Home Historical art Traveling Métis Way of Life exhibit showcases Métis culture through stories of their relationship with bison

Traveling Métis Way of Life exhibit showcases Métis culture through stories of their relationship with bison

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Parks CanadaThe Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert and Métis councilors launch an exhibit to share the history of Métis people and their connection to bison.

ST. ALBERT, Alta., June 18, 2022 /CNW/ – The historic success of conserving Elk Island National Park is becoming a story of reconciliation — a story about restoring relationships between Indigenous peoples and bison through transfers to communities and ensuring that their stories and knowledge are incorporated by Indigenous peoples into conservation of this important species.

Today, Brother Archie Arcand of St. Albert – Sturgeon County Métis Local, Shelley BiermanskyDeputy Mayor of St. Albertand Ahmad Sanni, administrator of the board of directors of the Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albertjoined Parks Canada officials to launch the traveling exhibit Lii Buflo: AMethis way of life highlighting the history of the Métis peoples and their relationship with the bison.

Working closely with a Métis advisory committee, Elk Island National Park and the Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert seek to highlight Métis voices and stories about bison. Through a blend of storytelling and art from a Métis artist, jesse goucheythe exhibition provides opportunities for people from Edmonton area learn about the history of the Métis people and the bison while raising awareness Elk Island National Park bison conservation program.

The Métis of the area now known as Edmonton continue to have a rich relationship with the bison. The story of this relationship is passed down through the story of the Elders. Historically, the Métis of this area would gather twice a year to hunt bison, known in the Northern Michif Métis language as lii buflo. It was a collaborative effort of multiple communities coming together to hunt and process bison.

At the turn of the 20e century, wild bison were on the brink of extinction after decades of commercial hunting by settlers for their pelts and to clear the plains for agricultural development. Between 1907 and 1909, some of the last surviving bison were shipped to alberta of Montana. Descendants of these bison can be seen in Elk Island National Park today. Since that time, the bison have found a protected sanctuary on Elk Island.

The traveling exhibition Lii Buflo: AMethis way of life highlights this important story. Representation in Art and History – Métis history parallels and intertwines with from Canada history, and is an important aspect of the founding of Western Canada.

Quotation

“Bison were an integral part of life for many Métis throughout Canada and continue to play an important role today. The government of Canada is proud of this collaboration to celebrate the Métis way of life, their important cultural connection to bison and our shared history. This is a wonderful example of Parks Canada working with Indigenous partners to honor the historical and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures, and the special relationships that Indigenous peoples have with the lands and ancestral waters. »

The Honorable Steven Guilbeault,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada

“The Metis Local 1904 of St. Albert and Sturgeon County is honored to be among the first community to take advantage of the Traveling exhibition Lii Buflo: Metis Way of Life. St. Albert Sturgeon County Métis Local 1904 thanks Parks Canada and all those involved in the development of the exhibit. This exhibit provides a brief overview of Métis culture in our region, as well as Western Canada and the relationship that existed and continues to exist between the bison and the Métis.
The Métis are the founders of the City of St. Albert and are grateful to have been included in the development of the exhibit. This exhibit will support the local’s efforts to revive and rekindle the rich Métis culture that existed in the St. Albert and the Sturgeon County area. »

Elder Archie Arcand,
St. Albert – Sturgeon County Metis Local

“We are proud to be the first host site for this and to be part of this collaboration, says Craig CameronChairman of the Board of Directors of the Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert. “Strong relationships have been formed because of this and will continue after the exhibit moves. We hope this will also create lasting legacies among other communities over time.”

Ahmad Sanni,
Director of the Board of Directors of the Fondation des arts et du patrimoine de St. Albert

Fast facts

  • The Lii Buflo: A Métis Way of Life The traveling exhibit and website provide a captivating and in-depth look at the historical and spiritual connections between Métis people and bison. The colorful story, illustrated by a Métis artist jesse goucheydirects visitors to a wide range of traditional, historical, and bison conservation resources for all ages.
  • An advisory council of the Métis community of Edmonton and St. Albert led the Lii Buflo: AMethis way of life exhibition to contribute to reconciliation and healing. The exhibit portrays their stories through their unique Métis voice in an accessible product that teaches all Canadians about the importance of the Métis relationship with their fellow nation, the bison.
  • This project was developed in partnership with the Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albertwith funding from Parks Canada’s Métis Reconciliation Fund.
  • The government of Canada is committed to reconciliation and the renewal of relations with indigenous peoples, based on the recognition of rights, respect, collaboration and partnership.
  • Visit the exhibition installation at St. Albert Historic Métis River Lots and Grain Elevator Park in the summer of 2022, during regular business hours, at no charge to visitors. Visit the exhibit website (https://www.pc.gc.ca/elkisland/lii-buflo) for more information and programming ideas for educators and the public.

SOURCE Parks Canada

For further information: Media Contacts: Kaitlin Power, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-230-1557, [email protected]; Jessica Burylo, Parks Canada Agency, 587-335-8257, [email protected]; Shawna Randolf, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert, 780-651-5743, [email protected]