Museum Moment: Métis Week 2020

This November 16th, 2020 Mayor Cathy Heron will be reading a proclamation announcing Métis Week in St. Albert and the Métis flag will be raised at St. Albert City Hall.

Métis week has been proclaimed in St. Albert for the last 14 years with guidance, planning and participation from Michif Cultural Connections, local St. Albert Public Schools and the St. Albert-Sturgeon County Métis Local.

We work together to create a time and space for the Metis community to honour Louis Riel, an important person in Métis and Canadian history.

Louis Riel was an educator, politician, founder of a province (Manitoba) and an important leader for the Métis people.

Historically St. Albert had a vibrant Métis community, with residents living on river lots along the Sturgeon River.  Those who settled here supported the local mission and the Fort Edmonton fur trade, established businesses, and set up schools in the area to educate their children.

The St. Albert Métis used the river lot system, just like Louis Riel and the Métis in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  The river lot system ensured that everyone had water close by to use in their homes, farms and businesses.  The river was also an important part of transportation system and river lots provided easy access for everyone .

We do know that Louis Riel and his people sent numerous letters and petitions to Prime Minister John A. McDonald and the Federal Government.  The letters asked that the land that they were living on, and had been living on for generations, be preserved for their continued use.

The St. Albert Metis were also concerned about losing their homes on the river lots, so with the support of the Catholic Church the Metis penned a letter, and gathered names on a petition, to stop the Federal Government from changing  the river lots that they had lived on for two and three generations.

The letter was taken to Ottawa and delivered by Father Leduc and Daniel Maloney and after debate in the House of Commons, it was decided that the St. Albert Metis could keep their original river lots along the Sturgeon River.

For more information about Métis Week go to:

www.museeheritage.ca/blogs

www.michifculturalconnections.ca

https://www.alberta.ca/annual-metis-week-celebrations.aspx

https://www.rupertsland.org/teaching-learning/resources/

http://www.cfweradio.ca/news/alberta-news/metis-week-around-alberta/

Flag raising photo information:  Michif Cultural Connections Joshua Morin and St. Albert citizen Pierre Rousseau