McGuinty Government Marks Louis Riel Day At Queen’s Park
15th Annual Celebration Honours Métis Culture, Language and Heritage
QUEEN’S PARK, Nov. 16 – Michael Bryant, Ontario’s new Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, invited everyone in Ontario to honour the culture, language and heritage of Métis people as he took part in the 15th Annual Louis Riel Day Commemoration Ceremony at the Ontario Legislature this morning. “It is all about strengthening our relationships with the Aboriginal community,” said Bryant “Ontario recognizes that the establishment of constructive, cooperative relationships is the basis for improving the well-being and prosperity of Aboriginal communities, now and for the future.”
Louis Riel’s role as a nation builder was not recognized during his lifetime. It is only recently that Canadians have begun to acknowledge Riel’s contributions in shaping the bilingual, multicultural Canada that we live in today. Louis Riel Day is an important opportunity to share in this rich history.
Bryant will also deliver greetings to the Métis from Premier McGuinty when he addresses a Louis Riel Day public forum hosted by the Law Society of Upper Canada at Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto this afternoon.
He will reiterate Ontario’s commitment to recognize the unique needs of the Métis in Ontario by working in collaboration with the Métis Nation of Ontario and the federal government to identify priorities and approaches to addressing the Ipperwash Inquiry Report recommendations. A key step is developing a bilateral framework agreement that reflects the social and political growth within the MNO-Ontario process.
Earlier this year, Ontario made an initial investment of $6 million to support the implementation of the new First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework.
“It is important for all school children to learn the rich history and continuing contributions of the Métis people,” Bryant said.
For further information: Contact: Greg Crone, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister’s Office, (416) 606-8562; Merike Nurming, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Communications Branch, (416) 326-4079