A Trail woman and long time Métis Nation BC (MNBC) leader in the Kootenays has been recognized with an award of the highest order for her ongoing dedication and significant contributions to Métis people.
Read more: Indigenous Peoples Day at Trail park
Regional Director Marilyn Fayant Taylor was awarded the Order of the Métis Nation by Métis National Council President Clément Chartier on Monday, March 9.
President Chartier presented Fayant Taylor with the honour in recognition of the director’s years of service and commitment to her Nation.
Fayant Taylor first got involved with her Métis community in Trail, as a member of the Kootenay Region Métis Association.
She was elected President of the Kootenay South Métis Society while attending her community meeting 20 years ago.
She went on to serve as society president for more than a decade, bringing a growing acknowledgment to Métis people living in this region through community events like an annual fall dinner, and for the past several years, raising the Métis flag at Trail City Hall on Nov. 16 in recognition of Louis Riel Day in B.C.
The latter event is a gathering that began as a handful of society members recognizing the day with the flag raising. Over time, however, the Riel commemoration has grown to embrace hundreds of elementary and high school students with the Métis culture and history.
Students now amass at Trail City Hall every November to learn about and recognize the significance of the day, and to also take in the Métis culture through celebration with fiddlers playing traditional Métis songs and society members serving up bowls of hearty fare to the kids.
Since 2016, there’s another popular event that Fayant Taylor helps organize as an annual Kootenay South Métis affair, and that’s Indigenous Peoples Day at Gyro Park.
Every year the all-ages gathering grows, and many in the community greatly anticipates this day of culture and entertainment. Last year, after an afternoon of drumming, fried bread and buffalo burgers, two world renowned Indigenous hoop dancers brought a spectacular show to the park.
And, for a fourth straight year, Fayant Taylor’s joy couldn’t be missed as the day wound up with a crowd-favourite dance called the “friendship circle.”
After serving as the local president for 10+ years, in 2012, Fayant Taylor was elected as the Kootenay Regional Director with Métis Nation British Columbia. She is currently in her second term.
As Regional Director of the MNBC Board of Directors, in addition to being involved with community events throughout the year, she also works with the Ktunaxa First Nations representing the Métis people on their Board of Directors for Children and Families.
Read more: Métis Flag raising in Trail
Fayant Taylor currently holds the portfolios as Minister of Elders and Minister of Registry of MNBC.
After so many years of service, Fayant Taylor says she is now looking forward to passing the reins of leadership on to someone else.
When she retires, she wants to focus her attention on teaching young students about the history of the Métis people.
The Métis National Council Order of the Métis Nation is the highest award of honour and recognition that can be bestowed upon individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Métis Nation.
The award of the Order recognizes the positive and measurable impact a recipient has made in moving forward the existence, rights and aspirations of the Métis Nation.
A recipient’s contributions can be made in the political, cultural, advocacy, judicial, educational, social, scientific or other field.