Métis Music/Art Fest Top Speakers | New


The Montana Métis Music and Arts Festival at the Choteau Pavilion June 3-5 will feature a dynamic line-up of speakers, an old-fashioned fiddle competition, daily traditional food concessions and, new this year, a jigging dance contest.

Sponsored by the non-profit organization Mitchif Heritage Keepers, the event begins each day with the display of the colors and an opening prayer followed by a social gathering and breakfast from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. .

Throughout the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday there will be arts and crafts booths, a raffle, concessions, guest speakers, Métis language workshops, music and dancing and more.

This year’s speakers are Reverend Alfred Moran Jr., a Métis from Turtle Mountain who will speak about Métis history in Montana; Monique Giroux, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Music, Culture and Politics at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada; and Rosalyn LaPier, award-winning Indigenous writer, ethnobotanist and environmental activist with a PhD in environmental history.

Moran attended Northern Montana College in Havre, Montana University in Missoula, and Central Indian Bible College in Mobridge, South Dakota.

He has been a professional musician for many years, traveling with his five sisters to perform in the United States and Canada. While living in Malta for many years, he was involved in community action programs and sometimes drove school activity buses to sporting events.

Now retired, he spends his time reading and studying Métis history and attending his grandchildren’s sporting events.

He will speak from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday.

Giroux completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Queen’s University and holds a doctorate in ethnomusicology and a master’s degree in musicology from York University and a bachelor’s degree in music, combining performance and research at Brandon University.

Her research focuses on the revival and resurgence of Métis culture, critically exploring how music is used to mediate relationships between Indigenous nations and settler populations. Giroux has undertaken ethnographic research in the Canadian Prairies, Ontario, North Dakota and Montana, as well as extensive archival research focusing on public discourse and settler appropriation of Métis culture.

She is working on a project to bring music and music-related material back to Métis communities. She has published book chapters, encyclopedia articles, and journal articles on a wide variety of ethnomusicology of Métis history and culture.

Giroux will give his talk on the history of the Métis violin and ethnographic research Friday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

LaPier works within Indigenous communities to revitalize Indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge to address environmental justice and the climate crisis and strengthen public policy for Indigenous languages.

She is a traditionally trained ethnobotanist, who learned ethnobotany and traditional ecological knowledge by apprenticeship with her maternal grandmother, Annie Mad Plume Wall, and aunt, Theresa Still Smoking, for over 20 years.

She has written two award-winning books, two lexicons of the Blackfeet language, and dozens of articles and commentaries. His writing has appeared in The Conver-sation, High Country News, The Montana Naturalist, and The Washington Post, among other publications.

Working on her third book, she divides her time between living in the heart of Salish country in Missoula and on the Blackfeet reservation. She is a registered member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and Métis.

It will take place on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the theme of phytotherapy.

The schedule of daily events is as follows:

Friday, June 3:

10 a.m. — Alfred Moran Jr., speaking about the history of the Métis.

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Lunch, arts, crafts and genealogy tables.

2 p.m. — Music and jam session with jigging.

3:00 p.m. — Panel of Métis elders.

4 p.m. — Genealogy table and crafts.

5:00 p.m. — Lesson from Carol Rae Moran on how to cook the galette/bannock.

6:00 p.m. — Dinner concessions will be served.

7 p.m. — Music and jam session.

Saturday June 4:

9 a.m. to 10 a.m. — Registration opens for the violin competition (closes at 3 p.m.).

10 a.m. — Language game/association and pronunciation.

11 a.m. to 12 p.m. — Comedian Mike Yetti will entertain.

12 p.m. to 1 p.m. — Lunch concessions.

1 to 3 p.m. — Music/violin.

3:00 p.m. — Panel of Métis elders.

4 to 5 p.m. — Dinner concessions.

5:00 p.m. — Auction begins.

7 p.m. — Beginning of the violin competition.

Sunday June 5:

10:00 a.m. — Worship Service and Gospel Jam with Reverend Alfred Moran Jr.

11 a.m. — Roz LaPier show on herbal medicine.

12 p.m. to 1 p.m. — Lunch concessions.

1:00 p.m. — Memorial jigging contest in honor of Rose Moran, sponsored by her children. Prizes for first, second and third place will be awarded and prizes will be given to children who also jig.

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. — Opening of genealogy tables and craft tables.

4 to 5 p.m. — Dinner concessions.

5 p.m. — Color retreat.

For more information, call Jiggs Charette at 406-250-0672 or 406-371-7293.


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