Good turnout for Big Valley Métis Hivernant Rendezvous

Leela Lizotte entertains the crowd with a jig at the Métis Hivernant Rendezvous in Big Valley over the long weekend. Leela competed in the nine and under category of the talent contest held Sunday. Dad Brian and sister Brianna accompanied the contestants with lively fiddle music as well as entertaining throughout the rendezvous.
ECA Review/D.Johnston


Lively, jigging fiddle music filled the air prior to the opening ceremonies of the Métis Hivernant Rendezvous held in Big Valley July 31 to August 2.

Over 175 people attended the 12th annual rendezvous, some far as far away as the Northwest Territories.

Visitors were treated to a number of activities including music, story telling, games, meals and a talent contest featuring singing, jigging and fiddling. A number of displays and silent auction items filled the Big Valley Seniors Centre, the meeting place for the rendezvous.

Trap lines
Marcien LeBlanc, a retired trapper who hales from Stauffer, AB displayed an impressive number of traps, skins and mounts, all of which he trapped himself.

LeBlanc attends events like the rendezvous to educate visitors on the changes in the trapping industry.
Soft catch holding devices have replaced the older style leg hold traps for a more humane way of trapping.

LeBlanc attends events at least once or twice a month all over Alberta in order to educate people about the trapping methods of today.

Growing up Métis
As Eddy Picher of Cochrane waited for a crew of volunteers to meet on the park grounds to raise a tent, he chatted about his life as a Metis youngster.

Growing up, Picher recalls his family never shied away from their Métis heritage but knew of many people that did. Times were different then Picher explained. Métis were not accepted as white or native and were largely rejected by both groups.

With the relatively recent recognition of Métis as a unique culture in Canada, that has changed said Picher. However, prejudice still exists he explained.
As Picher observed, no matter what heritage a person has, we should all respect that we live in one country under one flag and we are all Canadian.

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