Photo: Diane Dubé accepts a check for $70,000 from Manitoba Metis Federation President, David Chartrand. They were joined by MMF Vice President, Alfred Anderson (far right) and Southeast MMF Vice President, Denise Thomas.
Donation comes at exactly the right time: Museum Director, Diane Dubé
By Don Norman
On Tuesday September 1, the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) presented a donation of $70,000 to the Winnipeg River Heritage Museum (WRHM) to help celebrate Manitoba’s 150th anniversary since joining Canada in Confederation.
MMF President, David Chartrand addressed the people in attendance at the presentation. “It is a very special Day, thank you all for coming out,” he began. Chartrand then went on to say that prior to his visiting the Museum back in July and meeting with Museum Director, Diane Dubé he didn’t know much about the region.
“While visiting the museum I had the privilege to learn of the local history including the flooding caused by Manitoba Hydro that devastating impacts made on the lives of Métis Nation Citizens and other residents who worked and lived in the area,” said Chartrand. “Diane gave me a good history lesson.”
The donation supports the WRHM over and above the required amount that they must contribute in order to receive the Building Sustainable Community’s grant recently awarded by the Province of Manitoba. Chartrand noted that these matching grants are a risky proposition for a small community and he was glad that the MMF was able to go to bat for the WRHM and allow them to meet the requirements. “We know how hard it is to raise money. “
“Protecting history and preserving the memory and experiences of our Ancestors is a part of what makes museums like the WRHM excellent investments that benefit all Manitobans,” concluded President Chartrand. “Celebrating Métis 150 is the perfect opportunity to showcase and support the great work that continues to flourish in our province.”
MMF Minister of Culture and Heritage stated that hardworking and dedicated volunteers are critical to the success of museums everywhere. “We look forward to collaborating with the team at the WRHM to help develop permanent exhibits that showcase and educate visitors on the Métis people, language and artifacts,” he said “This donation provides an opportunity for the WRHM to expand on sharable exhibits and activities as we work on opening of the Métis Nation Heritage Centre.”
Museum Director, Diane Dubé said the timing of the donation was very fortunate. “We are ecstatic,” she said noting that the Museum had to cancel most of its fund raising projects as a result of the pandemic.
“The Winnipeg River has a significant, and often unsung, place in the story of Manitoba,” stated Dubé. “Its wild beauty, rich resources and well-established travel route, made the Winnipeg River a natural place for communities to put down roots. The river was one of just a few major routes into what would eventually become Manitoba,” she continued. “This generous donation from the MMF will bring the WRHM’s Regional Destination Attraction one step closer to becoming one of Canada’s Heart Beats. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!”
Some of the projects that the donation will be put towards include the software development and production of the interactive screens for some museum displays and a permanent railing in front of the ferry.