Métis Nation–Saskatchewan, Métis National Council and First Nation Dignitaries gather at Batoche monument

Métis and First Nation dignitaries gathered at Batoche  today for Indigenous Veterans Day to honour the Indigenous men and women who  fought to protect our rights and freedoms. A moment of silence was observed for the  many soldiers and warriors who fought together more than a century ago on the Métis  homeland during the Northwest Resistance at Batoche, Duck Lake, Fish Creek and  Cut Knife, and overseas during World War I, World War II, the Korean War,  Afghanistan and continue to serve today.  

Newly appointed Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) Minister of Veterans Mervin  “Tex” Bouvier recognized and acknowledged the veterans, families and invited guests  in attendance. Dumont Scout Elder Felix Merasty led the event as Master of  Ceremonies including Michif, Cree, and English presentations, prayers by Elders, a  lowering of flags, a veteran’s story of remembrance and a procession to the Batoche  cemetery for prayers for the Métis and First Nations lost at the Battle of Batoche.  

As veterans and Elders looked on, dignitaries representing the MN–S government,  Métis National Council (MNC) and One Arrow First Nation placed wreaths at the  Batoche National Historic Site monument in remembrance and honour of Indigenous  veterans. 

Newly elected MNC President Cassidy Caron, who has roots in the historic Métis  communities of Batoche and St. Louis, attended the event with family to honour all  Indigenous veterans, including those of her relatives whose names are inscribed on  the Batoche monument.  

“At Batoche, we have the unique opportunity to remember all Métis Veterans who  have bravely served both the Métis Nation and Canada. It’s fitting we’ve gathered here  for Indigenous Veterans Day,” says President Caron. “But let’s not limit our  remembrance to only one day a year. Every day, we can honour Métis Veterans by  sharing their stories, recognizing their enduring contributions, and doing our own part  to build a brighter, more just future that we’ve all dreamed of.” 

MN–S President Glen McCallum says, “Since the earliest days of our leaders Louis  Riel and Gabriel Dumont, our Métis people were and are still warriors. Our warriors  have fought hard and strong to protect our safety, and later our rights and freedom.  Métis men and women continue to serve to protect this country, and today, we gather  

to honour them all.”

Over the past century, Métis people have bravely answered the call to military service  to defend Canada and its allies. Despite serving the Métis Nation and Canada with  pride during the Second World War, Métis veterans did not receive similar benefits as  other non-Indigenous veterans.  

In September 2019, the Government of Canada formally apologized to Métis veterans  and announced $30 million to compensate Métis veterans across Canada and support  commemorative initiatives. A payment of $20,000 was allocated to each veteran for  their wartime and post-war experiences. Further funding will support commemorative  events and monuments at the community level, and MN–S is proud to participate in  these activities.  

MN–S Minister of Veterans Mervin “Tex” Bouvier says he looks forward to engaging  with Métis families and veterans to find out how MN–S can further commemorate our  veterans. “We will continue to honour and commemorate the sacrifice and bravery of  Métis veterans, their families and communities, and the role they’ve played in our  history and continue to play today,” says Minister Bouvier.