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Marie-Anne Lagimodière
photo of Ruth

photo of Charlie Sohmer
photo of Chris MacLean
Charlie Sohmer Chris MacLean

Marie-Anne Lagimodière

The story of Marie-Anne Lagimodière is the story of adventure, of romance, of a woman breaking all the social boundaries of her day; the story of a woman who changed history. Adventure holds the listener spellbound. Humour provides a release of tension. Romance adds a balance and a new tension.

Marie-Anne’s story is profoundly important in terms of her place in history (the first woman of European descent in Canada’s West, a significant influence on a developing culture, and the grandmother of Louis Riel). Even more important is her spirit of adventure and her willingness to risk. She was willing, even eager, to go where no other woman of her community had ever gone. Throughout her life she continued to challenge herself, her family and those around her.

Marie-Anne uprooted herself from the Habitant's life of Maskinongé, Quebec to travel the routes of the voyageurs, beyond the Great Lakes to western prairies. There she fought the elements, bore her eight children, and brought Catholicism to les Pays en Haut. Marie-Anne became godmother to hundreds of Métis, and in many ways, the mother of a community. Her husband, known amongst the peoples of the West as "Great Hunter", ensured adequate food for the forts and the voyageurs, and later enabled the survival of the Red River settlement. Their life together was one of adventure. Their descendents tell stories of fiery independence, deep faith, and joy. Theirs was always a home where guests were welcome, and parties were frequent. Jean-Baptiste was a noted fiddle player and his children learned to jig as soon as they learned to walk. It was a home where justice and humanity were respected and championed. Growing up in such an environment, is it any wonder that her grandson, Louis Riel, dedicated his life to his people.

Live Performance:

The live performace of spoken word and original music is 90 minutes. A shortened version of 60 minutes is available. For bookings email the address below.

Researched and created by Ruth Stewart-Verger this performance features original songs and music by Charlie Sohmer. Chris MacLean adds her wonderful voice.

Historical Sources
Song Lyrics
Marie-Anne Lagimodière CD
She Pushed From Behind in Concert
Contact Information: 

Ruth Stewart-Verger e-mail to:

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