Members and friends of Big Valley’s Hivernant Metis Cultural Society gathered at Jubilee Hall on Saturday evening, May 6, to celebrate Metis culture and raise funds for the society’s 2017 summer rendez-vous.
The evening included a dinner of traditional Metis foods such as bannock and bison stew, a raffle, a silent auction, and live fiddle music and dancing led by Riel Aubichon and Friends, a traditional fiddle group based out of St. Paul, Alberta.
Big Valley has played host to many Metis cultural events over the years, and the region is also important in Metis history.
“This is where the Metis came when they came west,” explained Marlene Lanz, president of the Hivernant Metis Cultural Society and Metis Nation of Alberta region three president.
The Metis settled throughout the east-central Alberta region in places like Big Valley, Stettler and Tail Creek, according to Lanz.
Tail Creek, which is located about 60 kilometres from Big Valley, is especially important, as it was once the largest Metis settlement west of Winniped, Lanz explained.
“At Tail Creek they said at one time there were over 400 cabins and over 2,000 Metis living there,” she said.
The Big Valley Hivernant Metis Cultural Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting pride in Metis culture through education and community events.
This summer, they will hold a rendez-vous from August 4 to 6, which will include a variety of traditional Metis activities, entertainment and games including cart rides, fiddle lessons, bannock making and sash weaving.