The Métis flag flies once again at Grande Prairie City Hall in honour of Louis Riel Day and Métis Week.
Métis Local 1990 President, Angie Crerar, originally approached Mayor Bill Given with a request to raise the flag, to which he happily obliged. Crerar says she is grateful for Given’s support in recognizing the local Métis community.
“When Bill became our mayor, he opened the door for us. The first time we put our flag up at city hall, we approached him and he agreed right away and he believed in us right off the bat.”
“I’m so glad we’re able to put the flag up today, [it] means a lot to us and we will continue to teach, to promote our Métis culture that’s so close to our hearts,” she says.
Given says it has been an honour for him to welcome the Métis community and demonstrate the importance of their contributions to the region.
“Raising the flag is a simple and symbolic thing, but I think it is greatly appreciated within the Métis community, and it’s a reminder of how small steps can really be an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge people and the contributions they make,” he says.
In 2010, the City of Grande Prairie signed a memorandum of understanding with the Circle of Aboriginal Services, something which Given regards as the start of the journey of recognizing indigenous voices in the community. He says raising the Métis flag in front of City Hall was the natural next step in that journey.
“City hall should be a place that they see as their city hall, and that’s why over the years raising the flag has, I think, meant so much to so many people,” he says.
The City of Grande Prairie has recognized Louis Riel Day and raised the Métis flag annually since 2012.