Parks Canada’s Indigenous Peoples Open Doors Program offers Manitoba Metis Federation citizens free access to two national historic sites

News release

New agreements provide complimentary entry to Lower Fort Garry and Riel House for Manitoba Metis Federation citizens


October 6, 2020                         Winnipeg, Manitoba            Parks Canada Agency


As part of Parks Canada’s Indigenous Peoples Open Doors Program, Parks Canada and the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) are proud to announce that MMF citizens are being offered free access to Lower Fort Garry and Riel House national historic sites.

Working together with more than 300 Indigenous groups across Canada, Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and sharing the stories of these treasured places. Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples work together to develop interpretive materials and activities at national parks and historic sites with the goal of fostering a better understanding of Indigenous peoples’ cultures and traditions.

Parks Canada’s Indigenous Peoples Open Doors Program provides ease of access, by removing entry fees, to people who have traditional ties with Parks Canada sites as a way of encouraging their reconnection to these heritage places. The Manitoba Metis Federation shares in the traditional connection that Metis people of Manitoba have with the lands and waters comprising Lower Fort Garry and Riel House national historic sites.

To gain complimentary entry to Lower Fort Garry and Riel House, citizens of the Manitoba Metis Community are requested to present their MMF Citizenship or Harvester Card. With presentation of either of these cards, Parks Canada will provide Metis citizens with free entry for the duration of their visit.

As the fall approaches, Parks Canada’s 2020 visitor season is coming to a close for most national historic sites, however the Indigenous Peoples Open Doors Program will remain in effect for future seasons without expiry. Parks Canada looks forward to providing free access to and welcoming citizens of the Manitoba Metis Community for years to come.

The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians is of the utmost importance and Parks Canada is following the advice and guidance of public health experts in resuming visitor access and services in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Both Lower Fort Garry and Riel House national historic sites have recently closed for the 2020 season, however will be open once again to visitors in spring 2021. Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the Parks Canada website before they travel to find out: what is open, what they can expect and how to prepare for their visit.

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Quotes

“Parks Canada is proud of the new agreements with the Manitoba Metis Federation which will provide their citizens with complimentary access to Lower Fort Garry and Riel House national historic sites. Realized through Parks Canada’s Indigenous Peoples Open Doors Program, these agreements represent tangible components of Parks Canada’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and the Government of Canada.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“Parks Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that recognizes and honours the contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures, as well as the special relationships Indigenous peoples have with traditional lands and waters. Parks Canada and the Manitoba Metis Federation share a common interest in protecting the natural and cultural resources of Lower Fort Garry and Riel House national historic sites. We hope these new agreements will provide members of the Metis Nation’s Manitoba Metis Community with additional opportunities to explore their historic and contemporary connection to these natural and cultural resources.”

Terry Duguid
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The Manitoba Metis Federation is proud to announce that Manitoba Metis citizens will have free access to the Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site and Riel House National Historic Sites through Parks Canada’s Indigenous Peoples Open Doors Program. The Manitoba Metis were Canada’s negotiating partner in Confederation and the founders of the Province of Manitoba. The Metis government recognizes the historical significance and connection these sites have to the creation of the Metis Nation, Manitoba, and Canada and the MMF contributes to the staffing and programming of Riel House National Historic Site.”

David Chartrand
President, Manitoba Metis Federation 

“Free entry into Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site and Riel House National Historic Site creates an exciting opportunity for our Manitoba Metis citizens to visit and reconnect with two of Canada’s spectacular national historic sites. This program will provide visitors the opportunity to learn about the history behind the creation of the Metis Nation, the founding of Manitoba and the role of Louis Riel and the provisional government.”

Leah LaPlante
Minister Responsible for Natural Resources
Manitoba Metis Federation

Quick facts

  • The Open Doors Program is open to Indigenous governments and organizations whose citizens and members have a recognized traditional connection with Parks Canada places. Enhancing relationships with our Indigenous partners and supporting connections to their traditional lands and waters is a priority for Parks Canada and the Agency is in discussions with a number of Indigenous governments and organizations across the country.

  • The Indigenous Peoples Open Doors Program with the Manitoba Metis Federation does not have an expiry date.

  • Other fees for attractions and services, including tours, workshops and special programming, or any other levies associated with park/site/area use, other than entry, still apply.

Associated links

Contacts

Moira Kelly
Press Secretary      
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-271-6218
moira.kelly@canada.ca

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812

pc.media-media.pc@canada.ca

Ellen Paulley
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Manitoba Field Unit
Parks Canada
204-984-1758
ellen.paulley@canada.ca


Marci Riel
Manitoba Metis Federation
204-619-1228
Email:
marci.riel@mmf.mb.ca
www.mmf.mb.ca

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