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After many successful meetings with Robert Doucette of the Saskatchewan Métis Nation, CUPE’s Aboriginal Council and the CUPE Saskatchewan executive planned their 7th annual canoe trip which led to Back to Batoche Days.

CUPE members paddled the Saskatchewan River for three days leading up to the successful Métis organized Back to Batoche Days. On the last leg of the journey the CUPE members were joined by Senators of the Métis Nation. Tom Graham, CUPE Saskatchewan President, believes that this is the beginning of a great relationship with the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. The canoe trip brought together members and friends to learn more about Aboriginal awareness as they enjoyed cultural foods and a tour of the land and were pleased that during the trip many eagles screamed overhead. One of the items that CUPE and the Métis Nation worked on together was a historical document on the battle of Batoche. CUPE’s image seems to be changing in the Métis community and events and partnerships such as this seem to be working, as the CUPE Saskatchewan executive and Aboriginal Council are being seen as a valuable relationship with the Aboriginal community. As the canoe trip ended, it coincided with the opening of the Back to Batoche Days. For more information please see CUPE Saskatchewan web site.

Back to Batoche is another story. This event signifies Métis culture. You can have bullets and bangs, bannock and all kinds of wild meat and fresh fish. Jigging and fiddling competitions began along with the next Métis Idol. Of course a Métis event is not that without entertainment for the children, and many events occurred for this. The highlight of the Métis days was the rodeo with the Canadian ranked Aboriginal and others competing in this sanctioned event for the Canadian title. Dave and Charlene Miller of Local 4777’s Aboriginal Committee were instrumental in passing along CUPE efforts in the Aboriginal community. Many contacts were had along with many friendships, as Don Moran senior officer of Equality joined in with Dave and Charlene in passing out information and meeting with the Métis community.

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