Lethbridge College will celebrate Métis Sash Day Thursday to honour the culture, history and contributions of the Métis community.
Each year on Nov. 16, Métis people across Canada pay tribute to the Right Honourable Louis Riel, a political leader who spent his life defending Métis rights. The celebration of culture and identity coincides with the anniversary of Riel’s execution by the Government of Canada in 1885.
Métis Sash Day at Lethbridge College begins with a prayer and opening remarks at 9 a.m. in Centre Core. A flag raising with Métis students will follow outside of the college’s main entrance. A Métis vendor market with arts and crafts tables, a Lethbridge area Métis genealogist, representatives from the Rupertsland Institute and more, will be set up from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Centre Core. A complimentary lunch of buffalo stew, bannock and cookies will be served beginning at 11:30 a.m. from the Centre Core Kiosk.
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to bring our vibrant and beautiful Métis/Michif culture to Lethbridge College,” says Brittany Lee, Métis Sash Day organizer and academic advisor – Indigenous focus. “We have a growing number of Métis students on campus and it’s important that they feel represented. Events like Métis Sash Day help to foster that sense of belonging, and I encourage everyone to join in on Thursday to learn more about the Métis community – our identity, culture, history and contributions.”
Morning events will also include two guest speakers.
At 10 a.m., Troy Bannerman, Lethbridge and Area Métis council member, will deliver a presentation on Métis heritage and identity that is designed to create an understanding of who the Métis are and how individuals fit the Métis story. He will focus on geography to demonstrate how far the Métis travelled and how Métis families are connected to locations and to each other.
Then, at 11 a.m., Bryon Anderson, Lethbridge College’s director of government and public affairs and board governance officer, will share his personal journey of reconnecting with his Métis culture. He will also speak to the importance of understanding that everyone’s journey and reasons for reconnecting with their Métis culture can be different and equally valid.
Afternoon activities will include storytelling, a cultural showcase, dancing and music from 1:30 to 4 p.m. in The Cave (CE1300).
One of the Rupertsland Institute's Mobile Employment Services units will also be at the college from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The units, named “the Métis Coureur de Bois,” make regularly scheduled stops in rural and remote locations and attend community events like Métis Sash Day.
Students and employees of Lethbridge College, as well as the broader southern Alberta community, are welcome to attend any, or all, of the day’s events.
For more information on Métis Sash Day, visit lethbridgecollege.ca/metisday.