Metis Crossing is home to Alberta’s first Métis cultural interpretive centre. It sits on the original river lots of Métis Settlers who lived and farmed the land in the late 1800s. It is made up of 5 12 acre titles and is on the North Saskatchewan River
Métis Crossing over various interpretive tours during the year, most of which take place in the summer months. Two of which are their Paddle into the Past and their Walk in our Mocs signature experiences.
Who are the Métis Peoples?
If you are not familiar with Canadian history, you may wonder what a Métis person is. Since the 18th century, the word has been used to describe individuals with mixed Indigenous and European ancestry. According to the Metis Council Website, Métis means a person who self-identifies as Metis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation. The Métis people have a distinct culture and nationhood, apart from the First Nations people of Canada. But where did they come from? Their history lies in the fur trade, and Métis refers to mixed blood, meaning mixed Indigenous and European heritage. But as mentioned above, they have a distinct culture, collective identity, customs, and way of life, unique from Indigenous or European roots.
Things to do at Métis Crossing
- Visit the Cultural Interpretive Centre, the first of its kind in Alberta
- Paddle on the North Saskatchewan River as part of the Paddle into the Past signature experience
- Learn archery and get local plant knowledge in Walk in our Mocs signature experience
- Enjoy a bison burger at the cafe
- Camp in a trapper tent
- Explore the rest of the Victoria Trail. The trail was an important route for early European explorers, fur traders, Metis and settlers.
Our Métis Crossing Experience
We arrived at Metis Crossing in the afternoon and our interpretive guide, Mackye was waiting to take us down into the river lot below the Cultural Centre. We were visiting Métis Crossing as a part of our 4 day road trip exploring Alberta’s Indigenous Experiences. Mattias and I were taking part in the Walk in our Mocs experience, where we would learn about the local plants and animals as well as learn some archery lessons and ethical hunting.
Mackye showed us how to determine how fresh bear poo is (as there happened to be some on the trail), tips for foraging and which plants you should and should not eat (there are some berries in the area that have prickly spike seeds that are not very fun to digest – but the berry is FULL of vitamins) and how hunters expertly took down prey.
I learned that my family would be going hungry if I was responsible for hunting, but Mackye made me feel a bit better explaining the countless hours PER DAY that hunters would perfect their craft.
Where to Stay At Métis Crossing
Metis Crossing offers camping for Rvs (power and non-power) and tents. They also have their trappers tents which face the North Saskatchewan River and have wood stoves inside. Métis Crossing will soon have a 40 room guest lodge that is currently under construction.
Camping Amenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, kids play area, petting zoo area.
Camping rates start at $20 and can be booked online.
How to get to Métis Crossing
Métis Crossing is located 1.5 hours northeast of Edmonton and 10 minutes South of Smokey Lake on the Victoria Trail.
Address: 17339 Victoria Trail, Smoky Lake, AB, T0A 3C0
Lindsay Nieminen hails from Vancouver, Canada and shares her love of travel on this website. She is passionate about showing others that they should not put off traveling the world just because they have young children or are single parents. She aims to encourage them to seek out adventure, whether it is at home or abroad by providing information on how just about everywhere can be a destination to explore as a family.