The National Historic Site at Fort St. James goes out with a bang this Saturday, as the annual Salmon Cook-off coincides with Métis Day, making for one spectacular event.
It begins at 8:30am when the salmon cook-off starts. Participating teams need to light their fires and whip up their special sauces and coatings, so that those attending can judge the result and name a winner. But Lana Olson, President of the Métis Nation Society of New Caledonia (MNSNC), says there’ll be a packed program to keep everyone entertained.
“There’ll be horse-drawn carriage drives—by donation—around the site starting at 11:00, and fiddlers, square dancers, and jiggers from Quesnel starting at noon. There’ll also be tomahawk throwing, which is open to everyone; chicken and duck races, along with chicken bingo, and we hope to have face-painting and a craft table for kids.”
There will also be a tow-rope competition—a tug-of-war—between competing teams, and Olson is looking for four to five teams of five people each to take part. “Groups from the business community, the RCMP, individual teams—all can take part.” Proceeds from the competition will go to benefit the Cops for Cancer charity.
There will also be plenty to eat, with a barbecue, bannock, and a bake sale, proceeds from which go to the MNSNC. Admission to the National Historic Site for the day is free, and the event is a partnership between the NHS, Métis Nation BC, and the MNSNC.
“It’s meant as a cultural event,” says Olson, noting that the MNSNC is always looking for members. The society encompasses the area from west of Prince George to Burns Lake, and North to Fort St. James, and is open to those with Métis heritage and to non-Métis. For more information, contact Lana Olson at (250) 570-9979, or check out their Facebook page.
Although the National Historic Site closes for the season on Sept. 20, people can still visit the site between then and when it reopens on June 1, 2016. The buildings will be closed and winterized, but the paths are kept clear, and visitors can take a self-guided tour around the property. Parks Canada staff will be available to answer enquiries at (250) 996-7191.