Rose McKay Boyer

Rose Boyer comes from a large Metis family. With 17 children in the family, Rose, the first girl, played an important role in helping to raise her younger siblings. Her father, Colin McKay, as originally from the Red Ri!er settlement area in Manitoba. Her mother, Mar"orie #lant, came from $reland and as adopted by a Metis family hen she as only fi!e months old. Rose "oined the %as&atche an 'ati!e Women(s )ssociation *%'W)+ in 1,71. %he ser!ed as local president for three terms and as pro!incial president in 1,7-. With Rose(s help the #rince )lbert %'W) opened Ki&ino Residence a home for 'ati!e omen ho re.uired accommodation and assistance. )s director of the %W') Referral Centre for 'ati!es Rose deli!ered Community ) areness programs and or&ed ith the omen in the #ine!ie Correctional Centre for Women. %he as also acti!e in the #rince )lbert $ndian and Metis /riendship Centre. $n 1,70 she as the #rince )lbert %W') 1Woman of the 2ear.3 Rose proudly calls herself a 4road allo ance Half5Breed4 from the 6len Mary 7istrict in %as&atche an. 6len Mary as a community formed by ousted Metis trying to re5establish homes on land set aside for future road de!elopment. 4$t as a caring and lo!ing home,4 Rose e8plained. 4We ould say our prayer9s in the morning and at night. Mom and 7ad passed on the importance of respect and ha!ing morals in the home.4 Rose li!ed in hat she calls a 4shac&4 on the road allo ance until she as 1- years old. )t this time, the pro!incial go!ernment decided to relocate families li!ing on road allo ances to a Met 5is colony5farming pro"ect at 6reen :a&e, %as&. Rose remembers the terrible disappointment Metis families e8perienced hen the %as&atche an go!ernment said Metis families could ha!e a house, -; acres and a co . When they arri!ed at 6reen :a&e, Rose remembered, 4<here as no house. #eople li!ed in a big bo85li&e building ith no indo s.4 $t asn9t long before the family mo!ed to Meado :a&e, %as&. Rose li!ed there for 17 years. 4$t as hard but it as a good life,4 remembered Rose. Rose en"oys preparing traditional Metis food. %he started ma&ing bannoc& hen she as eight. Rose no has nine of her o n children, =, grandchildren, and >7 great5grandchildren. %he !alues children, e8plaining 4children are on loan to us for a short time.4 /or many years Rose and her family prepared all of the meals for the ?lders at the 1Bac& to Batoche,3 /esti!al. %he is no retired and spends her time crocheting, &nitting, and loo&ing after grandchildren. Rose Boyer and her mother ere good friends. 7uring the school year she li!ed ith her aunt and uncle. %he learned many things from both of the omen in her life. $n The Words of Our Ancestors: Métis Health and Healing.Rose tells us@ My aunt loo&ed after us during the school months and e ould go bac& on holidays to stay ith my mom and dad in the bush camps. $t as my aunt ho taught me ho to iron, to embroider, and ma&e brea&fast. My brothers, t o of my brothers and myself, ent to li!e ith my aunt and uncle. $ as eight, and my t o brothers ere se!en and si8 years old. We ent to li!e ith them. <he boys had to saddle and harness the horse in the morning to a buggy or a cutter in the intertime. <hey ere only si8, se!en years old. $ had to ma&e the porridge and the lunches. 7uring those years of gro ing up in school, learned to se on mom(s se ing machine. $t as gi!en to my mother hen she turned A0 and my grandmother as 1;0. <hat se ing machine as !ery, !ery old then. My mother ga!e me that se ing machine. $ learned to ma&e a pair of pillo cases and $ ga!e those to my aunt. <hose ere my t o most important teachers, my aunt, ho as li&e a second

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mother to me, and my mother ho as so dear, so dear to me. $ often tell my children, hen my mom passed a ay, $ lost my best friend, $ lost my mother. %he as e!erything to me. $ don(t e!er remember raising my !oice in my entire life to my mother. $n fact, $ ould ta&e her part, $ as so fortunate to ha!e a friendship ith mom. B Rose Boyer Rose Boyer remembers ho children made contributions to the household at a young age@

$ li!e here in %as&atoon but $ come from the Road )llo ance #eople, one of the clans, from the 6len Mary district. My mother died at the age of A7. /ortunately, right no 1= of us are li!ing and the oldest is 7-, my brother. $ remember my brothers going out to or& in the bush at the age of 11 and 1> years old, cutting logs in 6reen :a&e. <hey ould go out at four o(cloc& in the morning, to go and or& in the bush cutting ood. <hey ere men at the age of t el!e. )s the oldest daughter, $ helped raise my brothers and sisters. $ learned to ma&e bannoc&, to iron and ash at the age of se!en and eight years old. <oday you ould ne!er see a child that age being able to do that. <hey ould ne!er sur!i!e. We sur!i!ed those &inds of things because e had to, e had to do it. $ ne!er complained, you ne!er complained. <here ere fi!e girls and e(d fight o!er the flour bags. $t(s my turn to get one, to get hate!er. <his particular one stuc& in my mind. $t as called Buc&eye flour, and you couldn(t get the printing out. My mom made panties, bloomers, and it had Buc&eye in the bac&. Mom used to go out and snare rabbits. We al ays had rabbit or something on the table. %he made a big garden. B Rose Boyer Reference@ 'ational )boriginal Health CrganiDation, Metis Centre at ')HC, #rofiles of Metis ?lders. >;;0. http@EE .naho.caEdocumentsEmetiscentreEenglishE#rofilesofMetis?ldersF;;;.pdf MGtis Centre, 'ational )boriginal Health CrganiDation, In The Words of Our Ancestors: Métis Health and Healing. Ctta a@ 'ational )boriginal Health CrganiDation@ >;;H. http@EE .naho.caEdocumentsEmetiscentreEenglishE<KF$ntheWordsofCur)ncestorsMetisHealtha ndHealing.pdf

Compiled by :a rence Bar& ell Metis Heritage and History Research Coordinator :ouis Riel $nstitute

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