Back to Batoche Days was as lively as ever! A strong sense of friendship, family and community pervaded the festival grounds set against a backdrop of lively fiddle music punctuated with the scent of bannock fresh off the stove. This grand celebration of Métis culture ran from Thursday, July 14th until Sunday, July 17th.
Métis Nation of Alberta once again hosted a successful Alberta Day celebration on Friday, July 15th. The MNA provincial office and each of the six MNA regions sponsored performers to put on a grand show that included the varied artistic stylings of fiddlers, singers and jiggers. We thank all of out talented Métis performers from across the province who came out to give it their all on stage! At the Alberta Pavilion, the MNA Culture Team hosted a pop-up museum with information pertaining to the Battle of Seven Oaks 2016 – a key Métis military resistance indicative of the rise of Métis political consciousness in Canada. The display prominently highlighted Pierre Falcon’s famous song, Chanson de la Genouillère (the Song of Frog Plain), as well as a narrative of the battle by Peter Fiddler.
On Saturday, July 16, a ceremony was hosted in honour of Métis veterans. This year, new walls were installed around the perimeter of the central veteran’s monument and inscribed with the names of Métis veterans from each province. The MNA wholeheartedly supports the development of this monument as a tribute to the important contributions made by Métis veterans to ensure the freedom of our country.
The MNA Pavilion also enjoyed a visit from the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, who stopped by to view the Battle of Seven Oaks display and meet with MNA President Audrey Poitras. Minister Bennett additionally offered a pledge of support to the Métis community during the Batoche opening ceremonies on Friday, July 15th.
We thank everyone involved in making this year’s Back to Batoche Days festival so memorable and we look forward to next year already! For photos of the festival, please check out our online photo gallery here: http://albertametis.com/photos/2016-2/back-batoche-days-2016/