Meetings on the Atlas of the Metis of Northwest Saskatchewan Project will be hosted in Buffalo Narrows on February 12 and Ile-a-la-Crosse on February 13.

The Gabriel Dumont Institute will host the sessions, which are scheduled to run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on each date. Similar events are expected at later dates in Green Lake, Beauval, Pinehouse and La Loche.

Representatives with the institute are hoping to collect info that can be used in sections of the atlas, known as plates.

“An atlas plate will maybe have one map, maybe two maps, some photographs, some narrative content, maybe some graphs (and) basically it’s the story of whatever the atlas wants to share,” said Chery Troupe, who is with the institute.

The project will attempt to document the history of the Metis people in and around northwest Saskatchewan.

Work on the atlas began in 2000 as a joint project between the Northwest Metis Council, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Alberta and the Metis National Council. It is now being carried on by the Gabriel Dumont Institute.

“The Gabriel Dumont Institute has gotten some funding to resurrect the atlas out of that collection, because there was a significant amount of work done on those atlas plates, but they were — never got to the phase where they were ready to be published,” said Troupe. “There is about 80 different plates, and they are all in various stages.”

The institute’s event will be a chance for members of the community to share info that they feel should be included in the atlas.

“We wanted to do a cultural event, so we’re having people come from the community to have a conversation,” says Troupe. “We’ll start off with a light supper, probably just soup and bannock, and then we’ll do a short presentation on the atlas and the progress we’ve made, and where we stand now.”

Atlases will be published and distributed as a book by the Gabriel Dumont Institute. The project is intended to serve as an educational resource for schools and post-secondary institutions, as well as the general public.

Troupe says that they are unsure of when the project will be completed and that a plan will be made following the community visits.

Entertainment by John Arcand will be provided after the sessions in Buffalo Narrows and Ile-a-la-Crosse.

(PHOTO: Gabriel Dumont Institute logo. Photo courtesy of