Métis paralegal proud of her way of life

·3 min read

For Julie Lefebvre, cooking and harvesting go hand in hand.

Lefebvre, 35, is a paralegal and a member of Centre Culturel La Ronde’s fundraising committee.

She describes herself as an outdoorsy person who is passionate about cooking and harvesting.

Lefebvre says her culinary passion came from her mother, who would always prepare homemade meals, and from watching her family gather around a table to socialize and enjoy the food.

You’re more likely to see Lefebvre cooking in the kitchen rather than baking dessert.

“It’s all about keeping it simple, cooking with fresh ingredients. Less is more,” she says.

She’s always on the lookout for new recipes and popular dishes from various cuisines around the world.

As a food lover, she prefers growing her own vegetables and buying local produce if she can. Growing vegetables is a learning process and a lot of work, she says.

In her own backyard, she enjoys growing cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, carrots, potatoes, beets, and cauliflower.

“The fact that I grew this — I don’t know if it tastes better — but it’s not comparable in my eyes,” Lefebvre says.

Lefebvre has also been hunting for as long as she can remember. She’s grateful for her Métis background and to have hunting and harvesting rights within a certain territory.

“I can’t imagine living my life any other way in the aspect of harvesting and ancestries. I’m very proud of my way of life,” she says.

Moose meat to her is like beef to other people, she says. The only time she buys beef from a store is to make a barbecue steak or ribs. When it comes to roasts or hamburgers, those are made from moose meat.

“I’ll make anything and everything with moose. But nothing beats a moose hamburger,” Lefebvre says.

Lefebvre owns JDL Paralegal firm where she practices in provincial offences court. After graduating high school, she didn’t know what she wanted to pursue. She took a year off and worked at a law firm, which she enjoyed, and decided to become a paralegal.

“I have the opportunity to assist people in the area they have no knowledge of,” she says about her job. “I like being able to provide information with respect to the system and making sure the outcome is in their best interest.”

If she could sum up her life, she says it would be about gathering people around the table and feeding them, using the simplest and freshest ingredients. And when she’s not working, she spends time outside, either at her cottage or on the trapline.

Lefebvre joined La Ronde about a year ago to help raise funds for the new building.

"It's time for this building to go up. We need to rebuild this and we need the centre so bad," she says. "I believe there's a bright future for La Ronde."

Last week, she held a cooking workshop for Bonhomme Carnaval where she made Coquilles Saint-Jacques, a dish involving shrimps and scallops.

Being bilingual means everything to her, she says.

“It’s very important to have both languages living in the country that we do and the city that we do. It’s very important to be able to communicate in French and English to be able to assist a diverse population,” she says, adding she wants her daughter to follow in her footsteps and be bilingual. Lefebvre’s husband also speaks French.

Moving forward, Lefebvre says she would like to inspire people in the kitchen and continue being involved with La Ronde.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com