BC Metis Federation Sends Letter to The Royal Canadian Legion Grand President

BC Metis federation letter sent earlier today…

Mr. L. Murray, C.M.M., C D
Grand President, The Royal Canadian Legion

Re: Legion Magazine Article November/December 2012- 12 Military Events That Shaped Canada

Dear Mr. Murray,

I write to request your immediate assistance regarding an article written by J.L. Granatstein in the recent publication of the Legion Magazine. Mr. Granatstein wrote an article entitled “12 Military Events That Shaped Canada” beginning on page 22 of this latest magazine edition. The first such event identified by Mr. Granatstein was The Northwest Rebellion, 1885. This article has caused great consternation and outrage in our Métis community because Mr. Granatstein has made a statement in this article whereby he describes Louis Riel as “mad”.

The BC Métis Federation represents several thousand Métis people in British Columbia including many who have supported their local Legion Branch and are proud Métis veterans. Mr. Granatstein’s inaccurate and malicious statement is completely insensitive to the thousands of Métis people who support their local Legion and to the proud memory of one of the most important historic Métis leaders. I can assure you that I have been contacted on several occasions by current Legion members who will remove themselves from supporting their Legion until this matter is resolved.
What is most unfortunate is that Mr. Granatstein’s comments suggesting Louis Riel as mad will provide incorrect education to the hundreds of thousands of Métis and non Métis people who read the Legion Magazine. We understand the Legion Magazine is distributed to many subscribers and Legion Branches throughout all of Canada.

We are aware Mr. Granatstein served in the Canadian Army from 1956 to 1966. After which, he taught at York University until 1996 where he is Distinguished Research Professor of History Emeritus. We know Mr. Granatstein is an outspoken defender of traditional narrative history in lectures, books, print, and broadcast media. Mr. Granatstein has also been involved in television coverage of political and military events. Mr. Granatstein has also expressed serious reservations about multiculturalism and a disdain for Quebec independence. Our interpretation is that Mr. Granatstein has deliberately taken a perspective about his view regarding Louis Riel and the events that remain sacred to our Métis people throughout Canada in 1869-1970 and 1885. Mr. Granatstein ought to know better than writing such an outrageous claim about Louis Riel and Therefore the BC Métis Federation, on behalf of the thousands of Métis veterans and legion members and our Métis people in BC, are demanding that Mr. Granatstein immediately retract his incorrect statement. We further suggest that your office send out a public correspondence ensuring that The Royal Canadian Legion does not endorse or support Mr. Granatstein’s statement. We would also expect clarification about the role of the Legion Magazine and addressing who is responsible for the release of such an inflammatory statement about a Métis hero.

In closing the continued lack of understanding of our proud Métis history in all institutions must be addressed throughout Canada. It is shameful that such a publication would be released as all veterans, including several thousand Métis, are about to be honoured as Canadians share Remembrance Day celebrations throughout Canada on November 11. Furthermore it is even more shocking that the Legion Magazine would publish such a statement about Louis Riel in light of November 16th, a date of special Métis remembrance in honour of Louis Riel where Métis communities and families recognize our rightful place in Canada because of this great man’s ultimate sacrifice.

BC Métis Federation has created cross cultural programming such as Métis Connect in an effort to assist individuals such as Mr. Granatstein understand the real story of the Métis people in Canada and our historical events and shared history. I would strongly encourage the Legion to review the culture and proper historical information located on our website www.bcmetis.com. I have enclosed a correspondence from Métis historians and authors George and Terry Goulet as further insight into the seriousness of the matter.

I can be contacted by email k.henry@bcmetis.com or cell 1-778-388-5013 to further discuss and resolve this matter in a timely fashion

Thank you,
Keith Henry
BC Métis Federation
cc BC Métis Federation Board Members
BC Métis Federation Statement of Cooperation Communities
BC Métis Federation MOU Partners
BC Métis Federation Members
Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association
Editor Legion Magazine
Enclosure Article from Legion Magazine Page 22 and 23
George and Terry Goulet Letter

[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Letter-Legion-President-November-1st-2012.pdff” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/George-and-Terry-Goulet-Letter-to-Editor-Legion-Magazine-October-2012.pdf” style=”download”]George and Terry Goulet Letter to Editor Legion Magazine October 201[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/Legion-Magazine-Article-Pages-22-and-23-November-December-Edition.pdf” style=”download”]Legion Magazine Article Pages 22 and 23 November December Edition[/ilink]

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