Friday, November 18, 2011

Metis mark the death of Louis Riel with flag-raising ceremony at museum

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

Shinaya Gamache raises
the Metis flag at KBPV

T. Lucas photo
A respectful crowd assembled to celebrate the raising of the Metis flag over the grounds of Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village in Pincher Creek on November 16, 2011.  They were gathered on the anniversary of the death of Louis Riel, who fought to have the offspring of European and Aboriginal parents recognized by the Canadian government. A prayer was said by Karen Gamache, President of the Metis Local 1880 Association, and then everyone went outside to watch Metis Youth Advisory Committee Leader Shinaya Gamache raise the flag, with the help of Vice President Kim LeBlanc of the local association.

Assembled for the raising of the Metis flag
T. Lucas photo

Karen Gamache and
Shinaya Gamache

T. Lucas photo
Metis Nation Region Three President Marlene Lanz was on hand to speak of the struggles of  her people, the death of Louis Riel, and the future of the Metis Nation.  MD Reeve Rod Zielinski and Deputy Mayor Lorne Jackson were also in attendance to pay their respects.

Kim LeBlanc and
Frances Riviere

T. Lucas photo
After the flag raising and speeches, everyone was invited to enjoy a social luncheon visit inside the museum's Pioneer Place. Lanz brought the special gift of a Metis sash-bag to be given to Dykota Letourneau, a winner of Great Kids Award for Alberta.  Letourneau has been a dedicated volunteer for the Metis Association, and Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village.  Gamache invited those that have great kids in their lives to nominate them for this award.  "Often we forget to recognize and reward kids for the great work they do, and this community has many great kids," she said.

Throughout most of the day, the mobile Metis Nation Association bus was stationed outside the museum grounds.  This bus travels to communities and offers employment and educational opportunities tips and suggestions for Metis people from employment councillors.

Crystal Goodrider, Melodie Bastien, Marilyn Halton T. Lucas photo

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