by Laura Mushumanski
(ANNews) – Our Indigenous community once again is demonstrating their resilience. This time it is the Métis Nation of Alberta. MNA will be hosting a virtual online version of the shuffle, shuffle, kick-jigging competition as part of Métis Fest 2020 on Saturday, June 13th, from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. MST.
When speaking of resilience, the COVID-19 pandemic has not eased up enough to safely lift major social gathering restrictions. There still is a halt to any kind of large group gathering, and what looks like the cancellation of many summer events, including the MNA Métis Fest social celebration.
Although physical social engagement will not be practiced this year at Métis Fest 2020, there will still be a means of participation through an online cultural showcase to support Métis musicians and artisans. To tune into the celebration of Métis heritage, viewers can either download the Chime Live app or access the online version through MNA’s website or facebook page. The online party includes door prizes from local Métis artisans, mini concerts with Métis musicians from each MNA region, and cash prizes for the most enthusiastic fancy feet.
For the jigging contest, the participants are asked to do their deadliest work-those that wear out their moccasins can be eligible to win cash prizes up to $500. First place winners will receive $500, 2nd place- $250, and 3rd place-$150. The competition is open to all ages. There are five different age categories, including: from fresh out of the womb to age 6, 7-12, 13-17, and 18-59. The last age group is designated for all the kohkoms aged 60+ that can out jig their grandchildren.
Participants are required to send a video, including two fancy changes. The video length is limited to a maximum time of 1 minute and 30 seconds, unedited. For those submitting their toe tapping talent, MNA is also asking for the video to include their name, age, and town/city where they reside. The participants must also self-identify as Métis and live in Alberta.
For those who have been too busy self-isolating and haven’t had the chance to polish up on their jigging skills, there is also an opportunity to get into the spirit of Métis fest by submitting a video starting off with either sentence “I’m proud to be Métis because…” or “My favorite thing about Métis culture is….”.
The deadline to apply for video submissions for either jigging competitions or ‘what is means to be Métis’ video is this coming Friday, June 5, 2020.
For any jigging submissions or “What it means to be Métis” videos, with files too big to email, there are free and easy platforms to send your video content to MNA quickly and securely.
Participants are asked to name their video files with their full name, location, and which video they are submitting (e.g. FirstNameLastName_City_Jigging or FirstNameLastName_City_Metis).
Laura Mushumanski is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter on Indigenous issues for Alberta Native News.