Celebrating Bud Bussineau’s 90th Birthday:
A beacon of wisdom in the Sault Ste Marie Métis Community

Submitted by: Mitch Case, Huron-Superior Regional Councillor

PCMNO Regional Councilor Mitch Case poses with Bud Bussineau on his 90th birthday

In a celebration that brought together family and friends, Bud Bussineau, a distinguished member of the Métis community, marked his 90th birthday in Janaury, 2024. The gathering was filled with laughter, stories, and a feast that epitomizing the rich heritage Bud has tirelessly preserved.

Bud’s connection with the land and his commitment to the Métis way of life were evident in the delicious stew served at the celebration, made from a moose he harvested himself this fall. Even more remarkable is that Bud generously donated a significant portion of the moose meat to the local community freezer, exemplifying his community spirit.

Elders play a crucial role in maintaining the fabric of Indigenous communities by sharing stories that bind generations together. The health and strength of any community depend on the willingness of its elders to pass on their wisdom and the determination of the younger generation to listen, learn, and remember.

In Sault Ste. Marie, our Métis community has been blessed with remarkable elders like Bud and his sister Dolores Pinder. With a combined 175 years of life, they are pillars of our community, preserving its history through memories, stories, photos, keepsakes, recipes, and a sense of humour.

Bud and Dolores were raised in the Métis village at Agawa Bay, where for over 60 years, Métis families sustained a way of life that is no longer feasible in the City of Sault Ste. Marie. After the River-Lots were taken away and the community was swamped by settlers, the village — where hunting, trapping, fishing, guiding, maple sugaring, and logging were a way of life — was sadly burned down in 1968 by the Ministry of Natural Resources during park expansion.

The siblings grew up surrounded by a rich tapestry of stories passed down through generations; tales from the War of 1812, Mica Bay, life on the River-Lots, and the promises made during treaty negotiations. Despite facing the loss of their village, Bud and Dolores have been exceptionally generous with their community, sharing these precious stories and actively collaborating to preserve them for the future. Bud grew up hunting and fishing, and carries many stories and skills not only from the land but also his career working for the power company, spending a year in the remote corners of the bush in Algoma District. His memory of the land is second to none.

The birthday celebration was attended by Historic Sault Ste. Marie Metis Council President Kim Powley, Treasurer Shari Smale, and Regional Councilor Case. A special video message from President Froh added to the festive atmosphere.

As we extend our heartfelt wishes to Bud on his 90th birthday, let’s raise a toast to the stories and wisdom he has shared with the community. Here’s to Bud – a living repository of Métis history – and to many more years of cherished memories and shared tales. Happy Birthday, Bud!