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Exploring Métis culture

The Langley Centennial Museum is presenting a unique series of workshops that aim to bring families together in an exploration of Métis culture.

The sessions are intended for a parent and child, or a grandparent and grandchild, to work together and explore the culture of one of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. Enjoy listening to stories and learning hands-on traditional arts and culture.

The workshops will be hosted by Métis artisan Lisa Shepherd, and are open to all Metis and non-Metis people with a desire to learn and share.

The Story of the Capote —  Saturday, Feb. 18.

When the Hudson Bay Company brought point blankets to Canada for trading, the Métis cut them apart and stitched them back together to make a uniquely stylized coat, called a Capote. This workshop will explore the history and making of a Capote and the Métis sash that held it closed. Participants will get to see (and maybe even try on) a real Capote, listen to the story Fiddle Dancer by Anne Patton and Wilfred Burton and learn to make a blanket stitched CD pocket.

Métis Jigging for Big and Small — Saturday, March 24.

Get your jig on. In this workshop, participants will listen to the story Jenneli’s Dance by Elizabeth Denny and then learn basic jig steps to the Red River Jig, a dance once popular at Canadian kitchen parties. No dance experience is necessary. The steps are geared towards children and those over 40 years of age. If you can walk, you can jig. This workshop will teach some oral history around Métis cultural dance, a few new dance steps, and lots of giggles and jiggles.

Storytime and Bannock —  Saturday, April 14.

Get ready to roll up your sleeves and bake your own mini-loaf of Bannock with Lisa Shepherd’s family recipe. As the bannock bakes, sip a warm cup of nettle or muskeg tea and gather in a circle to hear the story Relatives with Roots, by Leah Marie Dorion. Cultural items, including a sash, spoons and drum will be explored. Please bring an apron, or wear clothing that you don’t mind flouring.

Traditional Métis Beading —  Saturday, April 21.

In this class, Lisa Shepherd will share the story The Flower Beadwork People by Sherry Farrell Racette. Participants will learn about a baby’s mossbag and will even get to hold one to see the beadwork up close. Explore some real Métis beadworks before working on your own colouring and beading art project.

Contact the Langley Centennial Museum for more, 604-532-3536 or information@langleymuseum.org.

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