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Government of Canada transfers land on the west side of Batoche National Historic Site to Métis – Nation Saskatchewan

Press Release

From: Parks Canada

The transfer of 690 hectares of land is a tangible example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to advancing reconciliation

July 22, 2022

No relationship is more important to Canada than the relationship with Indigenous peoples. The Government of Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that recognizes and honours the contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures, as well as the special relationships Indigenous peoples have with ancestral lands and waters.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Glen McCallum, President of Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, announced that Parks Canada is transferring approximately 690 hectares of land situated on the west side of the Batoche National Historic Site to the citizens of the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan.

The lands being transferred to the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan are the western lands of Batoche National Historic Site. These lands hold deep cultural, spiritual, and historic significance for the citizens of the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan. Parks Canada has long worked with Métis at Batoche National Historic Site and this transfer of land and commitment to collaborative management marks a significant step in the ongoing relationship.

In December 2020, Parks Canada and Métis Nation – Saskatchewan agreed to explore and discuss a full range of options related to the future management of Batoche National Historic Site under the Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation. The two parties signed the Framework Agreement on July 20, 2018, through the Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination process.

The Government of Canada acknowledges the deep and enduring connections that Métis have with Batoche National Historic Site. In recognition of this connection the transfer of the West Side lands to the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan contributes to reconciliation and ensures the continued natural and cultural protection of ancestral homelands.

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Quotes

“The Batoche grounds have always been important to our Métis citizens, our history and the resistance. This was the defining moment for us as Métis in Saskatchewan. The repatriation of Batoche lands is tangible and starts the path to reconciliation. There is a deep connection for us at Batoche. We, as Métis people, will determine the best use of this land that will respect our ancestors’ ultimate sacrifice in how we will honour and uphold their vision. Our past leaders who dreamed of this day aren’t with us anymore but will always be remembered. We celebrate in their memory.”

Glen McCallum
President of Métis – Nation Saskatchewan

“The significance of Batoche to our Métis ancestors who lived, flourished and fought here – whose descendants have returned to commemorate their resistance and to celebrate their resilience year after year – is something we feel deep in our bones.  The connection to ancestral territories and homelands is essential to Indigenous cultures and one’s own identity. The collaboration between Parks Canada and Métis Nation – Saskatchewan with regard to Batoche National Historic Site marks a strengthening of this relationship by returning homeland to Métis and marking another step towards collaborative management of Batoche National Historic Site. Today’s historic announcement advances reconciliation through meaningful action in partnership with Métis.”

The Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Quick facts

  • Located on the South Saskatchewan River an hour north of Saskatoon, Batoche National Historic Site commemorates the historic Métis community of Batoche, Métis river lot land use patterns, and the 1885 conflict between the Métis Provisional Government and the Government of Canada.
  • In 2020, Parks Canada and Métis Nation – Saskatchewan signed a Terms of Reference to open a sub-table under the Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation, which signalled a commitment between Parks Canada and the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan to discuss and explore a full range of options for the future management of Batoche National Historic Site. These discussions have been, and continue to take place as a sub-table to the regular meetings held between the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada under the Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation. The two parties signed the Framework Agreement on July 20, 2018, through the Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination process.
  • In 1996, the Back to Batoche festival grounds, adjacent to Batoche National Historic Site, were transferred to Métis ownership and are now owned and managed by Métis Nation – Saskatchewan.
  • In 1998, Parks Canada and Métis Nation – Saskatchewan signed the Batoche National Historic Site Management Agreement, which provided for the creation of a Shared Management Board for the Site.

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Associated links

Contacts

Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-230-1557
[email protected]

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
[email protected]

Julia Burns
Director of Communications
Métis – Nation Saskatchewan
306-850-1670
[email protected]

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