- Partner News
- Media Releases
- Mainstream News
From: Parks Canada
December 8, 2023
Parks Canada and First Nations, Métis and Inuit are partners in conserving natural and cultural heritage, sharing the stories of these treasured places. The Government of Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that recognizes and honours the historic and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories, and cultures, as well as the special relationships Indigenous peoples have with ancestral lands and waters.
Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Michelle LeClair, Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) Vice President and Minister of Environment, announced that 25 Plains bison were successfully transferred from Parks Canada to Métis Nation–Saskatchewan.
The bison were transported from Grasslands National Park to establish a new herd on MN–S lands near Batoche National Historic Site, north of Saskatoon. Eventually, the herd will be relocated to a portion of the 690 hectares of land on Batoche grounds that were transferred from Parks Canada to MN–S in July 2022.
Bison have been a cultural and historical staple for Métis people across the Homeland. Traditionally, bison provided everything from food and clothing to tools and a source of income. Métis bison or buffalo hunts were well organized bi-annual events that often involved the entire family. Parks Canada and MN–S collaborated on this bison transfer to strengthen Métis communities’ connections to their identity and land.
The return of bison to Batoche complements the long-term vision of MN–S to grow the herd and explore the economic development potential the herd will bring to the region. As stewards of the land, MN–S will also look at the educational opportunities that will be developed with youth, Elders, and community in mind.
Organizations participating in today`s announcement.
“Welcoming the bison back to Batoche holds enormous cultural significance for Métis people in this province. Our youth will see a tangible demonstration of Métis tradition and values as our Elders help provide invaluable land-based education. Together, we will bear witness to the growth of the herd as it reclaims the land and allows our Métis Nation government to explore the opportunities presented to us.”
Vice President and Minister of Environment – Métis Nation– Saskatchewan
“The bison, a symbol of strength and resilience, is not only a keystone species but also a vital part of the lives of Indigenous peoples. By supporting the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan in returning bison to the landscape of Batoche, the Government of Canada is helping with this transfer that will help renew cultural, historical, and spiritual connections. This is a tangible example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to advancing reconciliation with Métis.”
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
Senior Communications Advisor
Métis – Nation Saskatchewan
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change