aga-2012President Lipinski with historical re-enactors representing War of 1812 soldiersRe-living the traditions of the Métis Voyageurs, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) kicked off its 19th Annual General Assembly (AGA) with an opening ceremony the evening of August 25 featuring voyageur canoes traveling down the St. Mary River to Bell’s Point Beach Campground near Sault Ste. Marie. Recognizing the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and commemorating Métis contributions during the War, the ceremony featured a group of Sault Ste. Marie military re-enactors portraying British soldiers. The soldiers fired two musket volleys to salute the Voyageurs as they arrived and then later thanked MNO President Gary Lipinski for Métis contributions to the War effort.

After the War of 1812 commemoration, AGA delegates participated in a procession to the campground where the members of the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) elected in the recent MNO general elections, signed their Oaths of Allegiance. After these formalities, the AGA delegates enjoyed a rousing campfire celebration.

Over 400 Métis citizens are attending the AGA from Métis communities all over the province. The AGA runs from August 26 to August 28 with highlights including discussions on Métis rights and Métis economic development. Look for a full story on the AGA posted here on August 29th.