By Kevin J Sabo For the Independent
The small village of Big Valley is steeped in Metis history and culture.
That history and culture were on full display on Aug. 3 to 5 at the 15th annual Hivernant Rendezvous. This rendezvous was particularly special as it hosted the dedication of nine double-sided storyboards on Aug. 4 that were commissioned out of funds from Canada 150 in 2017. The storyboards were the only accepted proposal out of nine submitted to the Canada 150 grants.
Unfortunately, the weather forced the dedication ceremony in-doors to the Jubilee Hall and not at the site of the storyboards. They are currently sitting at a location of a proposed cultural heritage village at the edge of town. The ceremony was well attended and had representatives from the provincial government, Metis National and provincial governments.
The storyboards were done to inform people about the history of the Metis Nation that spans Canada, with hopes that funding can be secured in the future for the cultural heritage village in Big Valley.
“We are actively seeking funding,” said John Parkins, a member of the Hivernant Metis Cultural Society and one of the driving forces that got the storyboards built. “Our friends in the oil industry are not as helpful as they were, due to the economy. We are fortunate to get funding for the storyboards to draw some attention to the project.”
The Hivernant Rendezvous coincides with the August long weekend and features displays by Metis artisans, crafts for adults and children alike, and a wide variety of entertainment including dance and music, as well as bannock making lessons.
At the conclusion of the dedication ceremony, a lunch of stew and bannock was served by the society.
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