–by Jo-Ina Young
Members of the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria are having their Summer Picnic this year at the Sooke River Campground on Saturday August 26th. marking our 20 year anniversary. The Summer Picnic begins at noon and will run into the afternoon. This is event is open to everyone.
We will be putting up our Teepee for all to come and enjoy. Our Teepee is an interactive experience, with always a story to be told or a question to be answered. “Who are the Métis?” is usually one of them. All are welcome to come inside and enjoy.
Along with the Teepee, we will have our Voyageur Canoe on display. Craft tables will be set up for whoever wants to try their hand at beading or sash making.
For the children we have a Louis Riel Race. This is based on the race in Batoche. The children must ride the ponies, then shoot the buffalo, then throw the axe, then portage the canoe and, lastly, carry the fur packs to the fort.
Fear not, the children won’t be handling real ponies, buffaloes or axes.
I have taken two old spring horses and prettied them up to look like Metis Ponies. The Buffalo is cut out go a sheet of plywood and they have children’s bow and arrows. For the axe throw, I made a target and covered it in velcro and then made three velcro axes. It works quite well.
For the portage, there are two inflatable canoes, and the children have to go to the river and portage the canoes up the bank. Then, they grab the fur bundles and tumpline, and run to the finish line. The race will be done two at a time, and we have first and second ribbons for all the children.
For the adults, we have the nail pounding for the men, and for the women there’s a Buffalo Chip Toss into the fire. The buffalo chips are also not real. They will be painted frisbees, and there will be a marked ring for the fire. If the buffalo chip lands upside down that is what’s known as a “stinker.”
And of course there will be jigging.
We are having a Potluck Lunch with Metis Fry Bread and Bannock.
All are invited to attend, and to experience and learn more about the Métis in this region.
Métis Summer Picnic
Sooke River Campground
2259 Phillips Rd, Sooke, BC
Saturday August 26
Starting at 12 noon