The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) and the City of Thompson celebrated the 150th anniversary of Manitoba becoming a province July 15 by raising the Métis Nation flag on the flagpole outside City Hall.
“We’re very proud as the Metis Nation to celebrate … the only province that has entered confederation through an Indigenous nation which is the nation led by our provincial government which at that time was led by the well-known Louis Riel,” said MMF Thompson regional office vice-president Julyda Lagimodiere. “We have relatives of course who are First Nations members … and of course we also have relatives who are French, Scottish, Irish, you name it, we have relatives from Europe. Our history goes back a long ways and we’re very community-minded so I’m very happy that we’re working together today.”
Thompson Mayor Colleen Smook said flying the Metis flag symbolizes both the multicultural nature of Thompson and the need for all of its residents to cooperate no matter their origins.
“It’s an honour to fly the Metis flag,” she said. “I think flying the flag for the first time is definitely a sign … that we’re all part of one big community that has to work together to make things better.”
Manitoba Day on May 12 celebrates the date when the Manitoba Act establishing the province received royal assent, while July 15, 1870 was the day the act was proclaimed.
Lagimodiere says the MMF also has banners featuring a portrait of Louis Riel that it plans to hang up around Thompson to celebrate the province’s founder and its 150th year of existence. A fireworks display will also take place at a later date when the weather is more amenable.