The iconic Red River Cart in Ed Delisle’s backyard. In photo (from left) Catherine Pearen, Caren Nagao and Ed Delisle pose with the cart. (Claire Palmer photo)

Red River Cart a symbol for Metis society

The cart will be installed outside of the Métis office as a symbol for all to see of Métis pride

  • Mar. 22, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Construction of a Red River Cart is underway, which will later be put on display outside the Métis Nation Columbia River Society office downtown.

The cart will be completely constructed by hand, with hand-made tools and materials that are locally sourced, by Edward Delisle.

The Métis society hopes having the cart on display will help spark a conversation and increase education and awareness of the history of the Métis in the area.

“It’s historic and education for the young people and for the Métis and a visible presence,” said Catherine Pearen, with the Métis society.

“I think it’ll help with the non-Métis people to see the interest and learn.”

“It’s about reclaiming our culture,” added Caren Nagao, who is the president of the society.

Delisle says that he’s been gathering the materials of the cart for years and is happy to see it coming along.

“For the wheels, they’re naturally curved, so I’ve been gathering those for a quite a while, when they have that natural curve they’re quite strong,” said Delisle.

The Red River Cart is one of the iconic symbols of the Métis, along with the sash and the fiddle, with Pearen adding that it’s an important part of the Métis culture that they are looking to celebrate.

It’s a large two-wheeled cart made entirely of non-metallic materials that were often drawn by ox, horse or mules.

They were used throughout the 19th century by the Métis, as they travelled across the prairies and plains west of the Red River Colony, in modern day Manitoba.

“These were made before white settlers came on the scene. They used to carry everything and were durable for long journeys,” said Delisle.

“If they broke down, they would just find another piece of wood along their journey to repair it and just kept going.”

There is a strong Métis history in Golden, with their presence dating back since the early 1800s.

Golden Star