Metis Community at Bonne Madon / Bonne-Madon


Bonne Madon was a Metis/French community in Saskatchewan. A primary source interview with Pierre Vandale indicates that his father was able to rent a river lot for farming in this locale. "River lot" is a term that refers to an agricultural plot of land which was preferred by Metis farmers. These lots were designed as long, narrow strips of farmland of which one short edge was connected to a river for ease of access to water. These narrow strips would be individually tilled and lined up against each other.

The narrow width of the lots allowed for greater ease of communication and social gatherings with other Metis families, as the distance required to visit each other was much shorter. Being in close vicinity to other people of Metis descent and cultural identification was likely to increase social support networks and psychological well-being. This allowed the Metis to pursue a livelihood that was well-suited to their cultural values. As well, the establishment of predominantly Metis communities has provided a haven for Metis people to engage in cultural traditions. These traditions include community gatherings with cultural-specific music and dancing, Catholic religious practices and the speaking of Metis languages. The broad kinship support systems within these communities have also provided solidarity and solace when faced with racism.