Rendez-VousVoyageur  Le portail du voyageur
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Produced by :
Les Productions Rivard

Directed by:
Jean Bourbonnais

2 X 60 min.

The Voyageur Dynasty

While depicting the adventures of the Canadian voyageurs and fur traders, Morning in the North West deals with the alliance of Aboriginal and European cultures on which this country was founded.

Historians taking part in the movie come from Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Wisconsin and Oregon. They are men and women, French and English, American, Blackfoot and Métis. The multiculturalism of the participants telling their story mirrors the multiculturalism of the voyageurs and their descendents.

Voyageurs and their Métis families are part of the enormous group of everyday people whom history often ignores. Morning in the North West gives voice to these people - the narrator of each episode is a fictitious character whose adventures we follow.

Episode 1 - "The Other Side of the World"

The narrator of the first episode is François Comtois. He lives in La Prairie, is 19 years old, and has just signed his first voyageur contract with the North West Company. In the spring of 1806, he leaves from Lachine on a journey that is supposed to last one summer. He ends up travelling as far as the Pacific Ocean, and never sees his home village again.

Exploration is the theme of this episode, which describes how the voyageurs, motivated by trade, travelled throughout the continent and reached the Pacific Ocean via the North West.

Episode 2 - "Alive in your Memory"

The second episode tells of the war between the Northwest and Hudson's Bay companies, and its effects on the Métis people who were descendants of the voyageurs and their Native wives.

The narrator is Adèle Comtois, Métis daughter of François and his Cree wife. Born in the North West in 1815, she is the last child in a family of five. Adèle was just 6 years old when her cousin Jean-Baptiste was found dead in the snow, one of many victims of the war between the two companies. Did this traumatic event fuel Adèle's passion for drawing, or as she says, "copying people to keep them alive in our memory?"

Adèle would go on to become a pioneer of photography. Following in her voyageur father's tracks, Adèle, along with her husband and son, travel over an immense territory and take pictures of the Métis communities descended from the fur trading era. She records images of a world destined to disappear with the decline of the trade.

Les Productions Rivard - Rivard Productions© Productions Rivard Inc. 2005
Nos Partenaires TFOManitoba film and soundOld Fort WilliamPatrimoine canadien - Canadian Heritage