1812-ceremony-2MNO President Lipinski and MNOVC President Paquette accept War of 1812
banner and medal from Prime Minister Harper and Governor-General Johnston
On October 25, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Gary Lipinski and MNO Veterans’ Council (MNOVC) President Joseph Paquette participated in a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa that recognized the contributions of Aboriginal peoples to the effort to defend Canada during the War of 1812.

During the ceremony, His Excellency, Governor-General David Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper presented Presidents Lipinski and Paquette with a War of 1812 commemorative banner and commemorative medal to acknowledge Métis contributions during the War. These banners and medals were also presented to First Nations groups at the ceremony and in other ceremonies to Canadian military units that participated in the War.

President Lipinski spoke at the ceremony and described the many contributions of our Métis ancestors during the War. “It is significant,” explained President Lipinski, “that Métis contributions during the War of 1812 are being recognized along with those of First Nations and other Canadians. Unfortunately, in the past, this has not always been the case. I am proud to be here today to represent my Métis ancestors who fought for Canada before there was a Canada.”

“The Métis have a strong tradition of military service,” pointed out MNOVC President Paquette, “our involvement in the defense of Canada started in the War of 1812, and Métis have served in both World Wars, the Korean Conflict, in Peacekeeping missions and most recently in Afghanistan.”

Click here to view a video of the entire ceremony. (please note the ceremony is 75 minutes long. If you only wish to view the address by President Lipinski you can place your curser on the video and a progress bar will appear which will indicate how many minutes the video has progressed. By clicking on the bar you can go back and forth in the video. President Lipinski’s speech starts at 39:00 and the presentation to the MNO starts at 69:28).

Click here for more information on Métis contributions during the War of 1812.