"On November 16th, 1885 Louis Riel was executed for leading the Northwest Resistance in defence of Métis rights. As Métis in Fort McMurray, Alberta, and across Canada observe Louis Riel Day they can take pride in our proud heritage and how far the Métis Nation has come because of the sacrifices of leaders like Louis Riel and those who stood behind him.
The Métis are one of Canada`s founding peoples and recognized as one of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada by the Constitution Act of 1982. As well, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada Powley decision which was a step forward in Canada`s recognition of Métis rights. Despite some of our successes we still have a long way to go and we will continue to move forward in asserting ourselves as a rights-bearing people.
An expression of our culture is occurring at the Festival of Trees in support of the Northern Lights Health Foundation in Fort McMurray where this year the theme of our Christmas Tree is the ‘Bell of Batoche.’ The Bell of Batoche was repatriated to the Métis people this year after being taken during the Battle of Batoche in 1885. Its repatriation is a symbol of hope and reconciliation and it is appropriate it is on display for Louis Riel Day in support of a wonderful cause.
The flag of the Métis Nation displays the white infinity symbol and represents the faith that the Métis culture shall live on forever. On this Louis Riel Day we celebrate the long history and vibrant culture of the Métis people in Fort McMurray and across Canada as we look towards a bright future.”