A 688-acre Métis cultural destination is celebrating its grand opening this weekend. On September 25, Métis Crossing officially opens as the home to a new state-of-the-art Cultural Gathering Centre, boutique lodge, campground, heritage species wildlife park, a historical Métis Riverlot farmyard and a Métis veterans’ memorial.
According to the centre, it will provide “an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Alberta to become more familiar with Métis people, stories and shared history.”
The initial grand opening event was planned in 2020, but was rescheduled due to the pandemic.
“We are grateful to finally be able to gather with our friends and valued supporters. The grand opening event is all about thanking and acknowledging everyone who has contributed towards making this dream a reality,” said Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing.
“Métis Crossing is more than a lodge or an event space. This is an authentic Métis destination, which is unique across the country. Métis Crossing has been dreamed of, planned, designed, built, and operated by Métis people to share our distinct Indigenous culture.”
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The lodge at Métis Crossing includes 40 rooms in a boutique accommodation overlooking the North Saskatchewan River. The grand opening event on the 25th will also showcase upcoming developments including sky watching pods, a solar farm, and additional programming and offerings, according to organizers.
“This place was chosen purposefully,” said Marois. “This traditional Métis Riverlot is a place where guests find themselves imagining the squeaking of red river carts along Victoria Trail and seeing images in their mind of the excitement of our ancestors as they arrived at this place where they built their homes, and we now stand on the banks of history.”
Métis Crossing states that it “aims to encourage Albertans to embark on authentic Indigenous tourism experiences to further their understanding of the unique Indigenous cultures that are found across the province.”
When: Sunday, September 25th
Time: 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Where: 17339 Victoria Trail, Smoky Lake, AB