L-R: Kootenay South Métis Society members, president Myrt Servatius and Marilyn Fayant Taylor were reading for the arrival of hundreds of Kootenay Columbia students for the raising of the Métis flag at Trail city hall on Wednesday, Nov. 16. Photo: Sheri Regnier

L-R: Kootenay South Métis Society members, president Myrt Servatius and Marilyn Fayant Taylor were reading for the arrival of hundreds of Kootenay Columbia students for the raising of the Métis flag at Trail city hall on Wednesday, Nov. 16. Photo: Sheri Regnier

Trail raises flag for Louis Riel Day

On Nov. 16, 1885, Louis Riel was unjustly hanged after being convicted of treason.

Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, has issued the following statement to mark Louis Riel Day:

“During his life, Louis Riel was a passionate advocate for Métis people. He was a fierce defender of the rights of marginalized people. He was an essential part of the cultural fabric of Canada and is rightly recognized as a founder of Manitoba.

“On Nov. 16, 1885, Louis Riel was unjustly hanged after being convicted of treason. He made a profound sacrifice for his beliefs. Today, on Louis Riel Day, we commemorate his legacy, his enduring influence and the ideals that he died defending. This day is part of Canada’s heritage.

“It is also important to recognize the strides he made in laying the groundwork for a country that included the Métis Nation and protected Métis rights. Riel not only advocated for Métis rights, but he also fought for First Nations rights, French language rights and religious freedom. Most of us have heard of Louis Riel and studied his face in history textbooks, but not everyone knows the depth of his legacy.

“Riel remains a vital historical leader. Today, the strength of the Métis Nation is a testament to the courage of Louis Riel and all Métis ancestors that came before and after him. On the 137th anniversary of Riel’s death, we remember his profound dedication to justice. His vision of a diverse and inclusive Canada has left a lasting legacy.

“This day also represents an opportunity to celebrate Métis culture and to reflect on the important contributions of Métis people in British Columbia. Today, nearly 98,000 Métis people live in British Columbia, representing a distinct Indigenous culture. Along with Louis Riel, they have helped to build the Canada we know today and continue to build a strong future for the Métis of tomorrow.”

Métis students will receive $7.1 million for expanded skills training

More Métis citizens will be able to access funding support to gain job-ready skills training.

Anne Kang, B.C.’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, has announced $7.1 million for skills training toward Métis Nation British Columbia’s (MNBC) Ministry of Skills Training, Employment, and Post-Secondary to support Métis learners. Kang made the announcement during a reception commemorating the life of Louis Riel.

“We honour Louis Riel’s sacrifice and courage. We honour the significant contributions of the Métis people to British Columbia, and we acknowledge the struggles that Métis people continue to face,” said Kang. “Our government is committed to working together to make life better for Métis people throughout B.C., including through critical investments in education and skills training.”

The funding will support Métis learners in occupational skills training programs, such as apprenticeships, trades, skills upgrades, certificates and recertifications, micro-credentials and other courses leading to employment. Approximately 1,000 people are expected to participate in the program. This program will support Métis citizens looking to advance their education and training, and equip them with job-ready skills.

“At a time when we see such a large investment in infrastructure from the Province, it is paramount that we can equip our citizens with the job-ready skills needed for these projects,” says Paulette Flamond, MNBC’s Minister of Skills Training, Employment, and Post-Secondary Education. “This additional round of funding will pay dividends and benefit our Nation for generations to come.”

Supporting Métis learners in their career and educational goals is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready Plan, which is making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.

This funding builds on a milestone in September 2022, when MNBC supported more than 1,825 training and post-secondary education requests by Métis citizens, which is a historic number for the organization. To date, more than 2,100 learners and job seekers have received support through MNBC’s Ministry of Skills Training, Employment, and Post-Secondary programs.

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