LAC LA BICHE - Nov.13 to 19 is Métis Week across Alberta, and in the Lac La Biche area the events began on Monday with a ceremonial Métis flag-raising ceremony at the Portage College campus.
Portage College campus locations across the northeastern part of the province will be recognizing Métis Week with traditional and educational events.
The morning flag-raising ceremony was attended by Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) representatives from across the Lakeland as well as college and municipal officials. The event was the kick-off to a long list of local and regional awareness and cultural celebrations that will be held throughout the week.
Events on Tuesday, Nov.15, included Métis teachings by Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement Elder Elmer Ghostkeeper, jigging and fiddling presentations, and a morning session on moose-calling. A trapping display will be open to the public until 6 p.m in the Wanîskah Room at the Lac La Biche Portage College campus.
Wednesday, Nov. 16: In honour of Louis Riel, on the 137th anniversary of the founding Métis leader’s execution, the College will be hosting an evening event with family activities in the Wanîskah Room and Portage Gymnasium from 5-6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 17: An information session and opportunity to vote on the Otipemisiwak Métis Government Constitution will be an all-day event at Portage. The new legislation is seen by many current Métis leaders as a further step towards independence and self-governance.
The sessions will begin in the Wanîskah Room with a discussion on the Constitution at 9 a.m. Voting will take place throught the day until 5 p.m. followed by a supper and entertainment. Some 56,000 registered Métis Albertans will have an opportunity to vote throughout the month until Nov. 30.
Friday, Nov. 18: Wrapping up the week of awareness activities and celebrations, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. there will be a Métis craft market, and a free community dinner at 5 p.m. followed by a jamboree with musical and dance performances at 7 p.m. in the College’s gymnasium.
Métis Week celebrations across Alberta have been taking place for decades and recognize the history, significance, accomplishments and future of the Métis people. The events coincide with the 1885 death of founding Métis leader and politician Louis Riel who was convicted and executed by the government of that time for his role in the Red River Resistance.