To commemorate Louis Riel Day, MNO citizens and communities held events across the province to recognize the many contributions of the Métis to Canada, to celebrate Métis culture and to highlight Métis achievements.
The MNO Niagara Region Métis Council at the flag-raising ceremony in Welland.
The MNO Niagara Region Métis Council (NRMC) organized four flag-raising ceremonies this year. For the first time, the Métis flag was raised in four major cities within the Niagara region. Members of the MNO NRMC attended the first ceremony in Port Colborne followed by St. Catharines. In Niagara Falls, the Métis flag remained on display for the rest of that week. In Welland, it was the first Louis Riel Day ceremony for Mayor Frank Campion who was very excited to attend.
Mayor Cam Guthrie and MNO Grand River Métis Council President Jennifer Parkinson. (Source: Facebook)
On November 14, a Métis flag-raising ceremony took place at City Hall in Guelph, where Mayor Cam Guthrie was presented with a Métis sash. Mayor Guthrie stated he was nearly moved to tears from receiving such a gift. He said he was proud that the Métis flag was flying at City Hall and also acknowledged Louis Riel as a Canadian hero.
The Métis flag flying at Confederation Park in Kingston.
Thanks to MNO citizen Alvin McKay’s efforts, Kingston’s mayor proclaimed November 26 to be Louis Riel Day. The Métis flag was raised at two locations on Louis Riel Day. At Confederation Park near City Hall, the Métis flag remained flying for the entire day while at the intersection of Princess Street and Division Street, the Métis flag flew for the remainder of the week.
The Métis flag adorning a table at Carleton University.
MNO Infinite Reach Facilitators Karly Wilson and Jordyn Playne hosted a Louis Riel Day celebration at Carleton University on November 16 with cultural crafts, including finger weaving and embroidery. The highlight of the celebration was the raising of the Métis flag at Paterson Hall. It was the first time an Aboriginal flag was raised on campus.
Raising the Métis flag at Confederation College.
The MNO Thunder Bay Métis Council, MNO staff and MNO Infinite Reach Facilitators gathered at Confederation College on November 16 to raise the Métis flag. Louis Riel Day celebrations launched Confederation College’s Aboriginal Awareness Week activities. MNO Infinite Reach Facilitators provided Métis activities including dot art, games and finger weaving. MNO staff hosted a display and spoke with students about Métis culture and history.
MNO Kenora Métis Council members, MNO staff, Wee Youth Group members, MNO citizens and a City of Kenora Council member stand with the Métis flag.
The MNO Kenora Métis Council hosted an event-filled day after Senator Karen Cederwall raised the Métis flag at City Hall. Workshops such as Métis dot art, finger weaving and making medicine bags were among the activities. A hay tossing competition brightened things up, along with Métis jigging lessons from MNO citizen Terri Forster and her two children.
Sault Ste. Marie
MNO citizens Norris Pyette (left) and Willard Folz (right).
Two Métis veterans were recognized on Louis Riel Day and presented with the Louis Riel Commemorative Medal. MNO citizens Norris Pyette and Willard Folz were both presented with the medal as well as the Louis Riel Certificate.
Children singing along with Métis folklore singers in Sudbury.
Collège Boréal in Sudbury held a Louis Riel Day cultural celebration where Métis folklore singers Renée Fournier and Linda Gagnon performed on campus.
A healing blanket workshop at Wilfrid Laurier University.
MNO Infinite Reach Facilitator Melissa St. Amant organized a Louis Riel Day celebration at Wilfrid Laurier University. Melissa hosted a healing blanket workshop and over 10 community members and students attended, including Jennifer Parkinson, President of the MNO Grand River Métis Council. Melissa also cooked up some fry bread for everyone to enjoy.
The Métis flag held by community members in Dryden.
Members of the MNO Northwest Métis Council invited everyone to take part in the raising of the Métis flag at Dryden City Hall followed by a Come and Go lunch at the MNO office.
Members of the MNO Northern Lights Métis Council hold up the Métis flag.
On November 15, the MNO Northern Lights Métis Council raised the Métis flag at Town Hall. The day also included their Annual General Meeting, a special luncheon and some family fun at the bowling alley for people of all ages.
MNO Grand River Métis Council President Jennifer Parkinson (left of flag) and Ward 10 Councillor Sarah Marsh (right of flag) at Kitchener City Hall. (Photo: CBC News)
MNO Grand River Métis Council President Jennifer Parkinson along with over 90 Grade 7 and 8 students from St. Anne Roman Catholic Elementary School attended a Métis flag-raising ceremony at Kitchener City Hall. They were joined by Ward 10 Councillor Sarah Marsh.
North Bay Mayor Al McDonald (right of flagpole) reads the Louis Riel Day proclamation.
At North Bay City Hall, special guests Mayor Al McDonald and newly elected Liberal MP Anthony Rota participated in the Métis flag-raising ceremony. MNO North Bay Métis Council Secretary and Treasurer Denis Tremblay spoke of the significance of the flag to the Métis and of Louis Riel’s dedication, courage, and how he paid the ultimate price for what he believed in: his people.
MNO Infinite Reach Facilitator Katie Baltzer (left) teaches Métis jigging at the University of Windsor.
MNO Infinite Reach Facilitators Katie Baltzer and Dana Carson organized a Louis Riel Day event at the University of Windsor. The event included Métis dot art lessons, a dream catcher workshop and Métis jigging lessons.
Honoured guest and Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer (third from left) plays the wooden spoons during a Métis jig.
On November 16, the MNO Toronto and York Region Métis Council participated in a flag-raising ceremony at City Hall, followed by a celebration. Special guests during their event included Ward 19 Councillor Mike Layton and Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer, who participated in Métis jigging and enthusiastically played wooden spoons.
Raising the Métis flag in Fort Frances.
The Town of Fort Frances proclaimed November 16 to November 20 as Louis Riel Week. On Louis Riel Day, the community gathered to raise the flag at Town Hall, followed by a feast of wild rice soup and bannock, fiddling and a bit of jigging at the MNO Sunset Country Métis Council’s Hall.
MNO Grand River Métis Council President Jennifer Parkinson (left) and Mayor Doug Craig raise the Métis flag.
On November 16 in Cambridge, Mayor Doug Craig and numerous city councillors joined the MNO Grand River Métis Council to share stories about Louis Riel and raise the Métis flag over Cambridge City Hall for the first time. The MNO GRMC were invited back for 2016.