NEW BEGINNING - Treaty and Metis flags were raised at the Red Deer Public School District office on Wednesday. Emily Rogers/Red Deer Express

Treaty and Metis flags raised at Red Deer Public Schools

Flag ceremony took place Wednesday at the district office

By Emily Rogers

Red Deer Express

The Alberta flag, Treaty Six, Treaty Seven, and the Metis flag have now been raised outside of the Red Deer Public School District Office for all to see.

Hayley Christen, coordinator of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Learning Services in the Red Deer Public Schools said the flags needed to be raised for multiple reasons. Such as, the schools are on Treaty Six, and Treaty Seven traditional land, which was used by First Nations, and many Metis people.

School Board Chair Bev Manning said, “Flying the flags recognizes and honours the traditional lands of the First Nations and Metis.”

She added, “The flags are a sample of reconciliation as we move forward in repairing relationships. While acknowledging the truth, while honouring the shared history is a large part of repairing relationship between people.”

North Red Deer MLA Kim Schreiner said she’s proud and honoured to be apart of the flag raising ceremony, as it’s a historical moment.

“This awareness and acknowledgement is a strong commitment to the forward movement of the truth and reconciliation journey,” she said. “Today we make history and progress within Alberta’s third largest city.”

Norrine Saddleback, Treaty advisor speaking upon the Treaty Flags added, “My heart is in my people, it’s in building bridges, in collaborating our thoughts, and finding unique ways of how we can teach our children about how far Canada has come.”

Speaking on behalf of the Red Deer Metis Nation was Raye St. Denys who said, “Five years ago, I would have never thought it possible to see our flags, and the acknowledgment of Aboriginal peoples here being raised outside of this school.

“One day I hope to see our flags raised at City Hall, to acknowledge our presence and our right here, the same as they are in Edmonton. I think it’s well past time.”