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
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.
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.
Back to top