The Metis Red River Cart is a type of wagon that was adapted by the Métis peoples in order to facilitate moving between hunting grounds. The horse or ox-drawn cart could carry heavy cargo and was easily repaired. Not only could the wagon carry provisions, merchandise, people and game, it could also be transformed into a raft when necessary. The wagon allowed the Métis to overcome the challenges of daily life in extreme environmental conditions and was also put to great use as a barricade in the various conflicts in which the Métis were involved, most notably with the Sioux.
As a result, the Red River Cart has become a symbol of the Métis.
This wagon was offered to the Juno Beach Centre in 2009 by the Métis community of Manitoba, in memory of the Métis veterans who had fought for the freedom of all peoples in Normandy and elsewhere during the Second World War. It was presented in the temporary exhibition “Voices of the First Nations of Canada” and it can now be found out in front of the Juno Beach Centre during the sunny summer months.
Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.