Two years ago, we celebrated the placing of the monument and it has taken since then to collect and collate over 5,000 names which are now engraved on the monument. This is the first monument to specifically honour our Métis servicemen and servicewomen, making it of great significance for the Métis and Canada alike. Placing the monument at Batoche ensured it is located at one the most sacred and revered sites of the Métis.
Back to Batoche Celebration 2016
Thousands of people traveled to “Back to Batoche” to memorialize and pay homage to their national heroes and encourage knowledge sharing between the generations. In his address at the opening ceremony on July15, MNC President Chartier highlighted the importance of this year’s gathering in view of major court decisions upholding Métis rights and the determination of the Métis Nation to fulfill the mission of Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont.
The Back to Batoche Days festival has been an annual event of the Métis 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.
Giving opening remarks, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous 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.”
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.
Additional competitions include fiddling, jigging, square dancing, bannock baking and horseshoe competitions.