City of Edmonton, Otipemisiwak Métis Government partner to recognize Métis Week in Edmonton
Posted on: Nov 14, 2023
City of Edmonton and the Otipemisiwak Métis Government partner to recognize Métis Week in Edmonton
Today, the City of Edmonton, in partnership with the Otipemisiwak Métis Government of the Métis Nation within Alberta, hosted this year’s Métis Week recognition event at City Hall and officially declared November 12 to 18, 2023, as Métis Week in Edmonton.
“The City of Edmonton recognizes the contributions Métis people have made and continue to make to our city,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “Métis people played a significant role in the establishment of Edmonton as a community through the development of trading, commerce, river lot settlement, as well as through civic life, military service and leadership. I invite everyone to learn more about this history as contemporary achievements by participating in events hosted by the Métis Nation during Métis Week.”
Métis Week is held annually in Alberta and recognized in connection with Louis Riel Day on November 16. Local and community events are organized throughout the week to celebrate the rich culture, history, and contributions of Métis people in the province. The proclamation is a continued commitment to the Memorandum of Shared Recognition and Cooperation between the City of Edmonton and the Métis Nation of Alberta/Otipemisiwak Métis Government of the Métis Nation within Alberta. In 2013, both pledged to work together to increase positive social and economic opportunities for Indigenous and Métis people in Edmonton.
“During Métis Week, we gather to honour Louis Riel and his shared determination for self-government,” said President Andrea Sandmaier, Otipemisiwak Métis Government of the Métis Nation within Alberta. “By working together, we will make our vision of a brighter future for Métis people a reality.”
The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) was created in 1928 to be a representative voice on behalf of Métis people within Alberta, provide Métis people an opportunity to participate in government policy, and promote and facilitate the advancement of Métis people through the pursuit of self-reliance, self-determination and self-management.
In October 2023, Métis citizens in Alberta swore in the first Otipemisiwak Métis Government following the largest leadership vote in MNA’s history and, according to MNA research, was the largest leadership vote ever held for an Indigenous government in Canada. Since November 2019, the City of Edmonton has permanently flown the Métis flag outside City Hall, alongside the official flags of Canada, Alberta, Edmonton, and Treaty No. 6. Otipemisiwak [Oh-teh-pim-swak] is a Plains Cree word that means “the people who own themselves.”
The City of Edmonton’s journey to strengthen and build relationships with Indigenous Peoples is guided and inspired by the Elder-shared concept of wahigicicobi, a lethka Nakoda word meaning “kinship relationships”, and is demonstrated through the City’s Indigenous Framework.