Métis Crossing a Place for Everyone
September 10, 2021
MétisCrossing is Alberta’s first Métis cultural interpretive destination and is a place for everyone of all backgrounds, knowledge levels, and purposes for visiting, to come and experience Métis heritage and culture. Sitting on 512-acres of land, comprised of river lot titles from the original Métis settlers to the region in the late 1800s, MétisCrossing is designed to engage and excite visitors through an exploration of Métis cultural experiences. The development of the Crossing has been a dream of many for decades and with the completion of the Cultural Gathering Centre in 2020 and the upcoming completion of the Lodge at Métis Crossing in 2021, the dream has become a reality.
For many, Métis Crossing represents a place for Alberta’s Métis people to call home. A place that symbolizes Métis heritage and celebrates the Métis culture. The location of the Crossing along the North Saskatchewan River on traditional river lot titles tells a story centuries old. The Red River carts, the traditional Métis homes, the fishing and hunting camp exhibits, all tell the story of a people who have traditional been hidden in plane sight.
It is very common for Métis individuals who have limited connection with their heritage to visit the Crossing in search of answers. Some have just learned of their family connection to Métis heritage, while others may have known their entire lives, but had little interaction with Métis communities or Métis culture. Métis Crossing welcomes everyone and encourages individuals to explore and think critically about their own heritage, Métis or otherwise, as they visit the Crossing.
There is an endless supply of educational opportunities and experiences to participate in at Métis Crossing. Our interpretive programming includes two important and unique elements. Firstly, at Métis Crossing we believe that Métis stories should be shared by Métis people. Our Knowledge Keeper is onsite and is eager to share her experiences and traditional knowledge with all who walk through the doors. In addition to our Knowledge Keeper, we are also fortunate to have a group of Métis youth who make up our interpretive team. The opportunity for Métis people to share their stories means a great deal and it is an incredible opportunity for visitors to learn more about their distinct Métis experience, Métis culture and Métis heritage.
Secondly, Métis Crossing believes in an immersive experience. Métis Crossing is not a museum, it is a place for hands on learning and interactive experiences. The guiding philosophy of the Métis Crossing interpretive experience is to engage visitors through their heads, hearts, hunger, and hands. This means that while you are enjoying an educational experience you should also be enjoying Métis stories, Métis and Indigenous cuisine, and you should be learning traditional Métis skills such as hand weaving or beading.
Métis Crossing is a place for everyone no matter your previous knowledge or experience with Métis culture or Métis heritage. At Métis Crossing you will experience hands on learning and Métis people sharing Métis stories. Métis Crossing offers daily experiences, signature experiences, traditional workshops, and special events. Everyone is welcome at all of our offerings, and we encourage you to come and learn more about Métis culture, while also thinking critically about your own experience and heritage.