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From landslides to Louis Riel, family stories inspire musician Amanda Rheaume

When musician Amanda Rheaume started digging into her family’s Métis roots, she didn’t expect to find ties to Louis Riel through her great-great-great-grandfather. As Rheaume dug, she uncovered more fascinating stories from her family’s history. It is these stories that she puts into songs to the history of her family, her community and this country.
(Sean Sisk Photography)

When musician Amanda Rheaume started digging into her family's Métis roots, she didn't expect to find ties to Louis Riel through her great-great-great-grandfather. 

As Rheaume dug, she uncovered more fascinating stories from her family's history. It is these stories that she puts into songs of the history of her family, her community and this country.

Her song The Day the Mountain Fell tells the tale of a landslide in B.C., in 1958, where there was one survivor — a baby, who turned out to be Rheaume's cousin Selma.
Leela Gilday (Facebook )

She finally met her in Winnipeg during one of Rheaume's performances where she played the song for her. Rheaume had done her story justice.

Based in Ottawa, Rheaume didn't always know about her Métis heritage. However, the more she learned about her roots, the more inspired she was to find out more. 

But Rheaume admits she didn't know a lot about her family's history growing up. 

And as for Louis Riel? He was friends with Rheaume's great-great-great-grandfather A.G.B. Bannatyne, who was the first postmaster under Riel.

Rheaume shares some of her favourite Indigenous songwriters and their songs this week.

This week's playlist:
Amanda Rheaume - The Day the Mountain Fell
Amanda Rheaume - Red Dress
Leela Gilday - Calling All Warriors
William Prince - 7
Tanya Tagaq - Retribution
Lucinda Williams - Blue
Buffy Sainte-Marie - Universal Soldier
Digging Roots - AK-47
Amanda Rheaume - Wolf of Time

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