Storyteller: Genot Picor

Stories, Songs, and Dances of the Metis’ Voyageur

Genot “Winter Elk” Picor has certainly embraced his Metis’ voyageur ancestry. He has performed in every corner of Michigan, from Rockwood to Ironwood, from Sault Ste. Marie to Niles and beyond. His storytelling style, like those of the mixed-blood people of the Great Lakes region from whom he is descended, combines Native reverence for the earth with French animation and embellishment. His engaging show, “Stories, Songs and Dances of the Metis’ Voyageur,” brings forth all the skills this master storyteller can employ; Native American sign, interactive stories with hand puppets for children, sing-a-longs, tall tales and simple audience dance numbers. Picor acts as a scout with audience as his charges in a journey along Michigan’s waterways and into the interior.

Genot’s experience as a Teacher Consultant has multiple benefits for schools. His programs are thorough and affordable, addressing benchmarks and GLCE’s in core curricular areas set forth by the Michigan Department of Education. Prior to each visit, Genot works with hosting teachers to make sure the program reinforces these core concepts. Picor will spend an entire day in a school, usually with third or fourth grades, working with individual classes to keep the groups small. The school program focus on the life of a French orphan who comes to work in the Great Lakes fur trade. Along with his mentor Avant-Voyageur Jean-Paul, Picor canoes his way to the land of the Mitchigaamii, meeting the People of the Three Fires, learning their stories and eventually marrying into an Ojibwa clan. He also brings along trade goods, archeological artifacts (Picor was recently awarded a grant to bring archeology into the schools) and furs to illustrate how the arrival of the Europeans brought new tools and textiles to the First People of this region.

Library programs are also affordable to promote literacy. Prior to any library program, Picor designs his show to meet a general theme. If possible, librarians are encouraged to place books around the performance area so that patrons can read about the theme that is addressed in the program.

Festivals and museums are given a variety of options from which to choose. In September, 2007, Picor founded La Compagnie, a musical/dance troupe consisting of five other members. A festival/museum show can also be designed to meet a theme (Great Lakes sailing, lumbering, French and Celtic music and dance) or emulate the veillee, a French social gathering. The veillee was filled with interactive music, stories, songs and dances for all ages. Tap or feet, clap your hands, howl or join in the dance…you’re all part of the family.

Genot “Winter Elk” Picor has studied voice and movement at the prestigious Stratford Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario. He holds a BA in English and Speech Communication and two Master’s Degrees (Education and Psychology). He is also a staff writer for the Great Lakes Pilot and contributing writer to Smoke and Fire Magazine. Among his most recently performed venues are the Traverse City Film Festival, the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Center for French Colonial Studies (South Bend, Indiana), The Bay City Tall Ships Festival and the Jackson, Michigan Storyfest. Picor has also performed as other characters, such as Johnny Appleseed, a lumberjack and deck hand on a Great Lakes coal hauler and a civil war soldier. Regardless of the character, you’re in for some fun and a lively educational experience.

Fees

Schools: $500 for the entire day.
Workshops: $250 – $500
Libraries: $135 – $175, depending on the distance traveled.
Festivals/Museums: $200 – $500, depending on length of event
Cub Scout Troupes: $150
Small, nonprofit events, historical societies: $150 – $200, depending on the distance traveled and amount of research to be conducted

Contact

30717 Lund Ave.
Warren, MI 48093
(586) 558-8065
E-mail: evoyageur@aol.com

 

Historical Society of Michigan 5815 Executive Drive Lansing, MI 48911
Email hsm@hsmichigan.org | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

Designed by MATRIX and hosted by H-Net
Martrix logo