This last weekend the BC Metis Federation was proud to showcase Metis culture prominently at the 17th annual European Festival in Burnaby BC at Swangard Stadium to kick off the summer of culture events for Métis people in British Columbia.
Over 20,000 people over the weekend enjoyed Metis dance, stories and traditional music from youth and young at heart. Special thanks to the Buttertown Jiggers, J.J. Lavalee, the Mike Sanyshyn band, the Silvertip Swingers, authors George and Terry Goulet, Mechtild Morin and her weaving, Keith Hill, Derrick Whiteskycloud and the Michif Historical Cultural Preservation Society and other volunteers who shared cultural knowledge and skills with the crowds or supported the event.
BC Metis Federation Vice President Daryl Piper joined other dignitaries on the main stage in the opening ceremonies and greeted the large crowd in an opening speech along with others, including Burnaby mayor Derrick Corrigan and provincial and federal politicians. As well, Metis were proud to be represented in the parade in the opening ceremonies.
In the opening ceremonies, BCMF Vice president Piper stated, “The BCMF is honoured to be co-hosting the event with Germany. The Métis people share an enriching history with our European ancestors.” After thanking mayor Derek Corrigan and all the delegates and volunteers, Vice President Piper added, “The most important thing is that we be proud of who we are and preserve our heritage and culture for generations to come.”
BC Métis Federation Secretary Joe Desjarlais concluded, “There was no doubt to all present that Metis people, their music, culture and history was very well received from visitors and dignitaries alike, and that Metis have a prominent and increasing role in the public fabric of our community.”