RRC Polytech raises flags for Red River Métis, Treaty One Nation, and Pride.

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This week, to commemorate the start of National Indigenous History Month and Pride Month, RRC Polytech raised three flags in a show of solidarity, inclusivity, and pride.

At the Notre Dame Campus in Winnipeg, the Treaty One banner, the Red River Métis flag, and the new inclusive Pride flag from RRC Polytech will now fly year-round in recognition of the region’s history, respect for the treaties established there, and representation of the local populace.

Truth and Reconciliation, equity, diversity, and inclusion are values that RRC Polytech is dedicated to upholding in all that we do. According to Fred Meier, President and CEO of RRC Polytech, “creating representative and inclusive spaces on our campuses is a big part of that.”

We are letting workers, students, and community members know that this is a place where they belong by flying these three flags. While it is true that there are still places and circumstances where 2SLGBTQIA+, Indigenous, and Métis people don’t feel accepted or acknowledged, RRC Polytech is firmly stating that everyone is welcome and belongs here.

Along with Elders and Knowledge Keepers from Treaty One Territory, officials from the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), Peguis First Nation, Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation, and RRC Polytech’s Knowledge Keepers Council attended the flag-raising ceremony. For the occasion, Ray “Coco” Stevenson played a flag song on a hand drum.

Flag of Treaty One

Flag of Treaty One Nation: yellow circle with red borders surrounded by blue and green stripesAnishinaabe (Ojibwe) and Nehiyaw (Cree), the indigenous inhabitants of the region that is now southern Manitoba, particularly the Assiniboine and Red river forks, an important hub for trade and gatherings, are represented in Treaty One. The seven First Nations that signed the first of the numbered treaties, which was first signed at Lower Fort Garry in 1871, are collectively referred to as Treaty One Nation.

“Seeing RRC Polytech fly our Treaty One banner on their campus today makes me incredibly proud. Treaty One chairperson Chief Gordon Bluesky of the Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation states, “We were continuously denied our rights, our titles, our jurisdictions, our culture, our language, and our children, despite the spirit and intent of the treaty, which has benefitted the people of Manitoba for over 150 years.

“We are still standing strong despite our darkest moments in history, and every flag-raising ceremony serves as a physical, concrete reminder to our Treaty Partners of our continued existence. We can all now proudly share the heritage of the Indigenous peoples who have lived on this land and look forward to a better future for the coming generations. With the help of these acts of reconciliation, the future is quite bright for our young Indigenous students.

Components of the Agreement Three colors—yellow to depict the sun, blue to represent the waterways, and green to represent the grass—reflect the original spirit and meaning of the treaties. The Indigenous people who live here and the wheel of life are symbolized by the color red. The seven signatory First Nations are represented by the seven points surrounding the sun.

Métis Flag of the Red River

Métis flag with a blue backdrop and a white infinity signThe history, language, and culture of the Red River Métis are extensive and significant. The nation was founded at the Red River Settlement, which is now Winnipeg. It is the center of the Red River Métis Homeland.

“For more than two centuries, the Red River Métis have struggled to have their rich culture, heritage, and history acknowledged and valued,” states Joan Ledoux, the Minister of Provincial Education and Associate Minister of Métis Employment for the MMF.

The Manitoba Act, which was signed into law in 1870 and combined the histories of the Red River Métis and Manitoba, made Manitoba the only province in Canada to have been admitted into confederation by an Indigenous nation. The Red River Métis National Government, or MMF, has come a long way in building our country and reclaiming our rightful place in Canada’s confederation. Raising the flag today is just one tiny step in giving our Red River Métis youngsters a better future by letting them know that their identity is valued and acknowledged while they pursue their academic objectives.

RRC Polytech acknowledges the contribution Red River Métis made to the development of this city, province, and nation. The Red River Métis played a significant role in confederation and battled for their rights in courts, legislatures, and on the front lines throughout history.

Pride Flag of RRC Polytech

The RRC Polytech inclusive pride flag features horizontal rainbow stripes with an Indigenous medicine wheel embedded in a black, brown, blue, and pink triangle.The new Pride Flag from RRC Polytech was unveiled last year and was painted on the pathways for the Notre Dame, Exchange District, and Portage campuses. Throughout the month of June, the flag will also be flown at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute.

The new Pride design is an extension of the Progress Pride flag, with particular Indigenous themes and representation for all members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual) community. It was created after discussions with members of the Rainbow Resource Center, the College’s Knowledge Keepers’ Council, the Students’ Association, and the Gender and Sexual Identities working group.

The triangle on the flag symbolizes the inverted pink triangles that LGBT detainees in Nazi concentration camps were made to wear. Its placement at the base of the flag also creates a tepee shape, which stands in for the shelters that numerous Manitoban First Nations people have historically used. Traditional Indigenous wisdom and teachings are included into the Medicine Wheel, and intersex people are recognized by the purple and yellow circles that surround it.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Specialist Vera Godavari states, “At RRC Polytech, we are committed to our reconciliation journey as we walk the path of understanding, respect, and advocacy with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.” “Through these ongoing initiatives, we, as a learning organization, continue to celebrate our progress and dedicate ourselves to this important work.”


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