A request from Prince Rupert and District Metis Society to fly the group’s Infinity flag at P.R. city hall was sent to recognize Métis Awareness Week from Nov. 15 - 21. The Métis flag was raised over Trail’s city hall in 2018 to commemorate Louis Riel Day. (Black Press File photo, Guy Bertrand photo)

A request from Prince Rupert and District Metis Society to fly the group’s Infinity flag at P.R. city hall was sent to recognize Métis Awareness Week from Nov. 15 - 21. The Métis flag was raised over Trail’s city hall in 2018 to commemorate Louis Riel Day. (Black Press File photo, Guy Bertrand photo)

Metis Awareness Week in Prince Rupert Nov. 15-21

To be recognized is a big achievement: Robert Basso

Metis Awareness Week will be honoured in the city during the week of Nov. 15 to 21 as requested by Prince Rupert and District Metis Society (PRDMS) in a letter to the City addressed at the council meeting on Nov. 9.

“Our Culture and traditions are distinct from other Indigenous peoples of Canada and it is for the sake of our children that we do all we can to preserve it,” Joy Sundin president of the PRDMS said in the letter jointly signed by vice president Robert Basso.

“I encourage you to proclaim the week of November 15-21, 2020 as Métis Awareness week and to show your support by raising the Métis Infinity flags at Prince Rupert’s City Hall,” Sundin said in the letter.

While Prince Rupert City Council passed the motion to recognize the week honouring the Indigenous people, no mention of flying the flag at City Hall was made.

Basso told The Northern View on Nov. 10 this will be the third year that Métis Awareness Week has been recognized by the City of Prince Rupert and clarified the flag was not raised last year.

“They have been very gracious and set aside Louis Riel week for us,” Basso said. “We are appreciative that they do recognize the local Métis community and they are recognizing that it is an official group in Canada.”

“We are now considered one of the three indigenous groups in Canada along with the First Nations and the Inuit … so that is a milestone for us just to have that recognition,” Basso said.

READ MORE: Lest we forget – Stain on the flag

With more than 100 registered Métis in Prince Rupert Basso said they are trying to raise awareness of the organization to have more people register. PRDMS has received COVID-19 funds which it has been distributing to registered and identified members by way of gift cards and gas cards.

The organization has run art classes, beading classes, and during a past Christmas held a hugely successful dance class where local musicians and ballroom dancers attended, Basso said.

“I could not believe the response. A whole group of people came out and the place was packed and it was just an amazing success. The local Métis put it on to make our community aware that we are out there and trying to do good things.”

“A lot of events have been cancelled due to COVID. It has really complicated everything … but we do run interesting projects to make our local Metis aware of their culture. I think most of them are fairly proud to be members and it’s nice that Métis are getting recognition.”

“I think for us to be recognized as one of the Indigenous groups in Canada is a big achievement,” Basso said.

Metis Awareness Week umbrellas Louis Riel Day on Nov. 16. Basso said that Louis Riel was a ‘great guy’.

“Riel was all for democracy and equality. He was really ahead of his time in a lot of ways with his political thinking. He was looking out for his people, he was looking out for everyone,” Basso said.

“Louis Riel Day is a celebration of life and achievements of the great Canadian and politician, and serves to remind all Canadians that Louis Riel was a fearless advocate for the rights of Métis People,” Sundin said. “It is the day that Métis people in many parts of Canada celebrate our unique Metis culture and transitions and gather with our youth and children to share our ancestor’s stories.”

“Riel was a great leader of justice for Métis people and he is recognized as a pioneer in the campaign for Metis rights in Canada. Riel was executed for his defence of leading the Red River Resistance of 1869-1870, with his life ultimately sacrificed on Nov. 16, 1885,” Sundin said.

READ MORE: Metis Nation demands recognition by B.C.


K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local health authority maps are updated each week. The brown maps show the number of confirmed and active cases of COVID-19 for the week of Jan. 15 to 21, with the blue map showing cases over the past year. (Image supplied)
COVID-19 outbreak numbers increase at Acropolis and exposures are up in S.D. 52

Business COVID-19 safety plans are law, public needs to follow health protocols - Northern Health

Asher Hauknes shows his strength with Prince Rupert Gymnastics head coach Erin Hipkiss looking on Nov. 13. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Gymnastics Association benefits from Community Gaming Grant

Prince Rupert sports club to receive just less than $90,000 to build new facility

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue was dispatched to a boat fire on Jan. 21 at Fairview Marina. (Photo: supplied)
Boat fire under investigation

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attended boat fire at Fairview Marina

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

Most Read