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Sault Métis community receives $200K to commemorate Powley case

Permanent exhibit, documentary to recognize landmark court decision for Métis harvesting rights
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The Métis flag is shown in this file 2019 photo. James Hopkin/SooToday

The Historic Sault Ste. Marie Métis Council (HSSMMC) has been awarded $200,000 in funding from the federal government to develop a permanent exhibit and documentary to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Powley case and its importance to the Métis community in Sault Ste. Marie. 

The new exhibit will recognize the legal victory that affirmed Métis harvesting rights by showcasing artifacts like the rifle presented to Steve Powley by Manitoba Métis Federation President David Chartrand, the original copy of the Powley decision, and the hide from the first moose harvested by the Métis community after the 2003 landmark ruling.

“All the way through the court case, my father always said he wasn’t doing it for himself, he was doing it for his grandchildren and for the whole Métis Nation. This commemorative project will look back on all that has been accomplished in these past 30 years since my father and brother shot that moose and in the 20 years since we won the case,” said council president Kim Powley. “As president, I am proud of the entire HSSMMC for the investment we have secured today which will see the creation of the first permanent display in our cultural centre which is being developed by the HSSMMC - a first of its kind in Ontario. It is such a proud day for our community.”

The exhibit will be permanently housed at the Sault Ste. Marie Métis Cultural Centre, located at the site of the former Anglican church complex on John Street. A short documentary and travelling exhibition will also be created and circulated across Canada. 

The funding was provided through the Indigenous Heritage Grant stream of the federal Museum Assistance Program.

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