At the November 16, 2009 National Aboriginal Council meeting held in Winnipeg, Manitoba many contacts were made.
The Council attended a commemorative ceremony marking the anniversary of Louis Riel who was hung for treason on November 16, 1885. Louis Riel was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies. He led two resistance movements against the Canadian government and the first post-Confederation Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Riel sought to preserve Métis rights and culture as their homelands in the Northwest came progressively under the Canadian sphere of influence. He is regarded by many as a Canadian hero today.
The Council heard many speeches including new premier of Manitoba Greg Selinger, Métis National Council President Clément Chartier and Manitoba Métis Federation President David Chartrand. At the event, the Council talked and had the opportunity to have pictures the Premier Greg Selinger. CUPE’s Aboriginal Council in Manitoba will follow up on discussions with the new premier.
Later on in the day the Council attended events at the Manitoba Métis Federation Office. The Federation was holding a Louis Riel Day Celebration which was intended to celebrate Métis History and Culture with food, music, and a performance by “Jig on the Fly” in the Atrium. The Council took the opportunity to meet in the federation president’s office with Métis National Council President Clément Chartier and Manitoba Métis Federation President David Chartrand. Many labour issues were discussed and an invitation to discuss further was extended. CUPE will follow up on these discussions.