April 12th, 2024

Metis Sash Day at the college this week

By Troy Bannerman - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on November 14, 2023.

Brittany Lee is a high energy Metis woman who supports students at Lethbridge College as an academic advisor and recruiter whose focus is on helping Indigenous Students find their path to success.

Lee has been at the heart of organizing Metis Sash Day and getting Metis in our community involved. In a recent interview she described the details.

The event is set for Thursday at the college from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“It’ll be a fun packed day, we’re really excited to have this opportunity to bring our vibrant culture and our amazing people together to put on an event so that other people can learn what it means to be Metis and what the Metis people have to offer in terms of culture, knowledge, our background,” said Lee.

So, What exactly does she have in store for people on campus that day?

“The day begins at 9 a.m. We’re gonna have people gathering in Central Core of Lethbridge College. We’ll have a Metis elder say a prayer to open up the day, then we will have a few people from the college speaking, some students speaking. I’ll do an opening as well. At 9:45 we’ll do the flag raising in front of the college. And I’ve asked two students, Keelan Coates and Adam Pasowisty, to actually do the flag raising. They’re very excited and honoured to be able to do this for our community. And it feels like we’ve got a community growing in a very big way here, said Lee.

“Then at about 10 o’clock, we’ll have the vendors set up. We’ve got a few beaders. And we’ve got the Lethbridge and Area Metis coming to sell some things.”

A person will be there to do some genealogy for people who are interested in exploring that.

“Rupertsland Institute is going to be here. And we’ve got two cultural presentations. And so some of the other vendors that we’re going to have are a Michif table, I’m going to have a little corner for kids activities, Melanie Morrow is going to be here doing some crafting events and things. My daughter is going to be here also putting together some crafts. A storytelling corner, and then we’re going to have two cultural tables. Rod Macleod and Carl Jerome will be there with their pieces to be able to do some education on some of our culture,” said Lee.

At about 10 a.m. there will be a presentation on Metis identity which talks about who the people are and how they got here.

At 11 a.m. another speaker will talk about Metis identity and how it is seen across the Metis homeland. Brian Anderson will be able to explain his journey back to his culture and how that was for him.

At 1:30 p.m, Lethbridge College instructor Emory Hache is going to explain Michif as a language, the differences and the realities of it, and some of her research on that.

“For lunch we’re gonna have buffalo stew, bannock, coffee, tea, and we’re gonna have cookies with a sash and an infinity symbol on the front. And this is all done by our wonderful culinary team. The instructors and the students alike are going to be working together to put this on for everybody here, college people and everyone in the community,” said Lee.

“The other things that we’re going to be doing is in the afternoon, from about 1:30 till about four, Cristobal Piche and Dustin Gamble, as well as their auntie, are going to come do some cultural showcases with dancing, storytelling, and some cultural pieces. And then we’d really like to have people join in with the dancing, and they are going to be accompanied musically by Daniel Beeson-Bergeron and Monique Giroux.”

The afternoon should be full of fun with a little bit more movement for people to participate in.

“We are extremely excited to be able to provide this in a space where the community can get together both in the college as well as outside of the college. And it will be a great learning opportunity for people of all backgrounds, whether they are Metis or not to understand who Metis people are, what we’re about, and the stories that we have to tell.”

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