Red River Jig

Today is Louis Riel Day here in Manitoba, Canada.  It seems like a fitting time to post a fabulous picture I recently received from a cousin.

It’s a picture of Mémère, at the age of 81, dancing the traditional Metis Red River Jig.

Red River Jig

Red River Jig

The party is taking place in the basement of her son Joe’s home on Kensington Street.  Clapping and watching are Joe, his sister Irene, and me.  I love the smile on Mémère’s face!

You can listen to the tune being played by the renowned Andy DeJarlais here.

You can see award winner Ryan Richard jigging here.

 

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Louis Riel Day

Louis Riel

Louis Riel Image courtesy Duffin and Co. / Library and Archives Canada / C-052177

In honour of Louis Riel Day (the 3rd Monday of February here in Manitoba), I thought I’d post a tribute to my Metis ancestors in the Hogue line. I know so little about the Metis women in my heritage. The first one, of course, is Marguerite Taylor, whom I’ve written about here. Country wife of Sir George Simpson of Hudson Bay Company, mother to two of his children, then married off to Amable Hogue.

Scrip application for Marguerite Hogue Library Archives Canada LAC RG 15 v. 1321

Scrip application for Marguerite Hogue
Library Archives Canada
LAC RG 15 v. 1321

Next is Genevieve or “Jenny” Beignet. Country wife of John Warren Dease, Sr. I haven’t written about them yet. Genevieve was born about 1796 in what is now Green Lake, Saskatchewan and died 10 Nov 1860 in St. Boniface. When John died in 1830 she was left with very young children which she raised in the Red River Settlement, possibly with the help of her brother-in-law Francis Dease.

Lastly, is Josephte Belisle, country wife of James McMillan. I’ll be getting to their story soon. Josephte was born around 1785. She was still alive in 1875, but I don’t know exactly when she died.

Scrip application for Josephte McMillan Library Archives Canada LAC RG 15 v. 1322

Scrip application for Josephte McMillan
Library Archives Canada
LAC RG 15 v. 1322

The only Metis artifact I have is the beautiful beadwork which I wrote about here.

My Dad used to make “jiggers”. Wish I had one of them now, but I have to be content with one I bought last year at Festival du Voyageur.

Jigger
To this day I get tears in my eyes when I hear the “Red River Jig” being played on a fiddle. Reminds me of my Dad.

Happy Louis Riel Day!