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The Métis in Western Canada: O-Tee-Paym-Soo-Wuk

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The BeginningsThe People and Their CommunitiesCulture and Lifeways
Sports and Recreation

There has been increasing interest among Métis people to provide organized team and individual sports for their youth. Most existing recreational activities include traditional voyageurs games played at gatherings like the Hivernant Rendezvous. One of the most common forms of recreation for all ages of Métis is dancing.

Traditional voyageurs games include a series of events that test the skills that would have been needed by the voyagers. These events include the 540-pound sack carry, 180-pound sack carry, cream can carry, and 300-pound pole carry. The winners of these competitions are determined by the speed and distance the individual completes the task.

Added to these activities is the sling shot event and the hatchet throw. Other activities include paddling long distances and completing a series of portages.

There are also organized traditional dance groups like the Edmonton Métis Cultural Dance Society that was organized to promote traditional dances and music. It is their goal to preserve the unique character of Métis dance and to teach the dances to younger generations. When called upon, they also travel to events to share the Métis culture.

Many of the cultural, sport and recreational activities of the Métis people today serve the function of preserving, promoting, and teaching others their traditions and culture.

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St-Paul_des_Métis Dance Troupe, Circa 1920

Buffalo Lake Métis Gathering

 

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