Live Our Heritage / Vivre notre héritage

Recipient of the 2022 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming

November 14, 2022

Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence, Métis-sur-Mer, Quebec

Live Our Heritage/Vivre notre héritage was a two-year project to collect, preserve, and share the history of Métis-sur-Mer, a small town in Quebec’s Lower St. Lawrence region. With a year-round population of just over five hundred people, Métis-sur-Mer is a popular vacation destination for people from near and far.

Through a variety of events, workshops, and social media initiatives, community members shared their families’ stories of living in Métis-sur-Mer. In total, more than fifty oral histories were completed, with community members contributing more than one thousand personal photos or memorabilia to the project. The project team identified the names of more than one hundred veterans to include in a new physical and virtual war memorial. They also conducted new research to incorporate the pre-contact histories of the Indigenous people of the region.

Workshops encouraged participants to engage in traditional crafts, including rug-hooking, quilting, and painting. Students from Metis Beach School learned about the region’s natural history and made benches to place throughout the town. Finally, the project team created or expanded five trails and posted online historical walking tours with maps, images, audio recordings, and stories gathered through the oral history interviews.

This dynamic project had many opportunities for community members and visitors to contribute and to engage with the rich history of the region. The result was an increased sense of community pride and an enduring interest in, and understanding of, the area’s anglophone, francophone, and Indigenous roots.