journal was the side, covered usually with a blanket. sent from Fort Simpson in March, 1875, These tents or lodges are really very and was received at Babbacombe, August warm, for a good wood fire is kept up in 30, 1875.] the middle. In the one we visited yester-­ To be continued in the next edition of day there sat an old Indian woman as Whispering Winds. shriveled and grimy as it is possible to be. She was wrapped in rabbit-­skins, with nothing on her head, her grey, grizzled hair flying about in all directions;; you could not fancy that it had ever seen a comb! The old witch was fondling a small puppy, otherwise quite alone. She seemed pleased to see us. I talked to her a little and asked her to come to church, but she said she had to stay and watch her tent or the dogs would steal all her goods. The poor dogs are dreadful depredators here. They get but scanty provision of food at the best and work hard, drawing great sledges of wood each day, so it is not wonderful if they are rather given to thieving. They steal and eat our moccasins and any leather article they can lay hold of. Their 66

Celebration of Métis Culture Métis Homeland Talent Show “Honouring our past, Celebrating our future.”

Saturday, June 23, 2007 Unchaga Hall, Dawson Creek, B.C.

Everyone Welcome!

Vocals, Fiddling & Red River Jig Cash Prizes for all age categories.

Overall Grand Prize: $1,000.00

For Information Please contact: Kiwanis Enterprise Centre Rose Aastveit

(250) 782-­5745 (250) 782-­6451

Partners: Métis Rose & Red River Jiggers, Northeast Métis Association, Kiwanis Enterprise Centre, Métis Nation BC, Kiwetin Marketing & Publishing Ltd., Service Canada, City of Dawson Creek, Nawican Friendship Centre, Talisman Energy and Dawson Creek Native Housing.

Spring 2007  

Métis and Aboriginal culture and news.