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A Celebration of Metis and First Nations Tradition and Culture in Canada

Updated: Apr 6, 2022


Every year at Pinehouse Lake, Saskatchewan, people from at least 11 distinct communities across Canada converge to honor elders, custom, and culture.

Pinehouse Lake is known for bringing people together for family, friends, culture, and tradition. This is one of the reasons why the annual event attracts so many people.

Elders at the annual gathering in Pinehouse Compete in events
Traditional events and dress

Pinehouse is a Metis/Cree community on the western bank of Minahikow­skahikan Shkahikan, commonly known as Pinehouse Lake, with a population of about 1500 people. To the nearby Cree and Metis, the lake was formerly known as Kinpihko-shkahikan (Snake Lake).

Gary Tinker
Gary Tinker

The majority of the residents in this village of roughly 1,500 people speak Cree and michif as their first language. Pinehouse, like many other northern towns, has a young population, with roughly 55 percent of residents under the age of 20.

Pinehouse Lake
Having fun during the elders gathering in Pinehouse Lake
"We just want all of the northern communities to take part, to bring their elders, and just visit to share stories." -Chris Hansen
Pinehouse Lake elders gathering
Axe Throwing Competition in Pinehouse

The community's use of traditional hunting, fishing, and trapping methods was crucial to their survival. This northern village has a strong Metis/Cree worldview, which is ingrained in the local economy and has aided in development.

Pinehouse Lake elders gathering

The story of Pinehouse describes a community that was forced into existence, but that has become a real home for so many of its people. Their history is one of belonging and a shared worldview and commitment to their own social, cultural, and economic survival.

Pinehouse Lake elders gathering

Pinehouse residents continue a variety of traditional and cultural activities, including hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering. Annual Cultural camps for youth and annual Elders Gathering help to educate citizens and preserve the traditional ways of the Pinehouse Métis community.

Pinehouse Lake elders gathering

"The elders of the community teach the younger generation the skills of the north, everything from preparation hide to different ways of doing traditional meats to different ways of fish-filleting and preparing those traditional meats, as well as techniques of harvesting."

Pinehouse Lake elders gathering

Music, art, dance, food and humour a learning experience at Elders Gathering in northern Sask.

Pinehouse Lake elders gathering

Canadian Geographic has taken a special interest in the strong Michif language roots in Pinehouse Lake.

Glen McCallum speaking at Pinehouse Lake elders gathering
Metis President Glen McCallum speaking at the annual Pinehouse Elders Gathering

Glen McCallum in Pinehouse Lake

Watch some jigging here

People are taught to cook, prepare fish, carve wood and boat and paddle making at the gathering as well.
Glen McCallum

Pinehouse Annual Elders gathering 2018 video

Pinehouse Lake
Pinehouse Lake Saskatchewan

The week long event is expected to return this year!!

For more information:

306-884-2030 Email:

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