There will be another flag flying over the Town of Bonnyville’s administration office.
On Thursday, Town Council, the Métis Nation of Alberta, Local Dignitaries, and Community Members came together to witness the raising of the Metis flag.
“We are gathered to not only honour the Metis Nation, but to highlight the deep roots of the Métis people in the Town of Bonnyville and to celebrate our close ties with the Métis Nation,” Town of Bonnyville CAO Bill Rogers told the crowd.
The flag-raising ceremony marked a special event and one with historic significance for the municipality. Town of Bonnyville Mayor Gene Sobolewski described the flag-raising as “something that was a
long time coming.”
“These are lands that the Métis and our Treaty Six neighbours occupied, and we need to recognize the amazing contributions, culture, and heritage that everybody brings,” he said. Sobolewski stressed the event reminded everyone that we are all the same people. “We all bleed red. We’re all the same people and, basically, we need to recognize each other as all being one people.”
Audrey Poitras, Provincial President of the Métis Nation of Alberta, offered her appreciation to Sobolewski and Council for their commitment to reconciliation with the Métis and First Nations People
in the region.
“This flag-raising ceremony symbolizes the Town of Bonnyville’s commitment to the recognition of the Métis and First Nations People in this area and for all that they have and for all they will continue
to contribute to this town and surrounding communities,” she expressed.
Poitras added, “It’s about working together to make our communities, our province, and our country better. I believe that events like this are the perfect pathway to continue with conversations on reconciliation, to continuing that journey when it was not all about us, when it was also about all of us. We were not separated by race, colour, status, or gender. We were there once and I believe we can be there again. This flag-raising is a definite step in the right direction. It sends a message to everyone that by recognizing the contributions of Indigenous people to this town, province, and country, we are on the right path to heal our people, families, communities, and to me, that is how we get to true reconciliation. A lot of work is being done on truth and reconciliation, but there’s a lot more work that needs to be done. I believe by working together, listening to each other’s stories, creating a bond, creating a partnership built on trust, then and only then can we truly reach our goals of equality and unity.”
The Métis flag will be among those in Council Chambers from now on, along with the Canadian flag, the province of Alberta flag, Town of Bonnyville flag, and the flag of Treaty Six.
“We will all consider, in our deliberations, as we look up at each and everyone of those entities because they’re all one and that’s what we need to do,” Sobolewski noted.
From a Town of Bonnyville Press Release