Financial Aid & Awards Assistance

Did you know that there IS money available to help students with the cost of post-secondary education?

There are four basic kinds of money for school:

  • Student Loans
  • Funding
  • Internal Awards
  • External Awards

Students often think they will not qualify for awards, but in fact, there are many that all students are eligible for!  At the Louis Riel Institute we can help you find scholarships and bursaries that you might be eligible for.  We will also help you to complete the application packages if you need assistance.  The LRI will help you understand and apply for funding that you may be eligible for with the Manitoba Métis Federation as well.

We can contact you on a regular basis with information about upcoming scholarships and bursaries.  Please feel free to phone Lynn Berthelette at 204-984-9480 ext. 361 to be added to our contact list.

The Louis Riel Institute is available to come out to make a group presentation as well where students will receive resource handouts, financial aid lists and current applications that are available.  Call our office to inquire about rates.

Michif Resources available from Louis Riel Institute

Li Liivr Oche Michif Ayamiiawina – The Book of Michif Prayers

Includes sixteen Michif prayers and their English translations using the double vowel system for Michif.

Written by: Grace Ledoux-Zoldy

Transcription: Arthur J.C. Schmidt

Price: $4.95

24 pages


ISBN # 978-0-9865369-4-6

Children’s titles containing Michif language:

  • Wa-nish-ka / Wake up
  • La Jhoornii D’aen Pchi Taan-faan / A Child’s Day
  • Lii Pchi Gaar-soon / The Little Boy
  • Kay-kwaay Oo-shi-ta-yenn Anoosh? / What are you Doing Today?
  • La Pchit Fii / The Little Girl
  • Pa-piw / Laughing
  • Miit-shook! / Eat up!

Little Métis Michif Series

These books were developed to fill gaps in Métis specific literature for young children. Using rhyme, repetition and other predictable storytelling methods, children are introduced to historical and contemporary Métis children doing the things that all children do. These books include Michif and introduce children and their families to this unique Métis language.

Wa-nish-ka - Wake Up

This Michif/English language book takes children through the day from waking up to bedtime. (16 pages – full colour)
Written by: Louise Gordey
Photos by: Clara Kusomoto
Michif translation provided by: Norman Fleury
Price: $2.00
16 pages – full colour
Suggested Grades: Pre-school – Grade 3
ISBN # 978-1-927531-00-6

La Jhoornii D_aen Pchi Taan-faan A Child_s Day

This Michif/English language book uses rhyming to comfort children as they go through their daily routines.

Written by: Louise Gordey
Photos by: Clara Kusomoto
Michif translation provided by: Norman Fleury
Price: $2.00
20 pages – full colour
Suggested Grades: Pre-school – Grade 3
ISBN # 978-0-9865369-8-4

This Michif/English language book shows little boys playing during the day. The book is sung to the tune of Frère Jacques.

Written by: Louise Gordey
Photos by: Clara Kusomoto
Michif translation provided by: Norman Fleury
Price: $2.00
20 pages – full colour
Suggested Grades: Pre-school – Grade 3
ISBN # 978-0-9881036-9-6

This Michif/English language book explores teaching the Michif language through everyday activities.

Written by: Louise Gordey
Photos by: Clara Kusomoto
Michif translation provided by: Norman Fleury
Price: $2.00
19 pages – full colour
Suggested Grades: Pre-school – Grade 3
ISBN # 978-0-9865369-7-7

This Michif/English mini-book showcases a little girl helping her parents around the house with different household chores. The book is sung to the tune of Frère Jacques.

Written by: Louise Gordey
Photos by: Clara Kusomoto
Michif translation provided by: Norman Fleury
Price: $1.00
8 mini pages (cut & fold book) full colour
Suggested Grades: Pre-school – Grade 3
ISBN # 978-0-9881036-1-0

This Michif/English mini-book shows families and children laughing while playing and interacting.

Written by: Louise Gordey
Photos by: Clara Kusomoto
Michif translation provided by: Norman Fleury
Price: $1.00
8 mini pages (cut and fold book) full colour
Suggested Grades: Pre-school – Grade 3
ISBN # 978-0-9881036-2-7

This Michif/English language book takes children through the steps needed to eat a healthy nutritious lunch.

Written by Louise Gordey
Photos by Clara Kusumoto
Michif translation provided by Norman Fleury
Price: $1.00
8 mini pages (cut & fold book) full colour
Suggested Grades: Pre-school to Grade 3
ISBN # 978-0-9881036-3-4

“Speaking Michif” Lessons in Michif-Cree for the Whole Family

How to use “SPEAKING MICHIF” at home and in the classroom:

Speaking Michif funded

Speaking Michif is an instructional DVD developed by the Louis Riel Institute to assist in teaching families the Michif language. The lessons are at a beginner level, on the theme of everyday family life. The lessons can be easily practiced at home since they involve everyday activities and conversations. The DVD can also be used in a language classroom.

Printable Resources to Accompany the DVD lessons

Lessons, games and activities to accompany the DVD (3.51 MB, PDF Format)

Speaking Michif

Module 1

Wa-nish-ka (0.81 MB, PDF Format)

Miit-shook! (0.45 MB, PDF Format)

Module 2

La Pchit Fii (0.29 MB, PDF Format)

Lii Pchi Gaar-soon (1.11 MB, PDF Format)

Module 3

Kay-kwaay Oo-shi-ta-yenn Anoosh? (1.88 MB, PDF Format)

Pa-piw (0.39 MB, PDF Format)

Intro – Taan-shi kiiya “The Hello Song”

Module 1

Aash-tum! Na-kii! Commands for Playing Games

Come & Stop

Api sil-vou-play – Commands for the Classroom

Let’s Play Musical Chairs

Let’s Read “Wa-nish-ka / Wake Up”

Reading Action Flashcards

How to fold a “Hotdog Book”

Let’s Read “Miit-shook / Eat Up”

Let’s Play a Board Game “Taan-shi Koo-koum”

Flash Cards “Apray Niiya Itwayk”

Taan-shi With Koo-koum

Module 2

Let’s Sing “La Pchit Fii”

Let’s Sing “Lii Pchi Gaar-soon”

Faamii “Let’s Learn About Family”

Let’s Play Household Bingo

More Household Bingo Words

Let’s Sing and Dance “Kish-pin Ki-sha-ki-hin”

Module 3

Let’s Read “Kay-kway Oo-shi-ta-yenn Anoosh?”

Let’s Play Charades

Let’s “Read Pa-piw / Laughing”

Let’s Write a Skit


Michif-Cree Samples

Medicines and How We Used Them

The Michif Way of Hunting

St Madelaine Conversation

Drying Meat, Fish and Berries

The Lost Dog


A Blessing for the Meal

Oh Where oh where has my little dog gone (song)

Where oh where is my little brown dog
Where oh where is he
His ears are long, his tail is short
Where oh where can he be

Where oh where is my little brown dog
Where oh where is he
His tail is short, his ears are long
Where oh where can he be

Heritage Item Criteria

History Importance in a Heritage Study

Heritage comprises those things which we value and want to pass from one generation to the next.

Assessment of heritage significance is multidisciplinary. It includes an investigation of history, geography, community esteem and aesthetic quality, as well as research and educational potential.

What is Historical Significance?

Most people think the term ‘historical significance” refers only to the age of the item, place, or structure. Most people feel the older it is, the more historic it is, but the use of age is not the only determining factor in determining item’s, place’s, or structure’s historical significance.

It is important for an analysis of historical significance that a heritage item, place, or structure, documents its history. Documentation includes more than the traditional way of documenting historical significance of an item, place, or structure, but it also includes the oral stories associated with it.

The important thing to remember when reading written things from the past, it often has a bias point of view, like in newspapers, books, and articles, which will often have prejudice attitude against any non Euro-Canadian group, therefore, information contained in these sources can be misleading to an inexperienced historical researcher. It will take time to develop a keen eye to be able to glean the kernel of truths contained in these documents.

When doing this type of research there are two terms that are commonly used: primary and secondary sources.

  • Primary and Secondary Sources
  • Primary sources are original documents from the period like:
  • Letters
  • Journals
  • Drawing/artwork
  • Clothing
  • Maps
  • Oral accounts
  • Photos
  • Family bibles
  • Reports

Primary sources tend to be more reliable than secondary sources. Secondary sources are often articles written on the subject in journals/magazines, newspapers and books, and offer broader perspective on a topic.

It is these primary sources of information of Métis heritage LRI is attempting to identify and collect and protect for future generations, before it disappears forever.

What is a Heritage Study?

The study explains why the items, places or structures are significant and recommends ways of managing and conserving them. It provides communities with a sense of identity. It provides information to support the future management of heritage items, structures, or places. It provides information for education sessions for the community as a whole so all can better understand and appreciate heritage significance of an item, structure, or place. It enlightens people to possible uses of the heritage item, structure or place, for instance, to further tourism and education in their area. Most importantly,  it gives a community a sense of ownership of its heritage. The Heritage Study process should include historians from the local area and from the provincial universities willing to work on the project, in collaboration with the community. You need both historians in order to present the best historical information related to the heritage item, place or structure.

Thematic History

Thematic history is a method of researching and writing that is most useful to heritage work. One must remember themes are not strictly chronological. They are often not neatly divided into distinct decades or years.

What should we include in a thematic history study?

The history should include some description of both the physical elements (former and existing) and the systems or processes of the place or thing.

A context for the item should be explained (e.g. How the item was used – for example fur stretcher – how it was made and used by Métis fur trapper and ranchers.)

Similar types of items should be identified to allow for some comparison (e.g. fiddle compared to other fiddles, a sash compared other sashes) in order to record similarities and differences.

One would be reasonable to predict that in one fur trader’s post one would find similar structure and items in it. If the prediction does not hold true then explain why the item does not hold true to ones expectations. This allows us to identify the uniqueness of item, place or structure.

A place, structure, item, or area must be able to demonstrate, in the surviving physical fabric, the historical themes claimed to be significant. What unique details about an item contributes to significance of Métis heritage, for instance home made violins made by a Métis person.

The difficult task of showing significant historical/cultural connection to a person or group of people of historical significance. ( e.g. An item like a piece of clothing belonging to Riel would have more historical significance than one belonging to an average Métis man, unless one could show something unique about it, like the way it was decorated.)

What are Historical Themes?

A historical theme is a way of describing a major force or process which has contributed to Métis history. For example, Métis involvement in the fur trade contributed greatly to the Métis identity. Historical themes provide a context within which the heritage significance of an item, place or structure can be understood, assessed and compared. Themes help to explain why an item exists, how it was changed and how it relates to other items linked by the theme. As a theme can unite a variety of actions, events functioned people and dates, it helps to prevent any concentration on a particular type of item, period or event of history during the investigation process of the heritage study. Themes could be specific to a local area or a region; or it could reflect a function. The identification of historical themes is an ongoing process. Themes that commonly occur in history are listed below.

  • First Nation and European contact: e.g. trade & war agreements, resistance and intermarriages
  • Exploration
  • Fur trade
  • Agriculture
  • Land tenure: e.g. Métis lots, scrip
  • Harvesting fish, furs, and food
  • Environment: the natural resources used by the Métis
  • Settlements
  • Migration patterns
  • Ethnic influences
  • Transportation: river, water, rail, road/trails
  • Labour: how Métis made a living
  • Communication: use by the Métis
  • Technology used by the Métis e.g. Red River cart, steam boats, ferries
  • Government
  • Defence
  • Housing
  • Social structure
  • Culture
  • Leisure
  • Education
  • Health
  • Religion
  • Persons: individuals, families, residence, birthplace

How are historical context reports and themes used?

A historical context report identifies and explains the major factors and processes, expressed as historical themes that have influenced the history of an area. The primary objective of a report is to provide a framework to investigate and identify heritage items. It is not intended to be a detailed account of all aspects of the history of an item, place, or structure, or to replace histories designed to serve other purposes.

A historical context report, if used in combination with information about the physical evidence of a place, can suggest areas requiring more detailed historical research. The use of major themes can draw attention to gaps in existing histories which could lead to an incomplete assessment, study, register or list.

Themes guide judgments about what types of heritage items might exist on a site or in an area, and what expert assistance might be required to assess their heritage significance.

How historical themes are used to assess significance?

The historical significance of an item, place or structure can be assessed by checking whether it physically demonstrates any of the historical themes which had helped to shape the area in which the item, place or structure is located. The themes can be use to consider how the item demonstrates or achieves other heritage values such as educational potential. The historical themes may give indications as to why the Métis community holds an item, place or structure in high esteem.

To consider an item in its historical context, it is important to identify the links between information known from historical sources such as documents, and physical evidence associated with item, place or structure.

Art of the Métis

These colourful designs and creations are distinctive of Métis art. The designs are typically compositions of European flowers and are very different from those of other Aboriginal groups.

Read more…

apricote Louis Riel Institute Adult Learning Centre

The Louis Riel Institute Adult Learning Centre strives to offer an academic atmosphere where learners experience a sense of belonging in a supportive, self-directed and teacher mediated environment.

Join the growing number of learners who have achieved their educational goals through our centre. Adults are often reluctant to return to school after a lengthy absence. We believe that learning is a lifelong process. The learning centre staff will work with you to develop an educational plan that fits your life.

Read more…

apricoteCommunity Programming

Programs based on Métis culture are combined with learning in a fun environment for the whole family. We offer presentations and training workshops as well as assistance in applying for funding to get your own programs started!

Read more…

Investigating Fabric

The term fabric refers to all the physical material of a place, including the surrounding area and contents of the structure.

Considerations for fabric will include:

  • Approximate date of construction
  • Approximate date of changes to the item and what these changes may entail
  • How the item was constructed. e.g. what materials and techniques were used in its construction
  • The present and past relationship between the item, adjacent items and the surroundings
  • How the item was used, managed and or valued in the past
  • The research potential an item may possess
  • Who may have been involved in, or influenced, its creation, change, use or management

How to Investigate the Fabric of an Item, Place, or Structure

You need to acquire the historical knowledge of the heritage item, place, or structure, in order to achieve a useful level of interpretation. Collect, if possible, all tangible information like any old photos, news paper articles, architecture drawings and any written descriptions or reports about the item, structure, or place.

You must consider how the surrounding environment influenced the item, place or structure, current condition and alterations to it.

If the fabric is a structure or place, photographs should be taken from all possible view points from the interior and exterior.

Categories of Heritage

Heritage is usually divided into two basic categories.

Natural Heritage refers to physical forms like a buffalo jump or a crossing place on a river, or a traditional trap line/ area.

Cultural Heritage encompasses the historical evidence, artifacts and beliefs of Métis people.  These include:

Settlements/villages/ forts/ places of battles
Every day items use by the Métis in the past
Fur stretchers
Parts from a Red River cart
Kitchen items
General household items
Photographs, home movies, videos
Journals, letters, personal papers, books

Social Activities

The Métis are a community-centered people. In both their history and the contemporary activities they love to celebrate individual and communal achievement. Typical community celebrations among the Métis include dances, community suppers, and the rendezvous.

The rendezvous is a community gathering that is the functional equivalent of the Indian powwow. Held in the summer, the rendezvous represents the opportunity for a wide cross section of Métis to come together and renew acquaintances and celebrate with their families. Often a week long, events at the rendezvous include dancing, horse racing, church services, community suppers, and old fashioned visiting. A special rendezvous is held annually at Batoche in Saskatchewan to celebrate the historical significance of that location.