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Performances...Demonstrations...Hands-on Opportunities

Enjoy captivating performances, fascinating demonstrations, and extraordinary hands-on experiences for all ages.*  This event is one of four Cultural Arts Days weekends designed to give you a taste of the cultural creativity which was on display in this region nearly 200 years ago.


Bring your family and friends, and enjoy a whole day of exploring the sights and sounds of traditional French-Métis creative arts. 

*Recommended for ages 5 through adult.

Saturday, July 22, 2023  |  10 am to 4 pm

General Admission is FREE
thanks to support from the Chipstone Foundation, Kohler Foundation, and William O'Connor & Krista Roys

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Live Métis Step Dancing Performance


Danielle Enblom


The Step Collective &

The Bad Neighbors Rhythm Project

11:00 am

Of Red River Métis / Quebecois ancestry herself, Danielle is a master dancer, fiddler, and enthochoreologist (dance anthropologist). We are excited to have her with us to share her Métis voice and perspective, her expertise on the cultural context of Métis dance, and her dynamic step dancing.

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Live French-Métis Fiddling Performance


Pierre Jacques Pleau

2:00 pm


A Minnesota native with French-Canadian roots, Pierre is a singer, songwriter, musician, playwright, performer, teaching artist, and Artistic Director of the North Star Theater Company.  

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Interact with Author

Mary Ellen Weller-Smith

Learn about the fascinating lives of French Voyageurs through the paintings of Frances Anne Hopkins (1838-1919) and others. Mary Ellen is a scholar on the topic, having recently published the book Frances Anne Hopkins: Hudson's Bay Company Wife, Voyageurs' Artist

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French Fur Trade in the Upper Midwest


Gregory Cash is a descendant of Médard Chouart de Groseilliers, an early voyageur and fur trader. Learn about the history of the fur trade; coureurs de bois, voyageurs, hivernants,  and bourgeois; the significance behind voyageurs' dress; fur trader diet, daily activities, and routines; why the fur trade came to an end. Mr. Cash has a wealth of knowledge and thoroughly enjoys sharing it.

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Canadien / Métis Cultural Clothing and Adornment

Learn about traditional styles, adaptation, and blending of European and Native clothing, as well as the meaning behind the cultural art of adornment with Isaac Walters. Being demonstrated and shown will be moccasin making, beading, quillwork, ribbon applique, and more. Enjoy fascinating demonstrations of this adornment and the clothing that exemplified Métis life and culture in Wisconsin.  

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Try It Yourself (cordage & gumming):

Birchbark Canoe Travel and Maintenance

A unique native technology, the birchbark canoe made travel and trade possible across the myriad of streams, ponds, portages, and lakes of the frontier. Learn how the French Canadians adapted and implemented the canoe as you also experience hands-on preparation of cordage and gumming. Discover the enduring and superior qualities of an authentic birchbark canoe on site with Joel Barthel.

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A Close Look at a French Fur Trade Post


Mark Labine, a board member of the French American Heritage Foundation and descendant of early fur traders and voyageurs, is eager to share with you what he has discovered in his research on the 18th and 19th century Little Rapids fur trade post near a Dakota village on the Minnesota River.


Try It Yourself:

French Canadian Fiddle Workshop for Beginners

Ages 5 through Adult  |  Free

Please pre-register below for this 30-minute workshop

Workshop #1: 12:00 to12:30

Workshop #2: 12:30 to 1:00


If you've ever wanted to learn how to play the fiddle, now's your chance!  Pierre Pleau will teach you the basics of French Canadian fiddling. Student size fiddles will be provided. Note: Spaces for these workshops are limited. Please pre-register for your time slot. 


Try It Yourself: 

Try Playing a Fiddle: Drop-in Station

Ages 5 through Adult  |  Free

Just drop in for your 2 to 5-minute mini lesson

1:00 to 1:30


Stop in at Pierre Pleau's station for a 2-5 minute-per-person lesson on how to play a fiddle. Student size fiddles will be provided. 


Try It Yourself:  Métis Finger Weaving

Try your own hand at Métis finger weaving—an art with deep Indigenous roots amalgamated with French-Canadian materials and traditions.

French-Métis Cultural Arts Day

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