New cultural gathering centre to help preserve Métis heritage and encourage regional tourism
From: Infrastructure Canada
Smoky Lake, Alberta, May 14, 2018—Investing in cultural infrastructure plays an important role in developing dynamic communities, promoting tourism and preserving Canada’s heritage, including the history and experiences of the Métis.
Today, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, was joined by Colin Piquette, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Athabasca‒Sturgeon–Redwater, on behalf of the Honourable Richard Feehan, Alberta Minister of Indigenous Relations, and Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta, to celebrate the start of construction on a new cultural gathering centre at the Métis Crossing heritage site.
Located along the North Saskatchewan River within the Victoria District National Historic Site, Métis Crossing encompasses 512 acres and features a historical village, restored homesteads and nature trails. It offers outdoor programming such as Voyageur canoe trips, festivals and comfort camping in newly built Métis trappers tents.
The new cultural gathering centre will provide a welcoming indoor space for visitors to enjoy after outdoor activities. With meeting rooms, class rooms, exhibit and interpretive spaces, it will also allow Métis Crossing to offer year-round programming for the first time, with experiences such as trapping, night sky watching and snowshoeing.
“The Government of Canada is proud to support the Métis Nation of Alberta in honouring this region’s—and Canada’s—diverse heritage and history by investing in the construction of a new cultural gathering centre for Métis Crossing. The new centre will not only serve as a year-round tourist attraction, it will also act as a social gathering place for the community where residents and visitors can celebrate the unique traditions, art and culture of the Métis.”
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Métis Crossing will contribute to the local and provincial economy while showcasing the history of a proud people – the Métis people of Alberta. Through this initiative, visitors from across the province and the country will learn about the importance of the Métis to Alberta and Canada through several exhibits and historical village tours.”
The Honourable Richard Feehan, Alberta Minister of Indigenous Relations
“Métis Crossing is a place of pride where we not only share culture and tradition, but offer an opportunity for others to learn and experience Métis culture. Our long awaited Cultural Gathering Centre, that has been a dream of Alberta’s Métis people for decades, is finally underway and will open up so many more future possibilities for visitors to enjoy in every season,” said Métis Nation of Alberta President Audrey Poitras.”
Audrey Poitras, President of the Metis Nation of Alberta
- The Government of Canada is contributing up to $3.5 million to this project through the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund. The Government of Alberta is contributing $1 million and the Métis Nation of Alberta is providing the remaining project costs.
- Métis Crossing is the first Métis cultural interpretive centre in Alberta. It mirrors Métis core values such as self-sufficiency, respect for elders, encouraging youth participation and cultural pride. This site is one of many initiatives and projects the Métis Nation of Alberta supports to develop the socio-economic and cultural well-being of Métis people in Alberta.
- Construction of the new cultural centre is scheduled to be completed in the late summer of 2019.
- The Government of Canada will invest more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
- $25.3 billion of this funding will support social (including cultural and recreational) infrastructure in Canadian communities.
- $4 billion of this funding will support infrastructure projects in Indigenous communities.
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Director of Communications & Citizen Engagement
Métis Nation of Alberta
780-455-2200 ext. 395
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154