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BMO and Manitoba Métis Federation Working Together to Transform Historic Portage and Main Building into Future Home of the Métis Nation Heritage Centre

President Chartrand brings the Manitoba Métis Home to the Heart of Red River 

WINNIPEG, May 11, 2020 /CNW/ - Tomorrow, Manitoba celebrates its 150th anniversary and marks the Manitoba Métis becoming Canada's negotiating partner in Confederation and Founder of Manitoba.  Led by Louis Riel, the Métis became the first and only Indigenous People in this country to create a province.

As part of the celebration, BMO Financial Group (BMO) and the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) announced they have an agreement for the sale of BMO's building at Portage and Main. In the spirit of reconciliation and mutual respect, they have taken an important step toward a future home for the Métis Nation Heritage Centre. 

"We are celebrating this Anniversary with the announcement that BMO and MMF, as partners in reconciliation, are moving forward together," said David Chartrand, President, Manitoba Métis Federation. "Reconciliation is about making real change through practical accomplishments. Today's milestone of reconciliation shows the leading role that can be played by the private financial sector."

"The Métis have a rich history in Winnipeg, and we couldn't have found a better partner to pass on the legacy of this building," said John MacAulay, Regional President, Prairies Central, BMO Bank of Montreal. "We're driven by our Purpose to boldly grow the good in business and life, which includes helping create a more inclusive society. Along with our fellow Winnipeggers, we look forward to celebrating both their history and future in the city." 

BMO's Winnipeg Main building at Portage and Main has been a pillar of the Winnipeg community since 1913. While recognizing and respecting its historical legacy and architectural importance, it is an ideal space and location for a future home to celebrate Métis heritage and support Métis contributions to the development of Canada in a manner that will benefit current and future generations. This will mark a new beginning.

Red River Settlement, now Winnipeg, Manitoba, is the Birthplace of the Métis Nation and the Heart of the Métis Nation Homeland; Portage and Main, one of Canada's most famous intersections, is located at the centre of the Settlement and at the joining of two major historic Red River Cart trails.

"For two centuries Portage and Main has been an essential crossroad of trade and commerce and holds symbolic importance to the Métis and all Canadians," concluded MMF President Chartrand. "Today's joint announcement welcomes us back."

About BMO Financial Group 
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $880 billion as of January 31, 2020, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

About the Manitoba Métis Federation
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the official democratically-elected government of the Metis Nation's Manitoba Metis. The MMF provides a wide variety of programs and services as well as promotes, advocates, and protects Métis rights, interests, and claims. Red River Settlement, now Winnipeg, is the Birthplace of the Métis Nation and Heart of the Homeland. The Manitoba Metis is Canada's Negotiating Partner in Confederation and the Founder of the Province of Manitoba.

For more information on the Manitoba Métis Federation, visit:

SOURCE Manitoba Metis Federation

For further information: BMO Media Contact: James DeCosimo, Toronto, | (416) 867-3996; MMF Media Contact: Al Benoit, Winnipeg, | (204) 299-0534