Special Statement from President David Chartrand on Indigenous People's Day

June 21, 2023

Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Today, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), the National Government of the Red River Métis, joins other Indigenous Nations across Canada to mark Indigenous Peoples Day. As always, it is important that Canadians remember that this day is celebrated at the summer solstice, when the sun travels its longest path across the sky. This date is truly symbolic of the long pathway our Nation has had to travel to regain our rightful place in Canada's Confederation.

Today, we stand at the dawn of a new era, now that our treaty has been unanimously ratified by our people, demonstrating their will and desire to achieve their hopes and dreams for a better future, one that was denied to us 153 years ago. We are strong and growing stronger every day, and our culture and Nationhood continue to see unprecedented revival.

However, we cannot ignore or dismiss the ongoing threat to our identity that continues to emerge to the east of our Homeland.

We, the Red River Métis, are a vibrant Indigenous collectivity with our own identity, language, culture, institutions and way of life throughout the historic Northwest, also called the Red River Métis Homeland, centred in the Red River Valley.

Throughout our history, and later, Canada's history, we have consistently asserted and protected our rights to land and identity as a distinct and self-governing Indigenous people within our Homeland. This reality underlay the unveiling of our national flag, the 1816 Battle of Seven Oaks - known to us as la Victoire de la Grenouillère - the Victory of the Frog Plain, the 1849 Sayer Trial, and the 1885 Battle of Batoche.

Today, as we celebrate our Ancestors, our history, our culture and our accomplishments, as well as our bright future, we also stand strong in defense against any threats to our identity. We will not allow others to create identities using our Red River Métis symbols, cultural heritage, historic milestones, and military events.

We know who we are. As we celebrate our Nationhood today, we reflect on the challenges that lay ahead. We will insist that our own rights and identity be respected. We will define and speak for ourselves.

It is part of our history and a part of our tradition to respect other Indigenous Peoples in Canada and around the world. That is why today, we extend our friendship to all Indigenous Peoples, and honour all efforts of legitimate Indigenous Nations to preserve their own culture, heritage and rights.

May we all honour our Ancestors by maintaining our place in our territories and preserving our culture while we work toward reconciliation with this country now called Canada.



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 historic 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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