Santa Claus has his roots in the Peace Country — at least Metis Santa on video being posted by the Metis Nation of Alberta (Edmonton) later this week.
Lloyd Gwin, who was born in Rycroft, first started out on his role of Santa in High Level in 1974.
“The first time was back in 1974-75 back in High Level and off and on since then,” he said.
“The first time, I was part of the volunteer fire fighter department there in High Level, and they were looking for someone to help deliver gifts to all the firefighters’ families, so I volunteered to do that. So I rode around on the back of a ski-doo and went around from door to door.”
That transition to Métis Santa didn’t happen until much later.
“The Métis component wasn’t added to my wardrobe until — I don’t know how many years ago — maybe five or seven years ago, something like that. I was working for an organization here in Edmonton that was a Métis organization and they were having a staff Christmas lunch so I thought I would put on my Santa outfit and come into the luncheon and I decided to add a sash instead of the black belt.