Fir The First Time Wood Buffalo Raises Willow Lake Metis Nation Flag

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Philip Paulson has always brought the Willow Lake Metis flag along wherever he goes camping, but there hasn’t ever been one fling high along municipal, provincial and national flags in the community, but that changed this week.

Last Wednesday, the Willow Lake Leadership of Anzac, Alberta raised its flag high up for the very first time.

Previously, the community’s policy did not include indigenous flags, however, a recent council vote changed the dynamics.

Paulson noted that the only other place one was likely to see the Metis flag was on people’s lawns or homes.

Justine Bourque, Willow Lake Metis National Vice president, said raising the flag is an affirmation of the community’s long history and continued growth in the area.

He added that it is his hope this will mark the start of the long-awaited recognition of indigenous communities across the country.

The flag is a visual sign that one is in a treaty 8 area, he added.

He noted that raising the flag makes him happy and sad at the same time because it is the year 2021, and they are only accomplishing this now.

Councilor Jane Stroud said that the council prioritized this because it wants to ensure that all residents in the area feel included.

On the very day, the Bourque issued the nation’s identity card, noting that it is a step towards self-governance.

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