Back to Batoche Days are on in a full-on gathering for the first time in three years. – Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) is excited to welcome citizens and guests to the 50th celebration of Back to Batoche Days. The excitement gets under way Friday, July 22 and runs throughout the weekend.
MN–S President Glen McCallum said, “The past two years have been a testament to the resiliency and courage of our citizens, but it has not been without sacrifice. Back to Batoche is always an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family and enjoy food, entertainment, and dance while visiting and hearing stories. This year’s festivities have special significance for us all because it marks 50 years of the festival coming back to Batoche.”
The annual celebration of culture and music is presented in the historic heartland of the Métis on the national site of the Battle of Batoche. Storytelling, jigging, square dancing, visual art, and of course fiddling, are all part of the entertainment. There will also be the excitement of chuckwagon racing, voyageur and contemporary games, traditional land use and Indigenous language teachings and food in the package.
This year, to honour those lost during the pandemic, MN–S is hosting a special memorial ceremony at the historic graveyard in Batoche on Sunday, July 24th. The names of loved ones will be placed in a special urn which will be buried in the graveyard.
“With restrictions on gatherings over the past two years, many of us have not had the opportunity to come together to grieve for our loved ones and celebrate their lives as we would have traditionally done, explains McCallum. “This memorial will hopefully serve as an opportunity for people to properly say goodbye to those we lost during the pandemic. We’ll pray for them. Ka-yah-me-sta-moo-wah-na-wok.”
A full schedule of activities for Back to Batoche Days can be found at www.backtobatochedays.ca. You can watch along with a livestream of the Main Stage of the festival on this site or on the MN–S Facebook page.