History & Cullture

Suite 1:32 909 3rd Ave. North     Lethbridge, Alberta

Phone:  403-328-7823  Fax:  403 317-0232  Email:  metisnation@shawcable.com


Metis Sash

   The History of the Metis Sash originated in the Quebec village of L'Assumption, the Metis then began creating their own sash in the Red River area, as the Metis migrated it became one of the most distinctive dress of the Metis and a widely recognized symbol of the Metis culture.   

The Metis Sash is a finger woven belt made of wool and is approximately three meters long.  It was traditionally used to hold a coat closed being tied to the waist or worn as a scarf or used as a rope.  It was also used as a tapeline, key holder, first aid kit, washcloth and/or towel.  The Metis Sash could also be used as an emergency bridle and saddle blanket.  The fringes were also used for emergency sewing kits on buffalo hunts as well as counters for fur traders.  The traditional sash had many uses and remained to be worn long after the capote and the Red River coat were replaced by European styles. Today the traditional Sash is worn by members as a sign of nationhood and pride. 

   The new sash color was adopted by the Manitoba Metis Federation at their last Assembly.  Red, is the historical depicted color for the Metis Sash; blue and white represent the colors of the Metis Nation Flag; green signifies fertility, growth and prosperity and  Yellow was removed from the Manitoba Sash with black which symbolizes the dark period the Metis people went through of dispossessions and repression.  


Michif Language  (click here for lessons online)   Michif is the language spoken exclusively by Metis, who are the descendants of French fur traders and Indian women dating back to days of the Red-River Settlement in Manitoba.

    The Michif language is a combination of French nouns and Cree verbs and is spoken by Metis in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Colombia, and Ontario and into the south Slave region of the Northwest Territories.  The highest numbers of Michif speakers are found in the Prairies.            

    The Michif language is something we would like to preserve, so much of our heritage is dying and if we don't do something about it soon we will lose it forever.                      


   Fur Trade Stories  I thought this would be an interesting site for members interested in the history of our people.  Where they have been, the hardships they have seen and what life was really like during the fur trade days of our ancestors.  


 Hudson's Bay Company Archives-Biographical Sheets   This site contains records of those who worked for the Hudson Bay Company.  Some of the status of marriage and children was also recorded.