Minister Valcourt Attends Back to Batoche Days and Saskatchewan First Nation Summer Games

MUSKODAY FIRST NATION, SK, July 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, participated in the opening of the Back to Batoche Days festival in Batoche, Saskatchewan, as well as the closing ceremonies of the 2013 Saskatchewan First Nation Summer Games.

"I am proud of our Government's support for the Back to Batoche Days, which are an important celebration of the Métis people and their culture," said Minister Valcourt. "Through events such as this, Canadians can deepen their understanding of the people and events that helped to shape our country and celebrate that shared history."

This year's Back to Batoche Days celebration includes a special event - the return of the Bell of Batoche. The Bell, which was baptized "Marie-Antoinette" in 1884, is a symbol of the strength and valour of the Métis people. It is also an important part of Métis history, a reminder of the battles Métis people have fought and an emblem of their courage.

Minister Valcourt also attended the 2013 Saskatchewan First Nation Summer Games, at which he confirmed the Government's commitment of $248,550 in funding for the 2014 North American Indigenous Games, which will be held in Regina in July 2014.

"I want to congratulate everyone who participated in this year's Saskatchewan First Nation Summer Games. Through their participation in the Games, these young athletes have demonstrated great leadership, commitment, perseverance and dedication, bringing pride to their families and communities," said Minister Valcourt.

The North American Indigenous Games, which are held once every four years, attract thousands of indigenous athletes, coaches, families and volunteers from across North America. Athletes between the ages of 13 and 19 will compete in 15 events, from archery and swimming, to wrestling and baseball. The Games promote and encourage holistic individual development that assures mental, physical, emotional and spiritual growth. Competitors will represent all Canadian provinces and territories and 13 regions of the United States.

SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

For further information:

This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc-aadnc.gc.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Minister's Office
Andrea Richer
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable John Duncan
819-997-0002

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern 
Development Canada
819-953-1160

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