Brianna Lizotte, Metis youth, musician and business owner from Sylvan Lake, Alberta:
Stories often flowed freely around her home of the music and the musicians who played in her family. Music was something that came pretty easy to Brianna, but the fiddle was something that intrigued and challenged her. It was never thought to be anything more than just a hobby to entertain herself and the family, but it was Brianna's great aunt who encouraged her. She gave Brianna a platform to showcase her new found abilities, which helped build her confidence and foundation as a performer.
Brianna's love for music not only had her involved in the fiddle community, but also in her school's band, a local marching band, and volunteering at many community events. In 2016, Brianna received the Rising Star Award with the Men and Women of Country Music. In 2018, Brianna was one of the Emerging Artists with Arts Touring Alliance of AB, and released a fiddle CD, “Scratch Em”. These opportunities lead to hundreds of performances and travelling to four European countries. Brianna has been involved with the Metis community since 2013, led processions for the MNA for many events including the signing of the self-government agreement in Ottawa, and have worked multiple fiddle workshops for the youth. Brianna is headed into her third year at MacEwan University in Edmonton taking the Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Contemporary Music program. She is employed as a teaching artist with the National Arts Centre with the Music Alive Program, was just hired as a youth programming assistant with the Metis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Youth Team, and owner of Brianna Lizotte Music.
To Brianna, being indigenous is having the knowledge that you have support from friends, family, and ancestors. Being in this community is like getting a warm hug; you feel welcomed, loved, and protected. These are qualities that Brianna see's in her Metis culture, they welcome others into their family, share their stories, and bring laughter whenever possible. Being indigenous also brings resilience and strength. For Brianna, knowing that she has such a strong connection to the people and culture, makes her want to apply these qualities into her everyday life. Brianna Lizotte is incredibly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful community and will never stop continuing to learn and grow as a strong, independent Metis woman.