Remembrance Day 2021

Message from the President​

“We must seek to preserve the existence of our own people. We must not by our own act allow ourselves to  be swamped. If the day comes when that is done, it must be by no act of ours.” 

“Pray that God may preserve the little Métis Nation and cause it to grow . . .and remain faithful to its  mission. During the five years that I must pass in exile, I have only this to say to the Métis: Remain Métis,  become more Métis than ever.” 

 – Louis Riel 

From the days of Cuthbert Grant and Louis Riel to today, the Red River Métis have fought vigorously to  preserve and protect our identity and independence, earning the name Otipemisiwak – the people who  own themselves. It’s who we are and what we stand for. We have always known we can accomplish  anything, as long as we remain united. 

When Louis Riel and John Bruce informed MacDougall that he could not enter the Northwest – our  Homeland – without permission in October of 1869, they made the declaration as the national  government of the Red River Métis.  

Today, the Manitoba Métis Federation is the democratic government and national voice of the Red  River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis, which is the origin, root, and core of the Métis Nation.  Our ancestors negotiated Canada’s entry into the Northwest, and Manitoba’s entry into Confederation.  We remain committed to advancing our work to meet the needs of your family and your community  while we advance our Nation. 

Indigenous Veterans Day  

November 8 is the day Canada honours Aboriginal – or Indigenous – veterans, for their legacy and the  sacrifices they made for the rights we have today. 

I’m not just talking about World War I and II, or the Korean War, or the many peacekeeping missions  Canadian and Red River Métis soldiers have participated in.  

It’s a fact that the Red River Métis of the Northwest have been fighting for Canada – for our ideals and  values – before there was even a Canada. 

Let me take you all the way back to 1816 and the Battle of Seven Oaks, or what we call the Victory of  Frog Plain. This was a fight for free trade – for the rights of our Nation to trade our goods and services  with whomever we chose. It was part of what was often called the Pemmican Wars. 

This was a significant battle – one that demonstrated the fierce devotion of the Red River Métis to the  defence of democratic values, including the right of free trade. 

In 1869 our leaders – including Louis Riel – seized Upper Fort Garry, laid down a roadblock, and  established itself as the government of the Red River Settlement, and the national government of the  Red River Métis, to defend the right to have representation that reflected the needs of the people. 

In 1885, again, our people went to war in the Northwest Resistance, where we were outnumbered and  outgunned, but still we fought to defend our values, our families, and our way of life. From Duck Lake  to Fish Creek to Batoche, we used every scrap of metal we could find to make bullets to keep our fight  going. We lost many great heroes. This loss, and this remembrance, still echoes across our Nation. 

Those who gave their lives during these early battles deserve recognition as war veterans, and as  champions of democracy. 

So, on Indigenous Veterans Day, we not only honour our veterans who went to foreign soil to defend  the democratic rights and freedoms of others, we also honour our veterans who gave their lives to  protect our rights and freedoms.  

It is in their name that we continue to fight to this day. Of course, we’ve moved on from bullets and  now have most of our battles in the courts. But through this work, we honour what our ancestors  fought for and represented: Our rights in the new Canada, our identity as the Métis Nation of the Red  River and the Northwest, and our passion to defend all against tyranny and evil, no matter where in  the world this fight took place. 

These are our heroes – today, tomorrow, and forever. 

Remembrance Day 

November 11 is the day where Canada and the Red River Métis honour all war veterans of all conflicts  for their sacrifices and their legacy.  

On November 11, I hope all Citizens take a moment to reflect on the incredible decades we’ve  experienced without global conflict, without sending our loved ones to fight and possibly lose their  lives on foreign soil. I hope people reflect on why we have the privilege of peace today.  

We know this privilege is due to the sacrifices made by many, many Canadians and the Métis of the Red  River and the Northwest in global conflicts over the years. What we have today – the freedoms and  rights we enjoy – we owe to these heroes.  

We honour all war veterans, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, along with the families who  experienced these painful losses. Those who survived often came home broken, continuing to suffer the  aftermath of their time spent in service.  

For the Métis Veterans of World War II, when they came home, Canada simply forgot them. I made  it my mission decades ago to ensure that these veterans – their heroism, their suffering, and their  resilience – were recognized and supported after they were abandoned. 

In 2019, Canada issued a formal apology to our WWII Métis Veterans. The apology was followed by  an agreement and a commitment to support us as we launched the Métis Veterans Legacy Program in  2020, to commemorate our heroes and provide them with the head start they did not receive when  they came home. 

As of today, Recognition Payments have been given to 30 living Métis Veterans, along with 37 spouses  and 19 children of deceased Métis Veterans. We continue to search for Métis Veterans and their families  so we can honour our heroes. 

If anyone has questions about the military contributions of the Red River Métis, knows a World War II Métis Veteran, or has a vision for commemorating our  World War II veterans, reach out to us: 

Telephone: 1-800-532-1993 

Email: veteran.info@Metisveterans.ca 

Website: www.Metisveterans.ca 

It’s so important that our younger generations – those who have grown up only knowing a world  without global conflict – learn about those who gave so much for our security. I encourage all Elders in  our communities to take some time in the next few weeks to speak to our Youth about their memories 

of war times, or of family members who went to war. It is only by passing this important knowledge to  our Youth that we can hope they’ll carry on the tradition of honouring our war veterans. 

I offer my prayers to all our Citizens, friends, and neighbours, and my deepest condolences to those  who have been caused to grieve – especially those who have lost loved ones due to military conflict,  who will find this time of year particularly hard.

Message from the Commissioners​

November 11th is a day where we allow our thoughts to travel backwards to  remember our comrades, friends and family who made the ultimate sacrifice in the  fields of armed conflict. This is the real message of remembrance, and the underlying  foundation for the whole day. As Veterans and survivors, we remember all those brave  young men and women who paid the price for our freedom with their lives. 

As Commissioners of the Métis Veterans Legacy Program, we hold our Métis Veterans  across the Homeland in the highest regard. Their courage and sacrifice helped to  ensure we live in freedom and peace while fostering those same values around the  world. 

Today, we reflect on the tremendous debt of gratitude we owe to generations of brave  Canadian soldiers and Métis Veterans who put on a uniform and crossed oceans and  seas to serve our country. 

We encourage all Canadians to learn more about the sacrifices and achievements  made by these brave individuals. Help us preserve their legacy by educating  your children and grandchildren about their contributions, passing the torch of  remembrance to future generations of Métis citizens and Canadians. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to families who have lost sons and daughters,  brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers to military conflict. Our Métis Veterans leave  behind a legacy to be remembered and cherished by their loved ones. We want them  all to know that we will continue to keep the memory of our fallen heroes close to  our minds and our hearts as we commemorate their tremendous contributions and  sacrifices.  

Our Heroes Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.

Commissioners of the Métis Veterans Legacy Program

Remembrance Day Services​

The Métis Veterans Legacy Program encourages everyone to participate on November 11th by attending, either in-person or virtually, their local Remembrance Day ceremony.

You may find below a list of Remembrance Day ceremonies happening in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the surrounding area. As well, a link to the National Remembrance Day ceremony held in Ottawa, Ontario.

St. Norbert Cenotaph (898 – 870 Avenue, Ste Therese)

St. James Legion #4 (1755 Portage Avenue)

  • Small service with limited capacity. The Ladies Auxiliary President and the Branch President laying Wreaths at Bruce Park Cenotaph around 10:40AM. Public is invited to lay wreaths if they wish.

Elmwood Brand #9 (920 Narrin Avenue)

  • Capacity limited to 150, must be fully vaccinated. Ceremony starts at 11:00AM. Please arrive early. 

West Kildonan Legion #30 (1478 Main Street)

  • Limited capacity. Priority will be given to members who arrive early. Must be double vaccinated. If capacity allows at 10:45AM, non-members who are double vaccinated will be allowed until max capacity is hit. 

Norwood St. Boniface Legion #43 (134 Marion Street R2H 0T4)

  • A modified Remembrance Day Service will be held at Norwood Legion Banquet Hall. Doors open at 10:00AM. Service begins at 11:00AM. Honors and Awards at 2:00PM. Limited Capacity – Must be fully vaccinated and must show proof of vaccine and ID to attend.

Stonewall Branch #52 (459 Main St. Stonewall)

  • Limited capacity. Must be fully vaccinated. Doors open at 10:00AM, ceremony starts at 10:45AM. 

Henderson Highway Brand #215 (215 Maxwell King Drive)

  • Limited capacity. Must be fully vaccinated. Doors open at 10:45AM. 

Osborne Legion #252 (426 Osborne Street)

  • Service begins at 10:30AM. Must be fully vaccinated. 

National War Memorial

The National Remembrance Day ceremony will be held at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on November 11th, 2021.

The ceremony will start at approximately 10:45AM.

Crowds will be welcome at the National War Memorial following the changes to gathering restrictions by the provincial government of Ontario.

The following streets will be closed around the National War Memorial between 7:00AM and 1:00PM on Thursday, November 11th, 2021.

  • Wellington and Rideau streets between Metcalfe Street and Mackenzie Avenue
  • Elgin Street northbound and southbound between Wellington and Albert streets
  • Queen Street between Metcalfe and Elgin streets
  • Metcalfe Street between Wellington and Queen streets

The Royal Canadian Legion will also broadcast the ceremony on its website: https://www.legion.ca/remembrance/remembrance-day/the-national-ceremony

(taken from CTV website)

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