WINNIPEG, MB—Today, the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) celebrated the work of the Manitoba Museum as it unveiled a new exhibit chronicling a tragic and historic time in Métis History. Ni Kishkishin / I Remember Ste. Madeleine, retells the story of a forced relocation of hundreds of Métis people in Manitoba.
“Manitobans have not heard the story about Ste. Madeleine and the devastating impact it had on the Métis People,” said Leah LaPlante, Vice-President, Southwest Region, MMF. “It’s a story that needs to be told as we work towards reconciliation with all Manitobans. I am so proud of the actions taken by the Manitoba Museum on this important exhibit.”
The Ste. Madeleine tragedy stemmed from the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration in 1935. Provincial and municipal governments deemed certain land across the Prairies to be marginal and they were designated to become community pastures. One of those parcels included Ste. Madeleine. The village was to be expropriated and Citizens were to receive land in kind but only if families were paid up on their property taxes. Many Métis Citizens were not able to pay and were physically removed from their homes by the government. In many cases, their homes were burned to the ground.
“It takes courage to share these difficult stories but it is essential that they are shared and that we remember. The Manitoba Museum is proud of this exhibition and the role it plays in bringing this Métis story forward,” said Penny McMillan, Vice-Chair of the Manitoba Museum’s Board of Governors.
“We must never forget what happened in Ste. Madeleine,” added Vice-President LaPlante. “This is very recent history that we have to learn and grow from. I hope all Manitobans will take the time to view this exhibit and absorb the systemic wrongs that were inflicted on these Métis families.”