Long Road Home
of Jasper's Mountain Métis
Madeleine Moberly second from left,
Suzanne (Kwarakwante ) Moberly next right,
and Adeleide Moberly second in from right.
It has been 100 years since the forced migration of six Mountain Métis families. The small community made their exodus out of the Athabasca Valley over a two year period in 1909 and 1910.
The Mountain Métis held a special commemoration to remember the 100th anniversary of that migration called Long Road Home. A fourteen-day pack trip from Grande Cache to Jasper was organized and held in August 2009. Twenty-five young people who were descended from the original families returned to Jasper on a traditional packhorse outfit. They traveled the same mountain trails as their ancestors. The riders were shown the grave sites of Pierre Delorme and others. They saw the old trapline cabin of Adam Joachim at Zenda Creek, along with other historical sites. They journeyed to Jasper where they shared in a Mountain Music Festival.
A Mountain Music Festival featured Laura Vinson's special brand of Mountain Métis music. Laura has returned to her roots and her Métis heritage. Her music is full of the sounds and stories that carry the spirit of her ancestors. Laura has a special connection to the mountains as she is descended from Tête Jaune.
Alvin Findlay and the Muskeg River Band gots the toes tapping and the dancers dancing. The band even played traditional Métis jigs. Alvin keeps the spirit of Jacco Findlay alive with his unique brand of music. The Mountain Métis Music Festival was a lot of fun.
Laura Vinson and Alvin Findlay has produced a commemorative CD of music about their ancestors, who are the unsung heroes of the fur trade.
A historical documentary has been produced featuring the Long Road Home historic packtrip which took 35 people and 75 head of horses from Grande Cache to Jasper during the summer of 2009. The documentaries is designed to be a good tool for the educational system, so that other young people can learn about mountain culture. The series will be submitted to APTN, ACCESS TV and Discovery Channel for public viewing.
Well known author Susan Feddema-Leonard has been doing the preliminary writing based on the Jasper Story. The writings will lay the groundwork for a future publication about the Mountain Métis. Feddema-Leonard authored People & Peaks of Willmore Wilderness Park. She will work with editor Estella Cheverie, whose ancestral roots are Lillooet.
The Long Road Home promises viewers a glimpse into the rich cultural experience of the Mountain Métis, and will benefit generations to come.