Moose Jaw Times Herald - - OPINION -

Be­fore us, they built a com­mu­nity and a her­itage and died de­fend­ing our her­itage and land. And ev­ery year, on “Back to Ba­toche” Sun­day, we march to Ba­toche to the nine graves to pay trib­ute to those who fell on the bat­tle­ground.

As far as I’m con­cerned that’s when we truly go back to Ba­toche. We fol­low the same road as our an­ces­tors, passed the mu­seum, down the path, past the church, across from the bat­tle­ground, to where Métis blood was spilled so long ago!

My heart swells with pride ev­ery time I walk down that path and think of those that made that ul­ti­mate sacri­fice so we, as a Métis peo­ple, could be rec­og­nized as a dis­tinct peo­ple — nei­ther na­tive or white — I am Métis!

But this year, dur­ing what should have been a time for re­mem­ber­ing, I was to­tally dis­gusted by our Métis Na­tion of Saskatchewan Coun­cil.

As we gath­ered around the graves to pay our re­spects, our na­tional pres­i­dent had words to share.

A priest led us through a prayer. But some­how there was not one Métis po­lit­i­cal leader from Saskatchewan at the march to Ba­toche. No­body to be seen!

In­stead, the pres­i­dent from Man­i­toba had to step up and speak for us.

When I looked around the crowd, I saw vet­er­ans who were up­set.

Where were our rep­re­sented elected of­fi­cials? I’m not the only one that thought this is the big­gest dis­re­spect our cur­rent elected of­fi­cials could do to the Métis peo­ple of not only Saskatchewan, but to the whole Métis com­mu­nity in Canada! How’s that for a slap in the face?

Did Ba­toche and all the cel­e­bra­tions be­come about money? Have they lost fo­cus on how im­por­tant our vet­er­ans and el­ders are?

Are we not there to cel­e­brate our­selves as a peo­ple, to re­live our cul­ture, and to pay re­spect to our el­ders and vet­er­ans?

As a peo­ple, we will not for­get this.

For this, there is no ex­cuse that any mem­ber of our elected of­fi­cials can give. And I call upon our Métis Na­tion of Saskatchewan Coun­cil to apol­o­gize to the Métis of Canada for this lack of re­spect.

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