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Mary Briere Trotchie: Metis Fiddler

Mary Briere Trotchie: Metis Fiddler

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Mary Briere Trotchie was a winner of the National Fiddle Contest in 1969 (first place, Women’s Division). With this later win she was elected to the Fiddler’s Hall of Fame in Weiser, Idaho.
Mary Briere Trotchie was a winner of the National Fiddle Contest in 1969 (first place, Women’s Division). With this later win she was elected to the Fiddler’s Hall of Fame in Weiser, Idaho.

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Published by: Lawrence J. Barkwell on Oct 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/06/2014

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Mary Briere, (Trotchie).
 
(1911-1982):
Fiddler’s Hall of Fame Member
By Jackie Trottier
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 Metis fiddler Mary Bruyere (Briere) was born at Whitewater, Montana, the daughterof Gregoire Bruyere and Alphonsine Mary Allary. Her father was born in 1872 at St.Francois Xavier and her mother Alphonsine, the daughter of Andre Allary and JosephteMcGillis dit Hamelin, was born in June 1877 at Wild Horse Lake. Mary married GeorgeEdward Trotchie (Trottier) the son of Andre Trottier and Susie Wallace; he was adescendant of Charles Trottier who led the Metis fighters from Prairie Ronde in the 1885Metis Resistance at Batoche. He was also a descendant of Ursule Lafromboise Trottier.Mary showed an interest in fiddling from a young age and was taught by her fatherand uncles, Alec and Sam Allery. She also listened to Canadian Metis fiddlers, AndyDesjarlis and Ned Landry on the radio. She toured as a performer with the Cecil Nichols’Hawaiian Show where she was featured as a dancer and as the “Ukulele Queen.”Mary began competing infiddle contests in the 1950s andtook many honours over the nextthirty years, such as the NorthwestRegional Fiddle Championship in1969 (first place, Women’sDivision), the National FiddleContest in 1969 (first place,Women’s Division). With this laterwin she was elected to theFiddler’s Hall of Fame in Weiser,Idaho. Mary began playing the fiddle at the age of four. Because her hands were toosmall to get around the neck of the fiddle she taped small sticks on the end of each fingerand thus she could play..Marie Louise Bruyere’s grandfather Jean Baptiste Bryuere (b. 1844) and brothersLouison (b. 1842), Jeremie (b. 1854), and Cleophas (b. 1856) all signed the 1878 petitionof the Metis hunting band at Cypress Hills which requested a re-opening of the bisonhunt between November 14
th
and February 15
th
each year and the granting of a Metis“reserve.” They requested a 150-mile strip of land along the American border beginningwhere the Pembina River crosses the border in Manitoba and thence west. This strip wasto be fifty miles wide from north to south.
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Jackie is Mary’s daughter.

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