Cenovus Skills Barn

Métis Crossing is the first major Métis cultural interpretive destination in Alberta offering visitors Métis educational experiences, gathering spaces, and business development opportunities. When you visit Métis Crossing you will be immersed in the distinct Indigenous story of the Métis people and take part in authentic cultural experiences and activities.

The Skills Barn at Métis Crossing was supported by contributions from our Threads of the Sash community partner Cenovus Energy. The Skills Barn is a place for learning, connecting and sharing traditional Métis skills. Visitors to the Skills Barn should expect to experience interpretative activities including traditional woodworking techniques, fishing techniques, hide tanning and trapping demonstrations.

 “Métis Crossing is an incredible resource for our province and our country that celebrates Metis culture and educates the public on their rich and important history.”  – Leanne Courchesne, Group Lead Community Investment at Cenovus

“Our hope is that the skills barn will showcase a wide range of skills, art and culture that Métis people have contributed to our society. Opportunities like this go a long way to help us understand each other better, a key and important component of achieving reconciliation.” – Leanne Courchesne, Group Lead Community Investment at Cenovus

Métis Crossing is thrilled to offer visitors the opportunity to participate in traditional skills diving deeper into the early life of the Métis People. The Skills Barn is important as it connects us to the past through a hands-on approach. Visitors will walk in the footsteps of our ancestors and gain an understanding of how they created life for themselves, through tradition, resilience and what was available to them through nature and their relationship with the land. This provides deeper understanding and appreciation to the early Métis way of life.

Métis Crossing is thrilled to have a partner in Cenovus, a company that strives to support programs and initiatives that help build strong families and safe sustainable communities. A big part of their focus is on supporting Indigenous traditions.

As we embark on this relationship, both Métis Crossing and Cenovus are excited to see what can be achieved through this partnership and look forward to providing a meaningful cultural experience for visitors. We believe this partnership will highlight and celebrate Métis Culture and hope that this partnership can continue to focus on education and supporting all people, allowing us all to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of Métis culture.

Canadian Multiculturalism Day

June 27, 2020 is Canadian Multiculturalism day. This is a day to discover the various cultures that bring Canadian society to life by participating in the many activities happening across the country. Métis Crossing encourages everyone to take advantage of this day as an opportunity to discover and appreciate the wealth and diversity of Canadian society.

Métis Crossing is the first major Métis cultural interpretive centre in Alberta offering visitors an immersive Métis cultural experience through interpretation, education, gatherings, and business development.

Métis people are proud to be one of the many cultures celebrated in Canada. While the Métis carry a distinct Indigenous story, we celebrate the diversity of all Canadians. Keep reading to learn a little bit about the Metis people and our heritage.

What does it mean to be Métis?

Of course being Métis means something different to anyone, but from a technical perspective it means a person who self-identifies as Metis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation.

The Métis are one of three distinct Aboriginal peoples of Canada recognized under the 1982 Canadian Constitution. During the Fur Trade (1670-1870), the Métis were known to be fiercely independent and instrumental in the development of western Canada.

What does the word Métis mean?

The word Métis comes from the Latin term “miscere” (to mix) and was used initially to describe the children of Native women and French men. Over time, the word “Métis” became the accepted term attributed to all children born to Native women and European men.

What is Rupert’s Land?

Rupert’s Land is a vast territory named after Prince Rupert of Rhine, a cousin of Charles II, and the first appointed Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Métis quickly became the intermediaries between European and Indian cultures; working as guides, interpreters, fur traders and provisioners to the new forts and trading companies. Métis villages sprang up along the riverways from the Great Lakes to the Mackenzie Delta. The Rupert’s Land territory included all or parts of present-day Northwest-Nunavut Territory, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, and became known to the Métis as the “Métis Homeland.”

What are some distinct Métis cultural elements?

Métis culture is a fusion of French, English, Scottish and Indian influences, and took root and flourished in the late 1800s. The Métis developed a unique language called Michif, using both Indian nouns, and English or French verbs. Métis fiddlers combined jigs and reels into their unique forms of dance and music. Métis women created intricately decorated attire included woven sashes, embroidered gun sheaths, deer hide caps, quilled and beaded pipe bags, and the capote, a European-style coat made from Hudson Bay point blankets. The sale of these items often contributed to the income earned by the Métis family.

For more information regarding the history of the Métis people visit:


Summer 2020 – Camping at Métis Crossing

Métis Crossing offers camping overlooking the beautiful North Saskatchewan River. This is the perfect way to experience Métis Crossing. By spending the night with us, you can explore and experience the Meet the Métis guided tour during the day and spend your night on site.

Métis Crossing is taking the following precautions to ensure that visitors and employees are doing their part to stay safe during this difficult time. These measures include:

  • RVs will maintain a 30’ distance between other RV sites;
  • Campsites will only be rented to campers with Recreational Vehicles which have their own functioning toilet, shower and holding tanks in order to keep the occupants isolated from others;
  • No Tent camping will be allowed; until deemed appropriate by the government of Alberta and public health officials;
  • RV’s need to have running water and a source of power;
  • Campers will be made aware of the sanitation dump in Smoky Lake at the Centex;
  • All stand-alone comfort-stations (washrooms and showers) will be CLOSED;
  • Park entrance will be secured by a physical barrier when not staffed by an attendant;
  • Campers are responsible for placing their own garbage into the dumpster, no collection services;
  • Campers will have to understand and sign a code of conduct agreement upon check in;
  • Métis Crossing Campground will offer contact free registration options.

Métis Crossing is excited to re-open on July 2, 2020, welcoming campers to the site. We will go above and beyond to respectfully ensure campers adhere to social distancing and all other public health recommendations ensuring the safety of all campers, visitors and staff. Métis Crossing is excited to re-open on July 2, 2020, welcoming campers to the site. We will go above and beyond to respectfully ensure campers adhere to social distancing and all other public health recommendations ensuring the safety of all campers, visitors and staff.

Summer 2020 at Métis Crossing

As a premier centre for Alberta Métis cultural interpretation, education, gatherings, and business development. Our overarching goal is:

Ensuring that the health and safety of staff and visitors is top priority.
To achieve this, Métis Crossing will be following all public health orders and measures outlined by the province of Alberta and the Métis Nation of Alberta.

This includes:

  • Communication related to Covid-19;
  • Procedures for Staff or Visitors who are sick, visiting, or camping;
  • Prevention measures (including screening, hygiene, cleaning, capacity of areas and physical distancing measures, and essential infrastructure to minimize transmission).

That is why beginning July 2, 2020, Métis Crossing will re-open to visitors, offering limited interpretive programming and camping options. Operating in accordance with provincial guidelines, Métis Crossing interpretive programming will be limited to our signature Meet the Métis program, providing isolated family units and small groups a socially distant interpretive experience.

Our Meet the Métis program is the perfect way for your family or isolated cohort to experience the beauty of the over 500 acres of wide-open spaces at Métis Crossing. Along with your close friends and family you will receive a private guided tour experience, connecting you with the distinct Indigenous story of the Métis people. Our Summer 2020 Meet the Métis package is the perfect family experience and includes:

  • A guided interpretive tour that will include an introduction to Métis Crossing, the Métis peoples, and their heritage.
  • A walking tour of traditional lands, camps and trappers cabin by our Métis Knowledge Holder, including:
    • An overview of traditional seasonal practices and their importance to the Métis people, as well as demonstrations of art, stories, and history;
    • A walk to the Sinclair and Cromarty Houses and Gardens;
    • An introduction to the families, their history’s, and an exploration of their houses;
    • A Garden tour.
  • Explore the Riverwalk Trail, including:
    • Medicine/Food walk
    • Traditional Games
    • Walk to Homer’s Place, including:
      • Fiddling and jigging demonstrations
      • Stories of the importance of music, dance, and celebration
      • Evolution of the jig
      • Jigging lesson
      • Traditional Arts and Crafts

All tours are isolated to individual groups (you will only interact with the individuals you arrived with), making Meet the Métis the ideal get away for you and your cohorts.

Packages are available by pre-booking only. Beginning June 22, 2020 at 9:00am Métis Crossing will be accepting bookings for the signature Meet the Métis program. Bookings will be available to groups of 10 or less and all bookings will be allocated a reserved date and time for their private tour experience.

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