(Felker Lake, British Columbia) Just 15 minutes outside of Williams Lake in British Columbia’s Chilcotin Valley lies beautiful Felker Lake where every summer the Cariboo Chilcotin Métis Association (CCMA) celebrates their culture at an all day festival filled with music, dancing, food and games. This year the Métis Community Picnic was even bigger attracting over 120 people from as far away as Kamloops and Prince George.
The British Columbia Métis Federation (BCMF) was invited to attend this year and was represented by BCMF Cultural Ambassador Beverly Lambert who watched in awe and pride as the BCMF flag was properly raised with respect and dignity to fly for all to see. Beverly spent the day teaching the children to dance in the traditional ways and as always her strength and talents shone through her two performances with the children created especially for their grandparents much to the delight of the crowd.
BCMF Cultural Ambassador Beverly Lambert stated, “It was an emotional experience for me to be at Felker Lake to be welcome among my people and my community and to witness the coming together of young and old to celebrate traditional Métis culture the way our ancestors would have liked.”
BCMF Board member Rose Bortolon packed her bus with Métis elders from Prince George to join in the fun and her group participated in playing in a crib tournament and bingo games. They also were very appreciative of the potluck supper that was served and the wonderful singing of Arnold and Wayne Lucier who can be counted on to delight young and old with their songs and on stage banter. The day ended with a fireworks display but the sense of family and belonging will last all the way until the next picnic in 2012.
CCMA President Wayne Lucier stated, “Young and old enjoyed themselves and it was a great Métis cultural celebration thanks to people like Beverly Lambert.”
BCMF Founding President Keith Henry said, “I personally thank the CCMA and their leadership for inviting all Métis people to come together as family. BCMF has continued to make cultural support a priority and our representatives spent the time and energy to attend. No one from the MNBC board attended. Not the North Central regional representative Annette Maurice and no show from MNBC President Bruce Dumont despite the fact these people continue to take pay for their purported representative jobs. I am very proud of the way that Métis community organizations, like the CCMA, bring the Métis community together every year to celebrate our traditional values of Métis culture and heritage. With all the obstacles and challenges Métis people have in overcoming years of cultural neglect and misunderstanding it is this type of event at Felker Lake that brings together our people, our music, dances and stories and blends them altogether into one harmonious day in which everyone feels special and appreciated for who they are. For that alone the CCMA is to be commended and congratulated for a job well done.”
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, V5R 5W2
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-August-17th-2011-Felker-Lake.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download this press release in PDF format.[/ilink]