MMF kicks off holiday season with lighting ceremony, announces largest public donation for Christmas Cheer Board

December 8, 2022

Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Tomorrow, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), the National Government of the Red River Métis, will be kicking off the holiday season by lighting up the future home of our heritage centre, located at the iconic corner of Portage and Main.

The event will be attended by dignitaries from other levels of government, along with Shawna Bell, Executive Director of the Christmas Cheer Board, who will receive the charity's largest public donation of the year from the MMF.

"In a year where we are seeing more and more people struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living, forcing them to access food programs and other supports, it's even more important that we do what we can to make sure all kids get to have a Christmas," said David Chartrand, President of the MMF. "We have supported the work of our friends at the Christmas Cheer Board for many years, and we're pleased to be able to continue this tradition."

For the second year, the donation announcement will be held in conjunction with the Lighting up the Heart of the Homeland ceremony, which will take place at the future home of our Red River Métis Heritage Centre, anticipated to be open to the public in 2025.

The event features spectacular lights on the columns at the front of the building, along with the lighting of a 35-foot blue spruce tree, which was donated by Red River Métis Citizens Ron and Michelle Bacon. After the holiday season, the wood from the tree will be used to heat the homes of community Elders who still rely on wood-burning stoves to keep warm in the winter. A new blue spruce tree will be planted next year in honour of the Bacons, as part of the MMF's commitment to planting 2 million native tree and shrub species.

"The significance of the location of our future heritage centre is not lost on our Nation," said President Chartrand. "The presence of the Red River Métis at this corner, where all trade roads into the west first began, reminds all that our Nation remains an important part of the past, present and future of our Homeland. In addition, we hope that bringing vibrant holiday lights to the corner of Portage and Main will give all who pass by a reason to smile this holiday season."

Media are invited to attend the lighting ceremony:

Date: Friday, December 9
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: 335 Main Street, site of the new Red River Métis heritage centre

A livestream of the event will be available at the following locations for your convenience:  

MMF Facebook-étisFederationOfficial

MMF YouTube Channel -étisMMF/featured



Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratically elected National Government of the Red River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis, the origin and core of the Métis Nation. The Red River Métis are Canada's Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.


For more information, media may contact:
Kat Patenaude
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Métis Federation


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