Why the Métis culture is perfect for your big day
December 15, 2020
Your wedding is going to be one of the most memorable and important events in your life. Incorporating Indigenous culture into your big day can bring it to a new level of spirituality and connection to the land. Here we look into how the Métis culture here in Alberta, is a perfect choice for making your wedding an event you will treasure for the rest of your life.
First, it can be useful to learn about the history of the Métis. Descendants of the original inhabitants of Canada, the Métis have grown into a distinct Indigenous people. Along with First Nations and Inuit, the Métis are one of three distinct Indigenous Peoples of Canada recognized by the 1982 Constitution Act. The Métis have a current population of over 450,000 with many living in the province of Alberta.
In the mid-1600s, mixed-blood offspring of European fur traders and First Nations people were born and began to form a new Aboriginal identity, know as “Métis”. The Métis developed into a distinct culture that drew from European and First Nation influences. Their diverse traditions and command of both European and First Nation languages made the Métis the best intermediaries between European and First Nation cultures.
The Métis have been living in Alberta well before Alberta joined confederation. In 1928, the Métis began organizing themselves politically. Today, Alberta’s Métis have grown to over 114,000 people and continue to maintain their relationship with the land and reliance on traditional harvesting practices.
The Métis have a rich culture and heritage
The opportunity to bring Métis culture into your wedding starts well before the big day. Your wedding invitation will be the first impression your guests will have, and is when they will learn about your wedding’s theme. Ask the venue you are using if they can refer you to local Indigenous artists to work with you to design invitations that highlight the Métis culture, both thoughtfully and respectfully.
For the wedding day, the Métis have a rich culture filled with experiences and stories that can make your wedding day perfect. Introduce traditional activities such as beading and finger weaving into your wedding theme, or include a Métis Jig in your first dance. The Métis have a rich history filled with music, art, and story that we are excited to share and bring to your wedding day.
Another area where the Métis culture can make your wedding truly memorable is food. Métis cuisine comes from a fusion of European and First Nations, local and international, past and present. Traditionally, the Métis were hunters, eating buffalo, moose, elk, prairie chicken, duck, and geese. Fish, wild berries, and wild plants were also important sources of food. Have your wedding catered by a Métis chef who can create authentic, mouth-watering dishes for you and your guests to enjoy.
About Métis Crossing
Métis Crossing is the first major Métis cultural interpretive centre in Alberta and is the premier centre for Alberta Métis cultural interpretation, education, gatherings, and business development. Sitting on 512 acres of land, including 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’s Cultural Gathering Centre
Our new Cultural Gathering Centre is a fantastic venue that is perfect for your big day. It was completed in 2020, designed by Métis Architect Tiffany Shaw-Collinge and built in honour of the Métis people. Using traditional craftsmanship and modern materials, the Cultural Gathering Centre is a stunning building that brings out the architecture of the fur trade era river lot homes while having the functionality of a contemporary building. It has been built to engage and excite our visitors through an exploration of Métis cultural experiences.
The future of Métis Crossing
Métis Crossing was created to be a year-round destination that is centred around the Métis story and culture and sharing it with the world. Future plans include:
- The Métis Crossing Lodge
- Star Watching Glass Pods
- Cooking Demonstrations
- Traditional Gardens
As part of your wedding planning, come and spend a day at Métis crossing to learn about our culture and how we can help bring it to your special day. 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, empathy, and acknowledgement. Contact us to speak with a representative about your future wedding or event plans.