Artist and author Leah Dorion is hosting a new Métis culture podcast. (Lisa Risom/CTV Prince Albert)

The preservation and celebration of Metis identity, language and culture is the centre of a new podcast recorded in Saskatchewan.

The Paykiiwikay Métis Culture Podcast was produced by Metis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S)in partnership with Canadian Geographic is now available to the public.

The translation of ‘Paykiiwikay’ means come and visit. For the host of the show, Prince Albert based painter and author Leah Dorion, it was an opportunity for her to visit and learn from fellow Metis.

“I enjoyed it, it really came quite natural to me,” said Dorion. “I feel the whole series is like a big conservation. It’s lots of fun and easy listening.”

Guests include Metis actress Andrea Menard, Elder Norman Fleury and Michief educator Russel Fayant. Topics range from the impact of Michif language loss on Metis identity, hunting, fishing, cooking and other traditional practises.

Paykiiwikay also addresses the need to preserve heritage, tradition and Métis identity, says Sherry McLennan, minister of culture, language and heritage for MN-S.

“Now there’s more and more people coming out and wanting to identify with their Metis heritage and Metis card and be proud of their family roots,” said McLennan.

MN-S estimates about 80,000 Métis are in Saskatchewan. Currently, 13,244 have obtained their MN-S citizenship and another 3,200 applications are in progress.

“The Metis Nation is working to provide people with services and program and never had that before,” said McLennan.

McLennan says the podcast is an easy way for people to learn and reconnect with their identity and with the COVID-19 pandemic the podcast provides a safe way for people to do that. She says it can also be used as a resource for teachers and educators.

Canadian Geographic magazine is translating the Metis section of its Indigenous Peoples of Canada Atlas, first published in 2018, into the Michif language for its next printing. The 10-part series can be streamed on Apple, Google Play, Amazon Music, Spotify, SoundCloud and the Canadian Geographic website.

“The most important part about this is that it goes across Canada and across the world,” said McLennan. “And will help educate people from other countries about a people geographically unique to Canada.”

The series launches Jan. 12. New episodes will be released between through May.