Jun 30, 2014
Posted in: Uncategorized
After years of hard work and dedication by several Métis individuals and organizations including GDI staff, Métis artists and scholars, Métis veterans, families and friends, the dream of having a Métis Veterans Memorial Monument at Batoche, SK is finally becoming a reality.
On July 19, 2014, the Métis Veterans Memorial Monument will be unveiled to the public at the Batoche Memorial Garden in Batoche at 10:30 a.m. The monument is a national tribute honouring over 7,000 Métis servicemen and servicewomen from across Canada who have served our country.
Thousands of Métis soldiers were involved in action and endured hardship in the South African (‘Boer’) War (1899-1902), World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1942-1945), and the Korean War (1950-1953). They served with honour and distinction in all branches of the Canadian Armed Forces both in foreign lands to defend the sovereignty and freedom of allied nations, as well as in supporting the cause at home.
Their heroic acts and sacrifice earned them many decorations for bravery, respect and enduring friendship of fellow servicemen and servicewomen, as well as the admiration and appreciation of Canadians. Many made the ultimate sacrifice so that all Canadians might live in peace and freedom in this beautiful land.
Métis veterans occupy a point of honour at all Métis gatherings and cultural events. Batoche is a sacred site to the Métis and therefore a fitting site for people to gather, to remember, and to honour Métis Veterans. The Métis Veterans Memorial Monument unveiling ceremony will be held during the annual Back to Batoche Festival that takes place from July 17-20, 2014. The site of the Memorial Garden was officially designated in July 2010 at a ceremony that was attended by the Honourable John Duncan, then Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
Gabriel Dumont Institute leads fundraising efforts for the Monument and issues tax receipts on behalf of the project. To date, over $235,000 has raised including contributions from Veteran Affairs Canada, Clarence Campeau Development Fund, Saskatchewan Community Initiatives Fund, and donations from individuals, businesses, and service organizations.
Back to Batoche Days welcomes Métis, First Nation, and non-Aboriginal people to share the Métis Nation’s commemoration of their culture, traditions and heritage. Thousands of people attend the festival each year. This year, 80 young women and men known as ‘Honour Runners’ will be running 100km from Saskatoon to Batoche in tribute to Métis Veterans.
May it always be that across the Métis homeland and throughout the land of Canada the Métis veterans are never forgotten and that they and their sacrifices for freedom are honoured.