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In Memoriam -- Marie and Claude Laprise
Voyageur Metis is proud to have had the leadership
of an amazing couple -- Marie and Claude Laprise -- as two of our past Directors.
Fiercely proud of being Metis, they were pioneers for reclaiming our identity and gathering our community. They started conversation when others were still too afraid. They gently took the hands of so many to come out and identify themselves.
Marie and Claude gathered artifacts to show in their many exhibits to help explain what the Metis lifestyle was about. They allowed people to handle the artifacts, making it a very interactive experience. They put on displays at the Selkirk Faire and London's Western Fair (among others).
They dedicated a lifetime to our community -- in all they did -- and by organizing the Fiddle & Sash Rendezvous for the past 10 years.
Marie cooked up a storm every spring in preparation while Claude attended to the setting up of the rendezvous! Their whole family pitched in and worked for months to prepare. They sacrificed very much to put on the festival. No photo ops, no corporate rules nor politics there, just the kind of kitchen party that we all remember growing up, whenever we were at our Meme's. And it was always just as beautiful as Marie and Claude themselves.
Marie and Claude also helped with Cancer studies and health studies in the area, and worked with health professionals to adjust procedures and consider traditions of Metis families.
We all saw the true love that Marie and Claude had for each other, and their children and grandchildren, for which they were so proud.
They are all accomplished in their lives and it is definitely a reflection of Marie and Claude -- wise people, loving people, talented people. Strong beyond belief. Selfless to the core. Giving to everyone who stopped by to get information or compassion - they laughed with us, grieved with us, led us to celebrate together. They were true Metis leaders -- in their ways and everything they did. At times Marie was quite the little spitfire! -- with Claude more quiet and a bit shy. But ultimately gentle and kind, they compiled so many of the area family's trees, helping people to find their Native ancestry and get their cards.
Marie and Claude we are too sad that you were taken from us so suddenly. We all feel fragmented. But just like the weave of the sash, we will remember how you weaved so many families back into our community story, and the awakening that has occurred because of your immense contributions.
We know and will always remember how you gave us strength and that strength lives on in everything we do. We will not forget. We will not forget to honour you, in every facet of what we do we will hear your voices.
They are whispering in our ear that being Metis is simple. Simple as a Meme's kiss, you know?
"I am what I am and that's what I am".
We see you being greeted by all those that came before us. They are congratulating you for all the hard work you did to honour them, and to bring truth to so many.
We will always miss you. Thank you for all you did. Our community is strong because of you.
We wish you a good journey ahead -- our lovely ones -- until we meet again.
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