Victoria Belcourt was born on 19 November 1861, in the Métis community of Lac Ste Anne, whichwas located northwest of Edmonton, part of Rupert's Land, was owned and controlled by the Hudson's Bay Company. The area would not become part of Canada for another eight years.
Victoria's father was a Métis, one of a people formed as a result of
intermarriage between French menand First Nations women. Her mother was a lightly respected medicine Cree woman, which was spending much of her time gathering special plants, which were carefully dried, reduced to a powder, and stored in leather pouches or birchbark containers, identified by coded marks.
Victoria has seen more than one century of life, she is maybe one of the most important witnesses of Métis, Cree and First Nations lives.
At the age of thirteen Victoria participated for thefirst time to a buffalo hunt in a Red River cart, she describes this experience with so much enthusiasm…
The buffalo hunts in Métis' life were one of the most important things in their life, which convolved not only the men but even the women, which help was essential; in fact the hunt was a traditional custom which required the participation of about one hundred families. Buffalo gave them food, clothes, tipis, made of buffalo skins, which were very comfortable, strong, warm, waterproof and easily to put up and taken down. This kind of awnings was essential for these "adventures", which lasted all the spring and the most part of the summer. After the men hunted the buffalo, the women' s job was to dry, cook, and make the buffalo meat into pemmican, which was the major source of income for the Métis, since when the Europeans discovered that a small amount of this nutritious food could keep a person alive for many days.
When she was seventeen, Victoria married Louis Calli