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We Are Métis

Our Heritage

Our Heritage

Our distinct Indigenous story - past, present and future.

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The Métis are a post-contact Indigenous nation, born from the unions of European fur traders and First Nations women in the 18th century. Overtime, we, the descendants of these marriages, have formed a distinct culture, collective consciousness, and strong Nationhood in the Northwest.

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Past, Present, and Future

Experience our modern facilities, with an appreciation for heritage and tradition.

Details of our modern facilities reflect of life as it once was at Métis Crossing, from dovetail architecture to hand-crafted textiles. Learn more about our land and regenerative approach to Indigenous tourism.

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Our History

Mayshkootonna

(trade)

The Fur Trade

The history of the Métis is entwined with the history of the fur trade, both as origin and as livelihood.

Our ancestors were the heartbeat of this bustling industry, serving as guides, interpreters, and negotiators for the major fur trading companies; the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Northwest Company. We were the backbone of the operation, fulfilling diverse roles as clerks, canoe men, fur packers, and suppliers of provisions. Our expertise in hunting was unmatched, with Métis hunters renowned for their skill and agility in navigating the wilderness. To facilitate trade and transportation, we innovated with the development of York Boats and the iconic Red River cart systems, revolutionizing the movement of goods and furs across vast expanses of the homeland. Métis communities flourished along the fur trading routes, with the bustling Red River Settlement in Manitoba emerging as a focal point of Métis culture and commerce. Through our ingenuity, resilience, and unwavering dedication, the Métis People left an indelible mark on the fur trade, shaping the course of history in Canada’s historic northwest.

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lii bufloo

(buffalo)

The Buffalo Hunt

The Métis developed a unique political and legal culture with strong democratic traditions, notably the elections of buffalo councils for organized buffalo hunts.

Laws of the hunt were created and enforced by the Buffalo Councils. The creation and initiation of these laws were the first steps towards Métis self-government, predating Canada.

Traditional Laws of the Buffalo Hunt:

  • No buffalo to be run on the Sabbath day
  • No party to fork off, lag behind, or go before without permission
  • No person or party to run buffalo before the general order
  • Every captain with his men in turn to patrol the camp and keep guard
  • For the first trespass against these laws, the offender to have his saddle and bridle cut up
  • For the second offence, the coat be taken off the offender’s back and be cut up
  • For the third offence, the offender to be flogged
  • Any person convicted of theft, even to the value of a sinew, to be brought to the middle of the camp and the crier to call out his or her name three times, adding the word “thief” at each time.
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Nishtawamiht

(identity)

Customs, Language And Tradition

Métis Crossing has the privilege of sharing the richness of Métis customs, language, and traditions with visitors. Our culture is a vibrant blend of First Nations and European influences, reflecting centuries of intercultural exchange and adaptation emerging as distinct. Our language, Michif, is a testament to this fusion, combining Cree and French elements to form a unique linguistic heritage. Beyond language, our customs and traditions encompass a wide array of practices, from fiddling and jigging to the art of beadwork and traditional Métis cuisine. These traditions serve as a link to our ancestors, grounding us in our identity and guiding us in our interactions with the world. Through storytelling, music, and hands-on experiences, we strive to preserve and celebrate these customs, ensuring that future generations can continue to embrace and honor the legacy of the Métis People.

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li terriwayr

(territory)

Our Deep Connection With The Land

The Métis People possess a profound and distinctive relationship with the land, deeply rooted in history, culture, and way of life. For generations, we have thrived in the vast and diverse landscapes of present-day Canada, blending Indigenous and European heritage into a harmonious coexistence with nature. This connection is not merely physical but spiritual, as the land serves as a repository of our traditions, stories, and identity. Through semi-nomadic lifestyles, Métis communities have cultivated a deep respect for the land, viewing it as a sacred partner in our journey. This intimate bond is reflected in our sustainable practices, resourcefulness, and profound understanding of local ecosystems, demonstrating timeless stewardship that continues to shape our collective consciousness and cultural legacy at places like Métis Crossing.

kinwaysh aen pimatishihk

(longevity)

Fight For Land Rights

Our journey for recognition and justice stretches back generations, marked by resilience and determination in the face of adversity. From the earliest days of European settlement, we fought tirelessly to protect our traditional territories, facing displacement, discrimination, and dispossession. Our land is not just a piece of property; it’s the foundation of our identity, our livelihoods, and our cultural heritage. Through activism, legal battles, and grassroots organizing, we continue to assert our rights, demanding acknowledgment of our land titles and rightful place as stewards of these landscapes. The struggle is far from over, but our commitment to the land and our collective future remains unwavering, rooted in the strength of our ancestors and the resilience of our community.

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La Vayritti

(truth)

Steps Toward Reconciliation

The Métis People’s journey toward reconciliation has been a multifaceted process, rooted in acknowledging our shared history, addressing past injustices, and fostering understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Through education, cultural revitalization, and dialogue, we’re working to heal intergenerational wounds and build bridges of mutual respect and cooperation. Reconciliation isn’t just about words; it’s about action and meaningful change. By reclaiming our language, traditions, and connection to the land, we’re reclaiming our dignity and agency in the face of colonial legacies. Every step forward, whether through land acknowledgments, treaty negotiations, or collaborative initiatives, brings us closer to a future built on reconciliation, where all peoples can thrive in harmony and equity.

Otipemisiwak

(the people who own themselves)

Otipemsiwak Métis Government

Alberta Métis have made history with the swearing-in of the first Otipemisiwak Métis Government. President Andrea Sandmaier, members of the Citizens’ Council, and District Captains took the oath of office before hundreds of Métis Citizens following the largest leadership vote in the Métis Nation of Alberta’s (MNA) history, and according to MNA research, the largest leadership vote ever held for an Indigenous government in Canada.

“The swearing-in of the Otipemisiwak Métis Government is a monumental milestone in our continued journey to Métis self-government,” said Andrea Sandmaier, President of the Otipemisiwak Métis Government. “My colleagues and I are committed to working hard for our fellow Citizens to advance the interests of Métis Nation Citizens within Alberta and push Métis  self-governance across the finish line.”

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Our Team

Our Team works year-round to provide unique programming and events for visitors, educators, students, and the Métis People.

Our Awards

Discover the milestones of our success through the awards that celebrate our dedication to service and excellence in the industry.

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We are Métis

Learn about our distinct Indigenous culture, traditions and shared history

We Are Métis

Common Questions

Do you have to be Métis to come to Métis Crossing?

Métis Crossing is for everyone! While we are proud to be a place that all Métis people can call home and can see themselves in, we are a place for everyone. When you come to Métis Crossing, we hope that no matter your background or previous knowledge, that you will leave with both a better understanding and connection with your own heritage and with Métis people.

What is Métis Crossing?

Métis Crossing is the first major Métis cultural interpretive centre in Alberta and is a premier destination for Alberta Métis cultural interpretation, education, gatherings, and business development.

Métis Crossing is a place for Métis people to share our Distinct Indigenous Story with the world, and a place for everyone to visit to reflect and reconnect with their own personal story.

Sitting on 688-acres of land, comprised of river lot titles from the original Métis settlers to the region in the late 1800s, The Crossing is designed to engage and excite visitors through an exploration of Métis cultural experiences.

Métis Crossing strives to represent and share elements of Métis culture; pride of culture and respect (with self-identification), family reconnection and reconciliation, sacredness of place and empathy and acknowledgement with all visitors.

What should I bring when I come to Métis Crossing?

When you are visiting Métis Crossing you should expect an outdoor experience. Visiting Métis Crossing is an opportunity to be outside and experience the 688-acres of beauty that is Métis Crossing. Not only that, but we are located along the North Saskatchewan River! When you come to visit, please consider the weather and season

Summer:

  • Good footwear that may get wet.
  • Dress in layers, and dress for the weather.
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Water bottle
  • A hat
  • Sunglasses

Winter:

  • Winter gloves
  • Toque
  • Winter boots
  • Scarf
  • Snow pants
  • Skates (for ice rink)
  • Skiis (for Cross-Country Skiing)
  • Thermos

Are pets allowed?

As we look to protect the permaculture at Métis Crossing, please adhere to the following rules related to pets:

No animals are permitted in the Metis Crossing Cultural Interpretive Centre, Deck or all lands east of the Campsite entry access road.

Pets are welcome and permitted only within the Campsite of Metis Crossing

Pets are not permitted near or within the Comfort Camping Trapper tent sites

Pets are not permitted at Metis Crossing canoe launch beach.

Pets must be kept on a leash no more than 2M in length at all times

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