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In Memoriam -- Marie Masse Laprise
Voyageur Metis is proud to have had the leadership
of an amazing woman -- Marie Laprise -- as one of its Directors.
Fiercely proud of being Metis, she was a pioneer for reclaiming our identity and gathering our community. She started conversation when others were still too afraid. She gently took the hands of so many to come out and identify themselves.
She and her husband 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).
She dedicated a lifetime to our community -- with Claude too -- in all they did -- and by organizing the Fiddle & Sash Rendezvous for the past 10 years.
She cooked up a storm every spring in preparation! Her 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 herself.
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 she and Claude had for each other, and their children and grandchildren, for which she was so proud.
They are all accomplished in their lives and it is definitely a reflection of Marie -- a wise person, a loving person, a talented person. Strong beyond belief. Selfless to the core. Giving to everyone who stopped by to get information or compassion - she laughed with us, grieved with us, led us to celebrate together. She was a true Metis leader -- in her ways and everything she did. At times quite the little spitfire! And other times gentle and kind, she compiled so many of the area family's trees, helping people to find their Native ancestry and get their cards.
Marie 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 voice.
It is 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 one -- until we meet again.
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