‘We are starting to get our story told’: MMF marks Victory of Frog Plain anniversary

The sound of fiddle music rang through the air Monday as the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) commemorated the 206th anniversary of the Victory of Frog Plain.

The MMF held a ceremony Monday at the Seven Oaks Monument on Main Street.

Also known as the Battle of Seven Oaks, the battle happened June 19th, 1816. According to the MMF, it was the culmination of the Pemmican Wars and the escalating fur trade disputes between the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and the North West Company.

A group of Métis buffalo hunters, spearheaded by Métis leader Cuthbert Grant, were confronted by the HBC, with the Métis ultimately winning the battle and gaining free trade rights.

However, MMF housing and property manager Will Goodon said for many years, history didn’t record this event in a positive light.

“When we were in high school taking social studies, we heard that Louis Riel was a traitor, and I’m sure we would have heard the same thing about Cuthbert Grant, that he started a massacre,” Goodon said at the ceremony.

“Now we are starting to get our story told, and that’s why things like today are so, so important.”

The Battle of Seven Oaks is considered a critical event in the emergence of the Métis Nation.

In her speech to attendees, NDP MLA Nahanni Fontaine said events like this are important to deconstruct the historical narrative and situate Indigenous people within it.

“That’s the way that we move forward. That’s the way that we command our space as Indigenous peoples, not only here, but everywhere, from coast to coast to coast,” she said.

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