Traditional Metis Food

Traditional Metis homes are well known for a pot of soup simmering on the stove, and a pot of tea ot the ready for familyand visitors. Oven-baked Bannock was a staple bread and eaten fresh as food did not sit for long in a large Metis family. Extra wild meat was always shared in the community and borrowing of staple food products was a common practice. It is often said that the communal lifestyle of the Metis was disrupted by the introduction of electricity and freezers into the Metis communities. Hoarding of food was unnatural, not practical and unheard of.

Metis soups have survived throughout the centuries. Besides being a time-honoured comfort food for Metis families, Metis soup can heal, and prevent many illnesses by incorporating all kinds of nutritious foods in a single pot. Soup bones, fish, beans, barley, rice, peas, root vegetables, onions, tomatoes, macaroni, are some of the ingredients used in Metis soups and recipes exist only for combinations not measured amounts.

To feed unexpected visitors, the Metis simply added more to the soup pot. The old sayings, You are what you eat, and let food be your medicine and medicine your food, will bring to mind the old Metis soup pot simmering on the stove.

The Metis People Fiddle(musical instrument)

The fiddle is the main instrument used in Métis Music. In the early days, fiddles were hard to obtain and expensive. The Métis simply made their own from maple wood and birch bark. While most music is contained in a bar structure, traditional Métis fiddle music is not. The Métis style of fiddling is unique in North America and can be heard across Northern Western Canada and the United States. The fiddle plays the melody, tells the story, and many Métis legends are recorded in fiddle tunes. Rhythm is supplied by toe tapping or spoons and the uneven and irregular beats of the fiddle created a bounce in Métis jigging that is as unique as the fiddling itself. The extra beats make the Métis jig a rapid moving dance and though similar to the Scots - Irish stepdance, the Métis jig is definitely unique in style. Another Métis tradition is called Turlutage. This is essentially the beating out of rhythm with spoons or the low section, the dancer does a fancy jig step, accompanied by syllables hummed to simple melodies.

There is a strong Gaelic influence in Métis fiddle music and some tunes have retained their original names while others have no name at all. Traditional Métis music and dance has survived over the centuries, however, oral tradition requires that master fiddlers continue to teach. Like the original Orkney fiddlers who over time began to play by note in the bar structure, Métis Fiddlers can also be influenced and the unique sound of Métis style fiddle would be lost.

The Metis are known as great fiddle players and step dancers. Both the fiddle playing and the dancing came from the

The Metis National Anthem(Proud To Be Metis)

In the forest on the river, and across the western plain,
As the white man journeyed westward, to the land of Indian.

A new race was created, a new nation rose up strong.
Hardship as its destiny, and its curse to not belong.

In the land from which they came, in the land they helped to build.
They found themselves the alien, found their vision unfulfilled.

And despite their valiant effort, to defend what they believe.
When at last the battle ended, they were only left to grieve.

We are proud to be Métis, watch our Nation rise again.
Never more forgotten people, we’re the true Canadian.

From Across the plain they traveled, from Red River to the Peace.
Looking for their homeland, that would help them to replace
All the land that had been taken, and the dreams that had been dashed.

Their brave heroes now called traitors, and courageous deeds now past.
But their spirit was not broken, and their dreams never died.

Their determination strengthened even while the people cried,
As they waited for the battle, that would end their years of pain.
And the final bloodless battle, when the Nation rose again.

We are proud to be Métis, watch a Nation rise again.
Never more forgotten people, we’re the true Canadian.

For this newest generation, and the future ones to come.
With the past to motivate us, it will help to keep us strong.

As we build the Métis Nation, as we watch it rise again,
Our past lost it’s motivation, to inspire our future gain.

We are proud to be Métis, watch a Nation rise again.
Never more forgotten people, we’re the true Canadian.

We are proud to be Métis, watch a Nation rise again.
Never more forgotten people, we’re the true Canadian.