LETHBRIDGE, AB – “This is really meaningful for us.” That from Dr. Adam Browning, the President of the Métis Nation of Alberta for Lethbridge and area.
A number of people were on hand Monday morning to raise the Métis Flag outside Lethbridge City Hall as part of National Indigenous Celebration Week.
Dr. Browning says this flag raising is significant.
“Our community is a large community in Lethbridge,” Browning stated. “We’re a third of the Indigenous population here. It means a lot for the City to take the step to acknowledge that. This is Blackfoot territory, but this is also the homeland of the Métis.”
The infinity symbol on the Métis flag represents the joining of two cultures Indigenous and European, primarily French.
Pamela Beebe is the Indigenous Relations Coordinator for the City of Lethbridge. She says it’s very important Canadians recognize the country’s first peoples.
“We need these reasons to come together and share our rich history, share what we do for the city, what we are. We live here and work here and contribute immensely to this community,” says Beebee.
She says they decided to raise the Métis flag to kick off the Indigenous awareness week to acknowledge the work Métis people have done and continue to do in Lethbridge. “We are so proud we have them as a partner in the City of Lethbridge.”
In the last Canadian Census five years, 5% of the Lethbridge Indigenous population identified as being Métis. Beebee suspects that number has grown to around 10% today.