Métis culture is alive and returning to Fort St James national Historic Site. As part of a new effort to showcase and tell the stories of Métis and their lives in the 1896 fur trade at Fort St. James, the national historic site embarked on a process this past spring to obtain Métis cultural artefacts and update interpretive media in the visitor centre display gallery. Métis were a crucial part of the fur trade across western Canada in the 1800’s and were employed in a variety of roles throughout the Hudson’s Bay Company. Parks Canada recently partnered with Métis across the country to renew the Métis story at a variety of national historic sites. Among the parks and sites receiving federal funding to update the story and how it is told are Lower Fort Garry, Batoche, Fort Walsh, Rocky Mountain House and of course, Fort St. James.
A Métis elders council was created, along with Parks Canada historians and staff from Fort St. James, to help update the historic site’s offer. This committee includes representatives of Métis people from Fort St. James and Prince George, BC. One of their leading recommendations, in addition to creating new interpretive signs and educational elements, was to propose the creation of the Métis Culture and Music Fest.
The first Métis Culture and Music Fest will take place on August 27 and feature a variety of fun and exciting educational activities. Amongst the programs taking place will be professional jigging lessons and instruction, a variety of musical talents and fiddle players and a craft fair. Free buffalo burgers will also be available to all visitors on August 27 beginning at 11 a.m.. Regular programs at the historic site will also be underway, including entertaining chicken races and the new hunting skills program, introduced this spring.
All activities are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fort St. James National Historic Site during the first annual Métis Culture and Music Fest on August 27.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 250-996-7191.