As it was a chilly morning, our first stop was the warm-up tent! We had some hands-on experience with different types of furs...
...and we learned which animals they came from.
Our first workshop was "People at the Forks". We represented the First Nations indigenous peoples and our job was to trade with two other groups, the Europeans and the Métis who were represented by other groups of students.
It was amazing to think how people managed without the use of money; we had to carefully discuss and evaluate what we needed and what we thought these items were worth in relation to the items we had for trade.
Our fearless leader, who negotiated our trades!
Hoopdancing by Shanley Spence was a breath-taking experience. She explained the symbolism of the hoop and its colours. Some students even had a chance to try hoop dancing for themselves.
Such beauty, skill and artistry!
Our last stop was Fort Gilbraltar (workshop A). Here we are at the "store" where European goods were traded for furs.
A traditional outdoor cooking pit
A variety of common foods of the Red River area, circa 1800, were explained in fascinating detail. The aroma of fresh bannock emanated from the outdoor oven!
Dried saskatoon berries and beans
Dried strips of bison meat was pounded into a powdery form and combined with fat to create balls of pemmican.
We learned that blacksmiths' work was a highly dangerous occupation.
Finally, a visit to the carpenter's shop where we saw a variety of unusual and clever tools of the 1800's.
This year the cold kept the snow sculptures in excellent form!
Next year will be the 50th year of Festival du Voyageur! To mark the occasion, each school participating this year was commissioned to create a quilt square, and one of our Gr. 7/8 students created this beautifully embroidered square. She has represented our school--and Jesus--wonderfully well! Merci beaucoup!