Saturday, March 29, 2008

Upper Fort Garry - "The David Chartrand Building?"

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

If you haven't already, please check out MetisMama's excellent Friends of Upper Fort Garry coverage on We'd like to thank her for publishing today's Winnipeg Free Press article by Bartley Kives along with our comments.

Clare L. Pieuk
Friends Of Upper Fort Garry Seemed To Be A Positive Place To Save
A Historical Site

Park Offer Opens Gate For Fort Friends
Updated: Thursday, March 27, 2008 18:34:27

The Friends of Upper Fort Garry could announce as early as Friday that it is victorious in its battle to secure the fort site for an interpretive centre.

An offer from Premier Gary Doer to declare the Upper Fort Garry site a provincial park may have clinched the deal for the Friends group, when all hope seemed to have been lost.

Manitoba Premier Gary Doer speaks with CTV's Caroline Barghout on March 27, 2007.

The group needed to raise $3.7 million dollars by March 31st to fulfill its part of a deal with the City of Winnipeg, which had already agreed to turn the land over to a developer to build a high-rise apartment.

If the provincial government declares the site a provincial park, it will open the door for the rest of the funding to flow from provincial coffers.

"It takes the burden away from people that are emptying their piggy banks to donate money to the historic site," Doer said.

Park Deal Not Done Yet

The provincial park offer is not yet a done deal. When contacted by CTV News, a spokesperson from the Friends group said its optimistic this will come to a positive conclusion, and hinted to an announcement as early as Friday.

Meanwhile, the Manitoba Mets Federaiton has its own ideas for the site.

MMF President David Chartrand says its not enough to put up a few benches and call it a park.

"We should learn from what other countries have done," said MMF President David Chartrand. "Obviously we're not arguing here to keep green space -- that's not what this issue is at this point. We're trying to keep a historical site."

Chartrand said other countries are now scraping to preserve what little historical artifacts are left and the choices we make now in Manitoba will preserve our history for generations to come.

Chartrand says it's not enough to put up a few benches on the land and call it a park.

The Manitoba Métis Federation wants to see an interpretive centre built on the land as well as a tourist attraction to educate visitors about Manitoba's history.

The gates located near Broadway and Main Street.

The Friends of Upper Fort Garry have indicated that it in their plans for the site.

With a story from CTV's Caroline Barghout.

Caroline Barghout joined the CTV Winnipeg News Team in 2007 as weekend anchor and reporter.

Originally from Toronto, Caroline's first job in the industry was co-hosting an internet radio show after graduating college. Since then she's had the chance to do news and traffic over the airwaves of a number of well-known stations. Caroline later began volunteering in cable television and a short while later accepted a job at CTV News in Sudbury. Caroline has a Radio and Television Broadcasting Diploma from Seneca College in Toronto, Ontario.

Caroline loves the adventure of the job. She embraces whatever comes her way and enjoys meeting people and telling their stories.


This article from CTV describes the latest in the issue of Upper Fort Garry but Mr. David Chartrand wants to make sure that it is more then a couple of park benches. Here is your challenge, President Chartrand – you want a legacy for your leadership – the Manitoba Métis Federation should demonstrate self sufficiency and instead of a line budget item called legal fees for suing Metis people generate the revenue and operate and run this Métis historical site for the future generations.

Make it a revenue bearing project that will create tourism, employment opportunities and no government hand outs for the development of your interpretative centre. You should like this idea – it will give you a legacy, it will give the Métis people something to feel proud about and it will help ensure that the history that is recanted for tourists is of the true Métis – not the government controlled propaganda that we often find in text books. Come on Mr. President – they might even call it the David Chartrand Building – but remember NO GOVERNMENT MONEY – just like our founding fathers did it!


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