After years of fundraising and renovations, the Sault Metis Centre is ready to open its doors to the public.
The centre will be hosting a grand opening event on Saturday, May 28 at 136 John St., a news release issued by the Historic Sault Ste. Marie Metis Council stated. The event will feature music, games, prizes, food, special guests and more.
Full text of the release follows:
The Historic Sault Ste. Marie Metis Council invites citizens and community members to celebrate the grand opening of the new Sault Metis Centre: A Day of Music, Dance, Games, Food and More.
In 2017, the Anglican Diocese of Algoma returned the former Metis burial ground located along Fort Creek and the three buildings located on the site to the Metis Nation of Ontario, in trust for the Sault Ste. Marie Metis Community. This was done in recognition of the long, deep connection of the Metis community to this land and was meant to be an act of “tangible reconciliation” for the Church’s role in the dispossession of the Metis River-Lots after 1850.
In the years since, the Historic Sault Ste. Marie Metis Council has worked diligently to secure funding to renovate the site and turn it into a home this community can be proud of.
The site is home to three buildings, each of which will serve as part of the new Sault Metis Centre. The former church is being converted into a Metis Cultural Centre featuring a museum, archive, performance space, and a recording studio.
The Memorial Hall will continue to serve as a memorial for World War One Veterans and will serve as a community meeting space for the Metis community and will be used to host cultural events, council meetings, workshops and will be available to citizens for weddings, funerals and other functions.
The former Rectory has been converted into a state of the art program and service hub to provide a central point of access for Metis Nation of Ontario Citizens and community members to access health, education, housing, and other services.
After three years of renovations and two years of COVID-19 precautions keeping the community from gathering, the Council is excited to welcome our citizens home to their new, permanent, wholly self-owned and operated Community Centre.
The Grand Opening event will take place on Saturday, May 28th and will feature some of the finest Metis culture has to offer including, sunrise ceremony and prayers – in recognition of the Metis graves located on the site, music – including local talent and special guest Metis Fiddler Alicia Blore, dancing, Metis games, prizes, moose-meat, updates on the 1850 River-Lots strategy, and open house tours of the new facility.
A full agenda of the day’s events can be found on the Historic Sault Ste. Marie Metis Council Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/SSMMetisCouncil/photos/gm.1036947553908179/3029850350659142/
While COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, most events will take place outdoors, and there will be no proof of vaccine required, masks will be required while indoors. We take this measure out of an abundance of caution for our elders who continue to be the most vulnerable from this pandemic.
To volunteer to assist with events throughout the day please contact President Kim Powley 705-257-2643