ᑕᐣᓯ ᑫᓯᐦᑕᐧᕁ [Tansi Kesihtwahk] - Culture
The Métis community is a mixture of cultures, including Cree, Ojibwa, Saulteaux, and Assiniboine on the aboriginal side and French, Scottish and Norwegian on the European. Traditional knowledge and values, passed on through elders, are essential to retaining the culture of Métis people and have helped it survive through ever-changing times.
Members of Fishing Lake Métis Settlement came to Fishing Lake from all over western Canada and the USA in the 1920s and 1930s, sharing a wide variety of cultural experiences in dance, music, food and clothing, both traditional customs and contemporary influences.
The Métis flag has adopted the infinity symbol to signify the joining of two cultures, represented by the two joined circles. The sign of infinity also means that the culture will live forever and the practice and values of the Métis shall endure. An important part of our culture is that once you are Métis, you are always a Métis.
The sash was traditionally a practical and traditional item of clothing for the Métis, used for tumplines, garters and other useful household articles. The sash has acquired contemporary significance, symbolizing pride and identification for Métis people. It’s often presented as a gift for Métis and non-Métis people who have distinguished themselves in the community.
The violin, or fiddle, is another icon of Métis culture. Métis musicians developed a signature sound that reflected the culture’s mixed ancestry, combining Aboriginal, French and Celtic influences in a unique blend of styles. Portable, easy to tune and play, fiddles were common in Métis households, often handmade from maple wood and birch bark.