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VIDEO: Bells sound for Sault's Metis community

Bells rang out 170 times in recognition of unfulfilled promises to Métis people

SooToday had a chance to speak with Mitch Case, Region 4 councilor for the Metis Nation of Ontario (MNO), today during an event on John Street as church bells rang 170 times.

The event was a reminder of Métis presence in Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area as well as the unfulfilled land promises made to the Métis dating back to 1850.

A statement issued today by MNO reads:

In the autumn of 1850, government-appointed Treaty Commissioner William B. Robinson, made a promise on behalf of the Crown that the lands on which the Métis community resided on along the St. Mary’s River would be respected and protected. Commissioner Robinson’s promises were recorded in the written record as well as Métis oral history.

Oct. 21, 2020 marks the 170th anniversary of Treaty Commissioner Robinson submitting his report and recommendations to the Crown that included Crown promises related to the protection of Métis lands in what is now downtown Sault Ste. Marie; yet, the Crown’s promises to the Métis of Sault Ste. Marie remain unfulfilled today.

The MNO, as the government of rights-bearing Métis and communities throughout Ontario, will ring the church bell 170 times at noon at the Sault Ste Marie Métis Centre as a reminder of these promises made to the Métis and in a call for justice and reconciliation.