You are here

Red River Jig

Red River Jig is a traditional Canadian Métis dance, which focuses on complex shuffling movements. It is one of the main cultural dances of the Métis, and is often performed during festivals and events. The dance consists of shuffles and complex steps, which are performed in an irregular beat, close to the ground, and at a fast pace. The dance usually begins with shuffling and then progresses into complex movements such as triple heel taps and toe taps. One criteria used to know whether the fancy steps in the Jig are done correctly is to close one's eyes and hear if the foot taps sound like the beating of a horse's hooves.

Is this activity known by any other names?

Métis Jig

What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

The Red River Jig is one of the most well known traditional dance of the Canadian Métis, and originated in Manitoba. The dance is inspired by many traditional dances from First Nations, French, Scottish, English, and Métis. It is said that the origins of the dance can date back to early 19th Century, when it was first performed at a wedding. Today, the Red River Jig is a dance that is slowly fading, but is still danced in competitions and Indigenous festivals and events.

Who takes part?

Males and female of diverse ages, who are typically of Métis background.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

The dance is performed at festivals and events that usually occur in the summer months, and may be practiced year-round indoors.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

Indigenous Arts Festival

Cultural Significance

Red River Jig is a traditional dance of the Canadian Métis.

Is there anything else we should know?



  • Fort York Historic Site
    250 Fort York Blvd.
    Toronto, ON M5V 3K9

Do you have any images/videos or other information that you would like to contribute to this activity profile? Please submit your additions.