Batoche, Saskatchewan, Jul 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- President Caron of the Métis National Council spent the morning in ceremony with hundreds of Métis from across the Homeland at the Batoche National Historic Site in Saskatchewan. The cemetery procession and commemoration of the Métis soldiers who fell during the 1885 Battle of Batoche is one of the most important annual events for the Métis Nation. 

“These lands at Batoche hold incredible power for the Métis,” said President Caron. “It was here that our ancestors shed blood with and for one another to create a more just society for all people. Today, when I reflect upon that love and sacrifice, surrounded by so many resilient Métis citizens, I cannot help but feel inspired to continue our righteous collective struggle for lasting justice and substantive equity.”

This procession and commemoration concludes the 50th anniversary of Back to Batoche Days, a celebration of Métis culture which drew record crowds. 

During the opening ceremonies on Friday, President Caron addressed Métis from across the Homeland, sharing that "As many of us know in our minds and feel in our hearts, this place—Batoche—is an incredibly special place for Métis people...This place brings us together, it connects us."

President Caron will now travel with Métis Survivors, by bus, to Edmonton to bear witness to Pope Francis’ penitential pilgrimage to Canada. 

“As we embark upon this important next step in our collective journey of truth, justice and healing, I ask that we keep Métis and all Survivors in the forefronts of our thoughts and our prayers,” added President Caron. “The Papal visit and anticipated apology for the Catholic Church’s role in the Residential School system will have different meanings for many people. It’s important we respect all of those deeply personal meanings and stand resolved in our commitment to supporting all Survivors in their individual healing pathways forward.”