From left to right: Denis Hubert-Dutrisac, President of Collège Boréal; France Picotte,
Chair of the Métis Nation of Ontario and member of Collège Boréal’s Board of Directors;
Marie-Claire Vignola, Elder on campus, citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario;
Éric Dupuis, Coordinator of Aboriginal and Métis Projects, Collège Boréal.
Sudbury, November 15, 2011 – Representatives of the Métis Nation of Ontario attended a celebration at Collège Boréal to recognize the first anniversary of its Centre Louis-Riel, located at the heart of the College’s main campus in Sudbury. This event is part of a week-long program which the College is unveiling on the eve of the day commemorating the death of Louis Riel, an emblematic figure of Métis’ identity and considered by many to be the father of Manitoba.
On this anniversary, Collège Boréal’s President, Denis Hubert-Dutrisac, emphasised the Centre’s main accomplishments: “After just one year of activity, Centre Louis-Riel has met its challenge by offering our Aboriginal and Métis students a vast array of services and an environment that is sensitive to their cultural identity and conducive to their academic success. Collège Boréal’s significant participation in the Northern Aboriginal Festival, the awarding of $11,000 in bursaries and the construction of a traditional canoe are some of the highlights of a year that has been particularly rewarding for our Aboriginal and Métis students.”
France Picotte, Chair of the Métis Nation of Ontario and member of Collège Boréal’s Board of Directors, recalls the context in which Centre Louis-Riel was created: “In August 2009, the Métis Nation of Ontario and Collège Boréal signed their first memorandum of understanding with the aim to better serve the specific needs of the Métis people in Ontario. Two years later, I am pleased to see Collège Boréal’s many accomplishments for the benefit of Métis students and the concrete impact they have for the recognition of our people.”
Éric Dupuis, Coordinator of Aboriginal and Métis Projects at Collège Boréal, discussed a new asset provided by Centre Louis-Riel. Since October 19, Marie-Claire Vignola, an Aboriginal Elder and a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario, welcomes Boréal’s students and personnel every Wednesday in individual and group meetings. She encourages and guides Aboriginal persons while sharing the unique cultures with visitors in an atmosphere of openness and mutual respect.
Collège Boréal’s recently constructed a traditional Métis canoe. A story about the canoe will be featured in a news story aired tonight on TFO’s program RelieF and can be viewed below by clicking on the RelieF image.