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Transcript of HISTORY
The Métis lived neither a quiet nor sedate lifestyle and celebration was an important part of the culture. Horse racing, horse-trotting, and winter sleigh racing was also enormously enjoyed as good sporting activities. As a matter of Métis pride, it was also very important to have the horses outfitted with flashy beadwork and colourful saddlecloths.
The Red River Jig fiddle tune has come to be known as the unofficial Métis anthem. It is believed to have been created by the Desjarlais family of the Red River colony. Métis fiddle music and performance was influenced by Scottish, Irish, French and Indian traditions resulting in a unique style. Vigorous foot tapping is believed to have originated as a replacement for Indian and Celtic hand drums. Métis music was intended for social purpose, especially dancing. This became so popular that it was not uncommon for weekly dances to be hosted at someone's house where several fiddle players would combine their talent and visitors would dance all night long. Sometimes, dances lasted several days. In order to accommodate more people, furniture from the house would be piled up in a corner or put outside until the dance was over. Since the houses were small, people would have to take turns dancing. The most popular dances were the rabbit dance, the duck dance, la dance du crochet and the Red River Jig. A typical Metis man's clothing:
Cloth or tanned deerskin or moose hide trousers
Beaded suspenders (sometimes)
Shirt (brightly coloured wool or cotton) OR
Shirt (tanned deerskin or moose hide Jacket (with beadwork)
On feet: woolen stockings and beaded moccasins Leggings (deerskin or moose hide)
Hat (woolen caps, large brimmed hats)
In winter: capote (like parka) made from HBC blanket
Sash (wool) to fasten the capote A typical Metis woman's clothing
Dresses (long, straight, dark coloured, with high neckline) OR
Skirt (gathered and decorated with ribbon)
Decorated wool or velvet leggings (worn with dress)
Scarves or shawls (on head)
In winter: wrapped in blanket (usually HBC blankets) or HBC coat
The early Métis women wore dresses that were inspired by Native styles. Over time, their styles became more ‘European’ in appearance. Métis clothing was often elaborately decorated with bright colours. Different colours had different meanings:
Red: represented the blood shed fighting for their rights
Blue: represented the depth of the Métis spirit
Green: represented the fertility of the Métis Nation
White: represented the connection to the earth and the creator
Yellow: represented the prospects of future prosperity
Black: represented the dark period of suppression Metis Shelter Métis Log Houses
Log houses were the most common Métis dwellings. They were basic square log cabins, made out of rounded logs with notched ends. The roofs were often flat. Mud and hay were put on the outside of the house for added insulation. Log houses in a village were usually built in a circle, with the largest building in the centre. The largest building in the village was generally used for dances and town meetings. Small Métis settlements, or villages, had around 40-50 log cabins. Furniture
The furniture and utensils in a typical Métis house were a mixture of both Native and European culture. Most of their furniture was made out of wood: wooden trunks, round tables, beds (covered with buffalo furs) Floors:
Some log cabins had wooden floors, while some had dirt floors. Water was added to the floor on occasion to keep the dirt floors packed down. Walls:
Buffalo hair and clay were added to the inside walls for added insulation. Typical Métis families decorated their walls with guns, powder horns, bullet bags, animal skins, and snowshoes. The Métis either used mud ovens or iron stoves for cooking. Utensils were carved from wood, or acquired through trade. Metis Food Traditionally, the Métis were hunters. Every aspect of their lifestyle was dependent on the buffalo hunt. They needed buffalo to survive. (hunting)
The lifestyle of the Métis revolved around the Plains buffalo. However, when the skilled Métis hunters were not on a buffalo hunt, they spent time hunting other animals for food. They hunted Pronghorn antelope, Moose, Elk, Mule deer, Prairie bush rabbit, and Wild birds, like prairie chicken, sage grouse, duck, and geese. (fishing)
If fishing was available in the area it was also a major source of food for the Métis people. They fished for whatever was available in the area, and mainly caught Salmon, Pickerel, and Trout. (gathering)
The Métis also gathered wild berries and edible plants. Berries were important food for the Métis. They were eaten alone, or added to a popular meal called ‘Pemmican’. Berries were stored in animal skins to prevent them from going bad. (cooking)
Storage and cooking containers were made from buffalo hides, mainly rawhide with a willow wood frame. These skin pots could not be placed directly over a source of heat. Instead, stones were heated over a fire and placed inside the container. If the container was filled with water, then the stones brought the water to a boil. Through trade with the Europeans, the Métis acquired more metal cooking utensils, such as Cast-iron pots, Cast-iron skillets, Copper kettles, Tin plates and cups, and Metal cutlery. Traditional Metis homes are well known for a pot of soup simmering on the stove, and a pot of tea ready for family and visitors. Oven-baked Bannock was a staple bread and eaten fresh as food did not sit for long in a large Metis family. Extra wild meat was always shared in the community and borrowing of staple food products was common. It is often said that the communal lifestyle of the Metis was disrupted by the introduction of electricity and freezers into the Metis communities. Metis soups have survived throughout the centuries. Besides being a time-honoured comfort food for Metis families, Metis soup can heal, and prevent many illnesses by incorporating all kinds of nutritious foods in a single pot. Soup bones, fish, beans, barley, rice, peas, root vegetables, onions, tomatoes, and macaroni, are some of the ingredients used in Metis soups. To feed unexpected visitors, the Metis simply added more to the soup pot. The old sayings, "You are what you eat," and "let food be your medicine and medicine your food," will bring to mind the old Metis soup pot simmering on the stove. Traditional foods include:
LA GALLETE (BANNOCK) (A ROUND, FLAT BREAD)
LES BAIGNE (FRIED BREAD)
LA RUBABOO (METIS SOUP)
LES BOULETTES (MEATBALLS)
LES TORTIERE (MEAT PIE)
SOUPE AU POIS (PEA SOUP)
POUTINE AU SAC (STEAMED PUDDING)
SOUPE AU BIN (BEAN SOUP)
LE FLAON (CUSTARD)
PEMMICAN (DRIED AND POUNDED MEAT MIXED WITH MELTED FAT AND OTHER INGRIDIENTS) Metis tools,weapons and hunting (tools)
The Métis used all parts of the buffalo that they hunted- nothing was wasted. They used buffalo skin to make containers, shields, buckets, ropes, and bags. They used buffalo bones to make knives, pipes, arrowheads, shovels, and clubs. They used buffalo horns to make arrows, spoons, powder horns, and ladles. During a single buffalo hunt, Métis hunters could accumulate over a million pounds of meat and hide. Women were responsible for butchering the buffalo, and loading the carts with the meat and furs. The buffalo meat that was brought back fed the Métis, fur traders, and white colonists in the area. All parts of the buffalo were used. The rawhide was used for containers, shields, buckets, moccasins, ropes, saddles, blankets, and snowshoes. Buckskin was used for cradles, moccasins, robes, shirts, leggings, dresses, bags, and tipis. Hair was used for headdresses, ornaments, moccasins, stuffing, and amulets. The skull was used for rituals. Horns were used for arrows, spoons, and ladles. Bones were used for tools, pipes, knives, arrowheads, shovels, splints, and clubs. Meat was used for pemmican, jerky, and soup. And, fat was used for soap, cooking, and medicines. North-West Rebellion First Nations Tools,weapons and hunting First Nations Food First Nations Culture First Nations Shelter First Nations Clothing First Nations Beadwork The artistic skill of Métis women was demonstrated in practical application of clothing design as well as decorative elements of outfits worn by people, horses and even dogs. The unique combinations of European and First Nations economic, social, political and spiritual traditions as an expression of Métis cultural identity gave rise to them being referred to as "Flower Beadwork People". Coats, mittens and caps for people were finely decorated, but the Métis honoured the important relationships they had with their animals by inventing elaborately decorated equipment for them. Horse halters, bridles, martingales, blankets, pad saddles, pouches and whips were colourful expressions of skill and artistic design. Dogs too were invaluable companions and workmates, earning custom-made blankets called Tuppies or Tapis to wear. Each was decorated with wool yarn, bells, flower beadwork or embroidery. It is said that when the bells jingled in time to their running gait, the dogs seemed to enjoy the sound and gain inspiration in the same way highland pipes inspired regiments. Many floral beadwork patterns were adopted by Indian women, and Métis-style coats made from hide and decorated with porcupine quills became popular with Europeans. Métis women produced many of their crafts for commercial purpose. Metis Beadwork Beadwork and floral design
The Métis decorated their clothing with fancy beadwork and floral patterns. They were so talented, in fact, that they became known as the ‘Flower Beadwork People’. The floral beadwork became an important part of Métis culture, as it was distinctively Métis. Beadwork was used on: jackets, bags, leggings, gloves, vests, moccasins. These items were traded throughout North America and Europe. It was common for the Métis to decorate their saddles and other horse gear. Traditionally, First Nations people, being resourceful and creative, used the materials at hand to make their instruments. They made gourds and animal horns into rattles; many rattles were elaborately carved and beautifully painted. In woodland areas, they made horns of birchbark and drumsticks of carved antlers and wood. Drums were made of carved wood and animal hides.
Drums and rattles are percussion instruments traditionally used by First Nations people. These musical instruments provide the background for songs, and songs are the background for dances. Many traditional First Nations people consider song and dance to be sacred. For many years after Europeans came to Canada, First Nations people were forbidden to practise their ceremonies.
Today, a revival of pride in First Nations art and music is taking place. First Nations people are recovering the knowledge, history and beauty of traditional First Nations art, music and musical instruments. Drums are closely associated with First Nations people. Some people say, "Drumming is the heartbeat of Mother Earth." First Nations made a great variety of drums. There are also tambourine-shaped hand drums, war drums, water drums, and very large ceremonial drums. Their size and shape depends on the First Nation's particular culture and what the drummer wants to do with them. Many are beautifully decorated. In many First Nations cultures, the circle is important. It is the shape of the sun and moon, and of the path they trace across the sky. Many First Nations objects, such as tipis and wigwams, are circular shaped. Traditional villages were often arranged with the dwellings placed in a circle. Till this day, many First Nations people hold meetings sitting in a circle. Meetings often begin with a prayer, with the people standing in a circle holding hands.
Hand-carved wooden flutes and whistles are less common than drums, but are also a part of First Nations traditional music. Ojibwe men played flutes to serenade girlfriends and to soothe themselves and others during hard times. The human voice, however, is the primary instrument of all First Nations. As it is in most ancient cultures, singing is the heart of First Nations music.
Every song had an original owner. Songs belonged to a society, clan, rite, ceremony or individual. In some cultures, one could buy the right to sing a song owned by an individual. The original owner would then teach the buyer to sing the song. Many traditional songs are still sung by First Nations people who follow traditional ways. Imagine life without shopping malls, with no place to buy ready-made clothing. What would you do if you had to make all of your clothes from what you could find in your natural surroundings? First Nations and Inuit peoples were able to create beautiful clothing from animal hides, fur, quills, feathers and even trees! They made the clothing as comfortable as possible while making sure that it was warm in cold weather and cool in the summer. Each tribe had different kinds of clothing designs, mostly to suit the weather where they lived. For the Inuit, warm clothing was a must in the extremely cold temperatures of the Arctic. Since caribou fur was considered the warmest, it was used to make their layered parkas for the winter. Some groups also made coats from polar bear fur. Seal skin was used to make waterproof boots, as well as lighter parkas for spring, summer and fall. All First Nations across the country, with the exception of the Pacific Coast, made their clothing—usually tunics, leggings and moccasins—of tanned animal skin. Woodland and northern First Nations used moose, deer or caribou skin. Plains First Nations mostly used light animal skins, such as buffalo, antelope, elk or deer.
Women prepared the animal skins and used a smoke tanning process to preserve the hides. Bone needles were used to sew the garments with sinew from the back or legs of a caribou, moose or deer. In winter, people wore robes of fur for extra warmth. Caribou skins were particularly valued by First Nations of the Mackenzie and Yukon River Basins because caribou hair is an excellent insulator.
Whenever weather permitted, men from Pacific Coast First Nations went unclothed. Any decorative touches on clothing came from nature. Many northern First Nations used dyed porcupine quills to embroider designs on their clothing and moccasins. Men and women coloured their clothing with red, yellow, blue and green dyes derived from flowers, fruits, roots and berries. The men of the Plains First Nations also regularly wore face paint, and a red dye derived from the clay was a very popular colour. The type of homes that aboriginal people built depended on the kinds of materials they could find nearby, the kind of weather they had to shelter from, and how often they moved from place to place. Some tribes who did a lot of hunting and gathering created houses, like tipis and wigwams, that could be packed up or left behind. Others who lived in permanent villages could make more solid homes from materials like logs and bark. To live in the harsh Arctic climate, the Inuit had to build strong, comfortable homes. Different Inuit groups had different kinds of houses. While hunting out on the sea ice, they would build igloos only as a temporary shelter from the wind and cold. However some Inuit groups began to use igloos for the entire winter. Other winter houses were built with stones and covered with sod. The coastal Inuit sometimes built larger homes that were partly dug into the ground and covered by seal skin or sod roofs. To make summer homes, animal hides were sewn together and held up with sticks or whale ribs. It took a lot of patience and skill, and an understanding of nature’s cycles, to be able to get enough food to survive all year in Canada. First Nation and Inuit peoples used many different strategies: hunting, gathering wild plants, farming, and trading food between tribes. One thing was for certain; nothing was ever wasted, especially the animals. Often when an animal was killed, the hunter would give thanks to its spirit for giving up its life. And every single part of that animal was used, not just for food but for clothing, tools, containers and much more.
All hunted animals were used very carefully. Caribou antlers and bones were used to make tools, while the skins were very important for making tents, clothing and warm parkas in areas where there were no bison. On the coasts and in the Arctic, whale was hunted for food (one whale could feed several families all winter long), while the rib bones made excellent ribs for boats and rafters for houses. Besides the bison, antelope, deer, elk and moose were hunted. Gophers, rabbits, prairie chickens and other small animals and birds were caught in snare traps. Fish was also a source of food. Many kinds of wild berries were picked including chokecherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and saskatoons. The berries were eaten fresh or dried for winter storage. Berries were also used for dyes, jewellery and medicines. Food was gathered and stored in birchbark containers. The First Nations Peoples relied on many native fruit species including: raspberries, strawberries, saskatoon berry, chokecherry, blueberry, pincherry, highbush cranberry, buffaloberry, buffalo currant and lingonberry (lowbush cranberries). Women and children gathered wild fruit. One method of collecting berries was to place blankets under the bushes then beat or shake the bushes so the berries fell off the branches. The berries were kept in baskets. Berries were eaten fresh or mashed and dried into cakes. In the early days the First Nations used spears with stone points. Then spears were replaced with bows and arrows. This made it easier to hunt. Arrows were lighter than spears so more could be carried. The arrows were more accurate and would go farther than a spear. The arrows were often made from the branches of an ash or willow tree. Arrowheads were made of stone. Decoys were made to look like ducks and geese. The hunters used the decoys to attract the birds. Once the birds were close enough the hunters could shoot them. Tools:
Hammers were made from a rock, wooden handle and skin straps. Hammers were used to break up firewood, pound stakes into the ground and crush berries.
Knives and hide scrapers were made of sharp bones or stones. The handles were made of deer antlers or wood. Bows and Arrows and spears were used to hunt. Because the Buffalo were so plentiful, they were hunted most often. Nomadic bands followed the migration of the Buffalo, so that they always had food. Moose and Elk were hunted occasionally. Wolves, lynx, coyotes, and rabbits were caught with traps. Catching an eagle and obtaining the feathers was a great reward. Weapons used by the Plains People for war or peace!
Warrior Shield: Made out of toughened hide and painted with a personal symbol; a warrior’s sacred possession.
Tomahawk: A warrior hatchet that could be used ceremonially as a peace offering.
Coup Stick: Proving his bravery, a warrior would use this long slender stick to touch an enemy in battle.
Pipe Tomahawk: Used for a weapon and for smoking tobacco. Known as the peace pipe.
Arrows: Points smaller than spears, penetrated skin more when fired by a bow. Longer range, greater accuracy, possibility of rapid fire shots. Great strength needed for arrow use. Types of Native Beadwork:
Peyote beading is a relatively easy type of Native beadwork that even children can do. Seed beads are strung with needle and thread and the beadwork is joined to form a hollow tube. It’s ideal for earrings, necklaces and bracelets. You can also find peyote beading covers for rattles, bottles or lighters.
As for supplies, old-style cut glass seed beads show up nicely in peyote beading.
Plains beadwork is often done using a stitch called lazy stitch. This stitch is good for decorating leather clothing and moccasins. Quillwork is also done with this stitch.
A great deal of First Nations beadwork is done on looms. These are usually home made but you can purchase looms in various sizes as well. This type of beadwork is used to create the patterns characterizing First Nations beadwork.
Depending on the environment, beads were carved from stones, shells and precious stones. Ivory, animal bones, antler and teeth were also used to make beautiful beading supplies. Metis Square Log Cabin! Metis Bow and arrow Metis Powder Horn Red River Resistance (1869-1870) Causes: - The land owned by the Hudson's Bay Company became the property of the new Dominion of Canada. -This angered many Metis and Aboriginals, who felt that new European settlers coming into the region were violating their land rights. -Hudson's Bay Company sold Rupert's land to the Canadian Government. Effects/Events: - In 1869-1870, the Metis of Red River took up arms against the Canadian Government. -In summer 1869, surveyors from Canada arrived in Red River to mark off land for settlers. -In 1869 (autumn) a group of Metis under the leadership of Louis Riel prevented William McDougall from entering Red River. Results: - Manitoba was established in July, 1870. (The Red River)
-John A McDonald then negotiated with the Metis.
-Much of the criticism is justified. Causes: -Metis were upset about not getting their land title.
-Government didn't want to give the Metis any land.
-Tribes signed the land treaty deals with the government – 1870's.
-Metis wanted assistance from the government to farm prairies successfully.
-Government ignored the Metis land claims.
-The government still didn't give tools and training to farm that was promised.
-Native people were once starving (since they were not trained to farm) the government began giving them food handout. Effects/Events: -The prairie uprising had a long lasting effect on a nation.
-On March 5 1885, Louis Riel and a group of Metis held a secret meeting.
-It was a harsh winter in 1885. The Cree Natives came to Battleford asking for blankets.
-On November 16 1886, Louis Riel is hanged in Regina. Results: -The Canadian Pacific Railway was completed!
-The Canadian milita acted as a disciplined military force.
-People in Quebec were angered by the hanging of Louis Riel. Louis Riel Date of birth: October 21, 1844
Place of birth: Saint-Boniface Province: Manitoba In 1869, the Canadian government decided that the Métis farms would be a good place to install English-speaking settlers from Ontario, and without regard for the rights of the Métis, Ottawa sent out surveyors, who treated the local people with great arrogance. Faced with this threat, the Métis decided to resist. They set up a provisional government for the territory they called (at the suggestion of Louis Riel) Manitoba, based on the principle of tolerance and equality among cultures. The provisional government elected Riel as its President. He decided to take over Fort Garry (Winnipeg), and published a list of Métis rights, to emphasize to the federal government the importance of negotiating with them Manitoba's entry into the Canadian Confederation. Chief Big Bear Big Bear was only forty when his father died. Big Bear took over as chief of the band, and during the next ten years, his band grew from 100 to about 520 men, women, and children. He had become the leading chief of a band of Cree which was known as the Prairie River People.
Unfortunately, Big Bear was taking over as Chief at a time when the Natives on the plains were experiencing a major disaster. Most of the millions of buffalo that had roamed the plains had been killed off.
As a result, the Natives became hungry and many were starving. They had no choice, they had to sign treaties with the White man in exchange for help.
Chief Big Bear Big Bear was born in 1825. His father was Chief of a band of Cree which hunted buffalo on the plains during the summer, and then spend the winter in the woodlands where they could hunt and trap.
When Big Bear was young, he learned how to ride, to use the bow and arrow, to hunt and fish, and to stalk buffalo on the open plains. At 12 years of age, he came down with the deadly disease of smallpox. Although he was able to survive, the disease left his face pitted with smallpox scars.
As Big Bear got older, he became a good hunter and horse thief. In the Native culture at that time, taking horses from others was seen as a valued skill even though it tended to create enemies. One time, Big Bear spent the entire summer out steeling horses from other tribes. When he returned home, he gave all his horses away to the people in his band PoundMaker Poundmaker was born in 1842 near Battleford. His parents died when he was very young, so he was raised by his Plains Cree relatives. We do not know much about his early life. But we do know that he did not gain a reputation as a great hunter or a great warrior. Instead, he was known for his ability to talk. As a man Poundmaker's greatest asset was that he enjoyed a battle of words. He impressed everyone with his speech which was dignified and seemed to be always well suited to the occasion.
When Poundmaker was a young man, Chief Crowfoot of the Blackfoot came to Poundmaker's camp and adopted him. The adoption created family ties, so it helped to stop the Cree and Blackfoot from fighting each other over the dwindling buffalo herds. The White public became impressed with Poundmaker. A newspaper reporter wrote: "He is a noble looking Indian.... His eyes are black and piercing. One moment they twinkle merrily at some humorous remark, and the next they flash with fire as something is said that is not agreeable to him." PoundMaker Thank You For Your Time!!:) By: Tania Chanana & Jinal Patel 8B2!