Métis Nation of Saskatchewan citizens will have free entry to several historical sites in Saskatchewan for the next six years.
The agreement between the Federal Government and the MN-S is part of Parks Canada’s Open Doors Program and allows Métis people from Saskatchewan to visit Fort Battleford, Batoche, Fort Walsh and the Motherwell Homestead National Historic Sites at no cost. Grasslands and Prince Albert National Park are also a part of this program.
MN-S Senior Director Mark Calette explains that Métis people have many traditional roots at these sites, and he’s happy that this agreement has been made.
“Our people are connected to the land. Being able to be out in these special places, a lot of which have very deep roots with Métis history, probably almost all of them, it’s just really meaningful for them, it’s been a really good partnership.”
Federal Minister of Parks Canada Jonathan Wilkinson, in his statement about the July 17th agreement, said that this memorandum of understanding is part of the federal government’s commitment to reconciliation through recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, as well as honouring contributions, culture and history of Indigenous and Métis peoples.
Calette says he agrees with this statement, and that this will have a positive impact for Métis citizens across the province.
“For some of our citizens, that’s going to be a really, really big help, and so I think it’s just going to allow them to maybe do things and go places they maybe wouldn’t have an opportunity to do, or maybe not as frequently. So this is a really big thing for them.”
Métis people in Saskatchewan will receive a specially designed pass for these sites in the near future, but in the meantime MN-S Citizenship Cards can be presented when accessing these places. Upon presentation of the card, Parks Canada will provide free entry for the person’s entire visit.
The agreement will be in place until March 31st, 2026, at which time it will be up for review and renewal. All other fees for these sites, including camping, special programming or any other fees or levies that are not entry costs still apply.