Louis Riel House Closure – Not Acceptable

(Vancouver, BC) The BC Mètis Federation asserts the need for Mètis cultural support is required more than ever before in light of such much public confusion about whom we are. Mètis culture is being lost each day with the passing of elders and the loss of traditional knowledge about our authentic story, cultural practices, art work and songs. There are very few Mètis interpretive or cultural centers and this has led to further Mètis cultural loss and significant public misunderstandings.
Over the course of the last week it has been reported that the historic Louis Riel House in Winnipeg will close its doors this fall due to further Federal Government cuts from Parks Canada. The Louis Riel House is a cultural experience to honor some the history and story of Louis Riel and his life and work for our Mètis people throughout Canada that he ultimately sacrificed his life for.

BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated, “There continues to be confusion about whether the Louis Riel House is closing or reducing to a point where there are no interpreters by the fall. This is one of the few Mètis public cultural centers in Canada and to have this close or reduces is shameful. As Mètis people we are fighting for more education and awareness of our people, our history and our culture. This center offers one such experience and to close this or minimize in any way is a cultural crime.”
President Henry added, “I strongly believe we need an increase in Mètis cultural/interpretative centers as we need to educate Canadians and the international community about our rich culture that is alive today. We have almost nothing in British Columbia and to see this happening in Manitoba is wrong. It is time our Mètis people stand up and speak about the importance of such facilities.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “Where are other Mètis leaders on this issue? The Federal Government must not allow any reductions to the historic location and we need to honor the fight Louis Riel Stood for considering his fight for our people. I hope Mètis people rally and support this national mistake.”
For more information about the BC Métis Federation please view the website.

Media Inquiries:
Keith Henry
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
Office 1-604-638-7220
Cell 1-778-388-5013
Email k.henry@bcmetis.com
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis

[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-June-19th-2012-MNBC-Louis-Riel-House.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]

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