Back to Batoche 2013 showcased its Grand Entry on Friday with leaders and dignitaries from all over the country parading onto the main stage. Giving opening remarks, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development stated, “I am proud of our Government’s support for the Back to Batoche Days, which are an important celebration of the Métis people and their culture,” …“ Through events such as this, Canadians can deepen their understanding of the people and events that helped to shape our country and celebrate that shared history.”
President Chartier stated that, “it was a great feeling to be back to Batoche to celebrate Métis culture and history, with the opportunity to commemorate the sacrifices made by the men, women and children who sacrificed so much during the 1885 resistence.”
At the end of the Grand Entry ceremony all the dignitaries who were there were presented with a special gift – a picture frame of the Bell of Batoche “Marie Antoinette”.
The Back to Batoche Days festival has been an annual event of the Métis, hosted by the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, which is held every third weekend in July and has been enjoyed since 1971 by Métis people from across North America. Many go to renew acquaintances, to make new friends, but more importantly, to pay tribute and show respect for those whose blood was spilled in 1885 when the Métis sought to preserve their lands, culture and dignity. People often travel and stay the full length of the festival at the grounds by brining a trailer, pitching a tipi or tent, and sleeping under the stars of the prairie sky.
The four-day event, which began Thursday commemorates the Métis culture and heritage through several traditional activities like jigging, fiddling, storytelling, cooking and singing. During the four days of celebrations, it also includes square dancing, evening entertainment, workshops. Chuckwagon and Chariot Races and Voyageur Games that will get your heart pumping. Visit the many artisans as they showcase their talents and taste traditional cuisine such as moose stew and fry bannock and quench your thirst during your fun-filled day.
Individual fiddle players are being brought in for special feature performances. One is Manitoba’s Scott Cornelius who has been a four time Manitoba provincial Championship and three time people’s Choice Awards winner. Other guest performers are to include Manitoba’s Jason Lepine, Saskatchewan’s Tristen Durocher and master fiddler, John Arcand.
Additional competitions include fiddling, jigging, square dancing, bannock baking and horseshoe competitions.
On Sunday, July 21, a procession will take place from the Batoche grounds to the Batoche mass gravesite. Everyone is encouraged to share in this spiritual tribute to the fallen heroes of 1885. On Sunday afternoon, the finals for all sports and cultural competitions will take place.
For more information on Back to Batoche festival, please visit http://www.backtobatoche.org/
President Chartier’s Opening Remarks
Back to Batoche Day 2 Hightlights