Nov. 16, 2020
National Métis Week is held annually in November in the week surrounding Louis Riel Day (Nov 16). Louis Riel Day is observed to remember and honour Riel’s leadership and bravery in leading the Métis people of western Canada during the Red River and North-West Resistance.
The Métis are one of three constitutionally recognized groups of Indigenous people in Canada whose ancestral roots are a combination of European and Indigenous. The Métis have a distinct culture and language as well as a shared history and many kin relations.
Louis Riel was a Métis political leader who fought tirelessly to preserve Métis rights and culture. He led the Métis people of western Canada in two resistances against the dominion, with the latter resulting in his hanging on November 16, 1885. Often referred to as the founder of the province of Manitoba, Riel is also credited with being one of the contributors of Confederation.
To prepare educators to lift this knowledge in their classrooms, the Indigenous Education Team held two learning sessions in the past few weeks. In the first, CBE educator Preston Huppie shared the history, strength, diversity, and rigor of Métis knowledge systems (ways of knowing); and in the second, Billie-Jo Grant from the Rupertsland Institute and Dr. Yvonne Poitras Pratt from the University of Calgary shared provocations and resources that can support educators in deepening their own learning and the learning of their students regarding the Métis. These resources can be found on the Indigenous Education insite page (for staff)
*Photos courtesy of Janet Johnstone School and Niitsitapi Learning Centre