Festival du Voyageur
posted: Friday, February 24, 2017
On Wednesday, February 22, Middle School students spent the morning at Festival du Voyageur.
The festival ties in with current themes and cultural discussions of the Middle School French Program, and it plays a vital role to understanding more about the Francophone community in Winnipeg. The students enjoyed a variety of indoor and outdoor activities at Voyageur Park and learned what day-to-day life of a voyageur was like.
Between 1690 and 1850, voyageurs were generally hired by contract as paddlers, carriers and manual workers for the fur trade companies.
The festival estimates that there were approximately 5,000 voyageurs in the North West in 1800.
Les voyageurs would journey north and would transport merchandise that was traded for pelts, which they would then bring back to Montréal.
The sash that they wore essential to them; in addition to keeping them warm it was efficient in supporting their lower backs while they were carrying bails during portages and helped to support heavy objects in general.
The largest canoes could carry up to 90 packages of 40 kg each, 8 to 12 men, their equipment as well as a few passengers, and measured up to 12 meters in length by 2 meters in width.