President's message - October 04, 2023

October 4, 2023

Canada recently marked the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Perhaps it's fitting that we announced our plan to purchase 200 Main Street just days ahead of this important day of remembrance and hope.

Reconciliation is not just a word, and it's not just a matter of saying sorry for past wrongs. It is about new beginnings, and fostering strength and growth for Indigenous Nations harmed by colonial policies and attitudes, like the Red River Métis were harmed. Economic revitalization is one of the most significant tools we have to build that growth and strength.

The beauty of an economic revitalization is that it not only benefits the people who were harmed in the past, or their descendants - it benefits everyone. You can plainly see the benefits of economic reconciliation and revitalization through our investments into the heart of our Homeland, in what is now called Winnipeg.

The purchase of this new building at 200 Main Street creates opportunities for our Citizens, staff, and affiliates. It also allows businesses to grow and thrive around us. Restaurants, stores, and other service-providing businesses in the area will always benefit from having more people working and spending time downtown.

Our Citizens know that Winnipeg is laced with our history - from the street names like McDermot and Bannatyne, to places like Grant's Old Mill and the Seven Oaks monument. Our history is everywhere in this city and this province, and it only takes knowledge and education for others to see and understand. Our heritage centre, which will be housed at the corner of Portage and Main, is a powerful symbol of reclamation. We are retaking our place as an economic engine of the West through our ownership of this iconic building of commerce. Once complete in 2026, it will deliver a one-of-a-kind experience in North America and the world.

Though street names and exact building locations change over time, 200 Main Street is also symbolic for our people. It is located approximately where the Dominion Lands Office was located in the 1800s - the very place where our Ancestors were expected to make applications for the land we negotiated for our families and our children. Of course, we all know how the scrip was mismanaged and left vulnerable to fraud and corruption. Our future was stolen, and the land that was to be ours - which includes the city of Winnipeg - was given to others. As I said during the announcement about 200 Main Street, we are reclaiming the land that was stolen from our Ancestors - acre by acre and building by building.

These two buildings are only a portion of the investments made on your behalf. Along with investing approximately $11 million into our Home Office at 150 Henry Avenue to make the building more environmentally friendly, Red River Métis Citizens now own properties at 280 Fort Street, 670 Main Street, and 90 Sutherland Avenue. We are also beginning work on Michif Manor on Notre Dame, which will house Red River Métis families who need to come to Winnipeg to receive health care, and Infinity House of Hope, which will offer transitional housing for our Youth in care.

These are just some of the properties your Red River Métis Government holds on your behalf. It does not include the homes our Citizens have purchased with our help. Together, our efforts are restoring our presence as landowners here in the heart of our Homeland.

Even though our Citizens live in many places in Canada and beyond, it's clear that Winnipeg holds a special place in all our hearts, here in the province we brought into Canada's confederation. When I've spoken with Red River Métis Citizens who were born and raised outside of our Homeland, they often talk about wanting to come to Winnipeg, to see the place our Ancestors founded.

As your President, I want to ensure that when they come here, they feel the heartbeat of our birthplace, and see evidence of the strength of their Red River Métis Government. We feel a strong sense of responsibility to ensure that this place thrives as we thrive. We invest in Winnipeg because we believe in Winnipeg. It's the place where our Nation was born.

I hope you can feel the excitement building, as we continue to blaze a trail for the continued revival in our culture, as well as expanding our economic strength. In my next message, I'll delve into how we're investing in education, which is another important tool to support the long-term financial well-being of our families and our Nation.

Until we gather at our upcoming Annual General Assembly, I send my well wishes to Citizens who are honouring our traditions by harvesting from our Homeland to feed family and community. Stay safe and remember - your Red River Métis Government has your back.

I also offer my prayers to all our families, Citizens, friends, and neighbours, and my deepest condolences to those who have been caused to grieve.



View More

B300-150 Henry Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 0J7

^ * ( &

Métis Nation Database
Unite Interactive