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Sihtoskâtowin ᓯᐦᑐᐢᑲᑐᐃᐧᐣ Circle- Métis Week

In Michif…

Lisa L’Hirondelle

Taanishi kiiyawaw  (Hello Everyone)

Lisa L’Hirondelle dishshinikashon  (my name is Lisa L’Hirondelle)

Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement ototon  ( I come from Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement)

Calgary niwekin   (I live in Calgary) 

Ni papa Clifford Blyan keyshinikashshow    (my late father’s name is Clifford Blyan)

Ni mama Darlene L’Hirondelle shinikashshow      (my mother’s name is Darlene Lewis)

Ma paraantil Blyan, Lewis, L’Hirondelle, Atkinson, Boudreau     (my relations are Blyan, Lewis, L’Hirondelle, Atkinson, Bourdreau) 

Niiya gishcheetayemun ali Michif eweyawn      ( I am proud to be Métis)

My grandparents John and Margaret L’Hirondelle 1960s

I was raised by my Métis grandparents in rural Alberta. My grandmother’s family lived on a road allowance (learn more about road allowance Métis HERE). I have fond memories of my grandmother jigging in the kitchen, fiddle music, my grandfather playing the spoons, and eating lebang (Michif name for fry bread). 

When I was growing up I did not know that these were Métis traditions and part of who we were as Métis people. I am spending my adult life reconnecting to my Michif culture, language and learning the stories of who my relatives are.  

When I was growing up, we were not allowed to tell people we were Métis. This was out of fear of the racism and acts of violence we were exposed to when people found out. I understood why we had to hide. 

My Paternal Grandparents Tommy and Aggie Blyan, Bufflo Lake Metis Settlement

This is why I do the work that I do in the community, educating, sharing and creating safer spaces for all my relations in the community. This summer was the first time, in my memory, that I heard my grandfather acknowledge out loud that he was Métis. Someone had given him a pamphlet with our family name listed as one of the many Métis family names. He beamed so proudly when he showed me our last name…L’Hirondelle. He is 94 years old. It warmed my heart but also pained it. Why did it have to take 94 years for him to feel that sense of pride? 

My son, Aiden Drury at his High School Graduation 2022

Now, I am able to have those conversations with my grandfather about who our relatives were and it is so exciting for the both of us. His memory is sharp and he can tell me names and dates and even land locations of homesteads. He remembers his grandparents.He remembers his grandmother Eliza L’Hirondelle teaching him to speak Cree, and that she spoke Cree, French, English, Latin, and German. She passed away when he was four. He also remembers his grandfather working and trading at Fort Edmonton. It is an amazing feeling when you are able to hear the stories that shaped your very existence. I think I will ask him to teach me to play the spoons when I visit again. 

What is Métis Week?

Louis Riel devoted and sacrificed his life defending the rights of Métis people. Riel’s legacy continues to resonate across the homeland.

Each year, on November 16, Métis people across Canada pay tribute to the Right Honourable Louis Riel by holding a commemorative ceremony on the date of his execution. This ceremony symbolizes the commitment Métis people share in striving for and promoting the visions of Louis Riel and is one of the most important dates on the Métis calendar. Read more about Louis Riel in an article submitted by Matt Hiltermann, Region 3 Historian to the Metis Nation of Alberta Region 3 Newsletter Here

In addition to recognizing Louis Riel Day on November 16, the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) has declared the week surrounding November 16 as “Métis Week.” The week is devoted to commemorating the sacrifices of the Métis who continue to strive toward rights and recognition as a distinct nation. This annual celebration takes place from November 14 to the 20.

Alberta is the only province with Metis Settlements (there are 8). There are 6 Metis Regions in the province.

The 2021 Census of Population enumerated 127,475 Métis in Alberta, and reported membership in the MNA reached 45,355, the largest membership population among Métis organizations -Statistics Canada. Alberta is the only province with Métis Settlements. Learn more about Métis Script Here

EVENTS:

  • Monday, November 14: Métis Flag Raising Ceremony at Calgary City Hall

12:00 p.m. – Métis Flag Raising Ceremony

  • Metis Nation of Alberta Region 3 Event 

Further Learning

Métis National Anthem:

Who are the Métis?

The Flower Beadwork People

Rupertsland Institute

Métis Foundational Knowledge Themes- Learning 

https://rli.connectedcommunity.org/nipd-20222/metisfoundationalknowledgethemes

Métis Jigging

Métis Nation of Alberta Website:(albertametis.com)

Métis Cookbook 

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