(Vancouver, BC) The BC Mètis Federation board and volunteers celebrated the successful third season of the Klahowya Village in Stanley Park that officially closed for the summer on the Labour Day long weekend. The Klahowya Village in Stanley Park is produced by the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC) to showcase Aboriginal culture to the visitors to Stanley Park from British Columbia, Canada and throughout the world. AtBC proudly works with the support of the host First Nations; Squamish, Tsleil Waututh, and Musqueam. Last summer the BC Mètis Federation followed First Nations protocol and the three host First Nations welcomed the Métis people to participate and support this Aboriginal cultural showcase at the Klahowya Village in Stanley Park.
This year the BC Mètis Federation provided a new Métis cultural display and information booth for all visitors. BC Métis Federation hosted Métis days on the Canada Day long weekend and was the main stage performance this closing weekend. There were approximately 60,000 visitors to the Klahowya Village in Stanley Park over the 72 days this summer who were from all parts of the world, many knowing absolutely nothing about the Métis people and our culture.
BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated, “I want to thank all of our volunteers who assisted the BC Metis Federation booth and various Mètis displays this summer. This included volunteerism and support from BC Mètis Federation board members and volunteer staff led by Beverley Lambert, Joe Desjarlais and family, Daryl Piper, Tim St, Denis, Sherry Daniels, Richard lucier Larsen and many others. I also want to recognize the major contributions by the Mètis Silver Tip Swingers and Buttertown Jiggers for their Mètis dance performances. Additional support was provided by Mètis historians George and Terry Goulet, author David Doyle, and our friends from the Michif Historical and Preservation Society.”
President Henry added, “The closing of the Klahowya Village signals a great summer of Mètis culture education and support led by the BC Metis Federation. Visitors were able to learn about our Mètis culture and ask questions. The BC Mètis Federation had a guest book for visitors to voluntarily sign and there were roughly 500 signatures with visitors signing from Sweden, Britain, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, China, India, plus many other locations with Canada and the United States.
President Henry further added; “BC Metis Federation provided support for the Klahowya Village in Stanley Park making sure our Mètis culture was showcased as alive and strong today. This was a place where Métis people could feel proud of being Métis. BC Mètis Federation also supported the major Mètis event in Kelly Lake in August, the Mètis pavilion in Surrey in July as part of the Fusion Festival, the Felker Lake Mètis Days in Williams Lake and numerous other community events all summer long.
Celebrating and promoting our Métis culture is what the BC Mètis Federation has set out to do and this summer showcased our continued success.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “We must put the Mètis cultural needs and education about who we are as Mètis people as a priority. So many non-Aboriginal people today still know so little about the Mètis people. Unfortunately many of the Mètis people in British Columbia and Canada continue to seek Mètis cultural knowledge and new ways to showcase our proud Mètis community to the public. Our children and future generations of Mètis families need us to show leadership and refocus on what is right for our culture, community and families. It is time to put these needs ahead of politics or the administration of Métis programs and services. This will continue to be the vision for the BC Mètis Federation and the communities and families we work with.”
For more information about the BC Métis Federation please view the website.
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis