Northern Lakes College hosted its 15th annual Métis Celebration at the Grouard campus on Oct. 21.
The Métis people of the area have long held traditional social gatherings which draw singers, jiggers and fiddlers from across the region to participate, and compete in a variety of talent categories, says an NLC news release.
“Northern Lakes College takes pride in the connection we have to our students and the communities we serve,” says Ann Everatt, president and CEO.
“The college recognizes the importance of sharing the history and culture of the Métis people of our area.
“Hosting the annual Métis Celebration not only emphasizes the importance of this, it also strengthens relationships and showcases the cultural diversity within our college.”
The celebration was well attended and provided a great opportunity for people to reconnect, share stories and participate in the competitions for jigging, singing and fiddling.
Jigging is a traditional dance of the Métis People – a well-known Métis dance is the Red River jig which is a competitive dance between two partners.
Guests had an opportunity to showcase their talent and this year the following individuals took first place in competitions: Keira Inglis (children’s singing), Carmen Pelletier (adult singing), Doreen Lader- oute (senior singing), Brenden Eagleplume (open singing), Zachary Willier (open fiddling), Kenton Alook (youth jigging), Raymond Cardinal (adult jigging) and Mavis Goodswimmer (senior jigging).
New this year to NLC was a Métis Celebration Kick-Off event that was held at the Peace River campus Oct. 19.
Visitors were able to enjoy stew and bannock, watch a jigging demonstration, and listen to Métis Nation of Alberta speaker Marilyn Lizee and three speakers from Rupertsland Institute – Sharon Sawchuk, Lisa Saville and Michele McCullough.
The event was live-streamed on Facebook allowing the public and all of NLC’s campuses to participate.
The kick-off event was organized in partnership with the Peace River Community Education Committee, Métis Nation Region 6, Métis Nation of Alberta and Rupertsland Institute.