It’s the perfect way to start a journey of self-discovery for anyone with unknown Métis ancestry.
The Chilliwack Métis Association is hosting a Genealogy Day on Saturday, January 19 starting at 10 a.m. at the Sto:lō Resource Centre.
Searchable databases will be accessible from several work stations courtesy of the Métis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC).
The event will be co-hosted by Louis De Jaeger, community resource director for the Chilliwack Métis Association, and Laurel Katernick MNBC citizenship director.
They will be on hand to guide people how to search out records such as baptism, marriage, or adoption certificates, death certificates, obituaries and more.
“I’ve always been fascinated by genealogy, and the stories that come out of the searches,” De Jaeger said. “That is part of the Métis reality, it’s a lost history for the most part.”
There are more than 80,000 Métis in B.C., which makes it the largest Indigenous group in the province.
Through the work of the MNBC many have uncovered their lost family histories.
“But when you find that nugget, or some proof that connects you to your lost lineage, and it can answer a lot of questions.”
There are so many reasons why people might want to seek out the missing branches of their family tree.
“There’s always a part of you missing if you don’t seek out answers and connect the dots,” De Jaeger added.
While conducting his own family research years ago, De Jaeger discovered that his great-great-great uncle John Norquay was the first Métis premier of Manitoba.
Many people with Métis ancestry were scattered across Turtle Island over years, but the Métis nation has been rebuilding and this work is part of that effort.
“It’s going be a very important day,” De Jaeger said.
Genealogy Day is Saturday, January 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sto:lō Resource Centre, 7201 Vedder Road, in the language room.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-795-5489.