July 16th, 2024

Metis flag represents joining of two people

By Alexandra Noad - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on June 22, 2024.

Herald photo by Alexandra Noad Members of the Lethbridge and Area Metis Association celebrate the raising of their Metis flag on Friday at the intersection of Blackfoot Blvd and Metis Trail West.

The Lethbridge Area Metis Association raised a Metis flag at the intersection of Metis Trail and Blackfoot Blvd. on Friday to commemorate National Indigenous Peoples Day.

The Metis flag was first flown in 1815 predating the Canadian flag by 150 years. The infinity symbol represents the merging of two culture and the immortality of the Metis people.

Alice Bissonette, a Metis Elder, says the Metis Trail and the Blackfoot Trail symbolize the two Nations coming together as one.

“(The mayor) envisioned the Metis Trail and the Blackfoot Trail to unite all peoples to to come together track these trails and learn of each other’s histories and cultures. And I believe that we are doing that and are successful of that,” said Bissonette.

Deputy mayor Jeff Carlson says raising the flag was more than a ceremonial gesture, it was an affirmation on the city’s commitment to celebrate the diversity of Lethbridge.

“It’s a reminder that diversity is our strength and that by embracing our differences, we build a stronger, more resilient community for all,” said Carlson.

Adam Browning, LAMA president, says the flag represents who they are as Metis people.

“This flag really represents who we are as the joining of two people. I’m honored to be here today. There’s very few things that would bring me this type of honor. But standing before my community, a great number of our community we’re a third of the indigenous population in Lethbridge and area, but also to represent something that many of our families have fought and die for.”

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