On July 22, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Glen McCallum, President of Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, announced that Parks Canada is transferring 690 hectares of land situated on the west side of the Batoche National Historic Site to the citizens of the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan.
The land being transferred to the Métis Nation - Saskatchewan (MNS) is the western lands of Batoche National Historic Site.
“These lands hold deep cultural, spiritual, and historic significance for the citizens of the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan. Parks Canada has long worked with Métis peoples at Batoche National Historic Site and this transfer of land and commitment to collaborative management marks a significant step in the ongoing relationship,” stated MNS in a media release.
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, stated in the release, “Today’s announcement advances reconciliation through meaningful action with Métis peoples. The connection to ancestral territories and homelands is essential to Indigenous cultures and one’s own identity. The collaboration between Parks Canada and Métis Nation – Saskatchewan with regard to Batoche National Historic Site marks a strengthening of this relationship by returning homeland to Métis people and marking another step towards collaborative management of Batoche National Historic Site.”
In December 2020, Parks Canada and Métis Nation - Saskatchewan agreed to explore and discuss options related to the future of Batoche National Historic Site under the Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation, stated the release. The two came together and signed the Framework Agreement on July 20, 2018, through the Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination process.
“The Government of Canada acknowledges the deep and enduring connections that the Métis people have with Batoche National Historic Site. In recognition of this connection the transfer of the West Side lands to the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan contributes to reconciliation and ensures the continued natural and cultural protection of ancestral homelands.”
President of Métis – Nation Saskatchewan, Glen McCallum, stated, “The Batoche grounds have always been important to our Métis citizens, our history and the resistance. This was the defining moment for us as Métis in Saskatchewan. The repatriation of Batoche lands is tangible and starts the path to reconciliation. There is a deep connection for us at Batoche. We, as Métis people, will determine the best use of this land that will respect our ancestors’ ultimate sacrifice in how we will honour and uphold their vision. Our past leaders who dreamed of this day aren’t with us anymore but will always be remembered. We celebrate in their memory.”