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Red River Carts:
Over the years the one enduring symbol of the hopes of the Metis Nation, is the Red River Cart.
I have observed Metis people arrive at a gathering, spot a Red River Cart, go over to touch it, take pictures, sit on it, but always with respect.
In one our planning meetings, a member remarked, "It wouldn't be a proper Metis event without a Cart". Perhaps it is part of our racial memory ?
In planning for building our own Cart/Carts. it was apparent that many contempory Metis do not know much about the history of the cart.
So the focus of our project was to be as much education as actual building.
The selection of the building site was to provide easy access to tools and exposure so the public driving or walking by could see the progress and easily stop by and ask questionsor chat.
This has proved to be right, the general population and Metis we haven't met, have stopped, chatted and even offered to help. All offers of help gratefully accepted.
We have found that the display of photos showing others involved in constructing carts and the plans, are well received.
While planning the project it became apparent that the plans and knowledge for constructing contempory carts are fairly scarce.It soon became apparent that we would be aquiring the methods and skills needed as we progressed, self taught. If nothing else this has given us an appreciation of what our
ancestors did every day.
All of the above gave us the desire to record the construction through pictures, text and video and to make it available to others interested in building or studying Red River Carts.