The occasion will mark 'a historic new chapter' in the lives of Métis citizens as well as Saskatchewan and Canadian citizens generally. - MN-S president Robert Doucette.
Regina (9 Nov. 2009) - The province of Saskatchewan has named 2010 The Year of The Métis.
The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE) says there has never been a dedication of this magnitude made to Métis citizens.
"The year 2010 marks a milestone anniversary for the Métis citizens of Canada, as it marks the 125th anniversary of the North West Resistance. [It] will be a year of commemoration, a year of celebrations and a year of reconciliation for all Métis citizens and non Métis across North America," the union says.
Robert Doucette, president of the Métis Nation Saskatchewan (MN-S), says the occasion will be "a new historic chapter" in the lives of Métis citizens as well as Saskatchewan and Canadian citizens generally.
MN-S has posted this information on its website to provide historical context to the announcement:
Prior to Canada's configuration as a nation in west central North America, the Métis people emerged out of the relations of First Nations women and European men. While the initial offspring of these First Nation and European unions were individuals who possessed mixed ancestry, the gradual establishment of distinct Métis communities, outside of First Nation and European cultures and settlements, as well as, the subsequent intermarriages between Métis women and Métis men, resulted in the genesis of a new Aboriginal people - the Métis Nation.
The Métis Nation, as a distinct Aboriginal people, fundamentally shaped Canada's expansion westward through on-going declaration of our collective identity and rights. From the Red River Resistance to the Battle of Batoche to other notable collective actions undertaken throughout the Métis Nation Homeland, the history and identity of Métis citizens will forever be a part of Canada's existence.
Today, Métis citizens are alive and well within Canada however, each year thousands return to Saskatchewan to pay respects to those who fought for us 124 years ago, and celebrate the rich culture that has made Saskatchewan the heart of the Nation and home to all.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE