Land Acknowledgement Ceremony

Joe was born in Beacon Hill, Saskatchewan in 1942. His parents were Louis and Sophie, who had 14 children, including Joe’s 11 brothers and 2 sisters. His family owned a quarter section of land where they did mixed farming. Later his father sold the land to pay for his bother’s medical costs.

Then, the family moved to Vermillion, Alberta. Joe was kicked out of school at age 14. After that, he went with his brothers and cousins to seek work doing farming, clearing, lumbering, slashing and sugar beet work.

Joe attended his first annual assembly of the Métis Nation of Alberta at the age of 10.

He has been a participating member of the Métis Nation of Alberta since 1970 and served as Vice-President for seven different terms. He was also a board of director of the Métis Nation of Alberta for 14 years. Joe was also a President of two locals, one in Region 4 (Edmonton) and in Region 1 (Lac La Biche).

Joe became a member of Elizabeth Métis Settlement, Fishing Lake, Paddle Prairie, and, currently, in Buffalo Lake, where he now resides.

Joe has many achievements. Some of them include: organizing the Métis Veterans in Edmonton, serving on the Crime and Justice Commission, organized the Native Brotherhood, started a boxing club and coached hockey for the aboriginal youth in Edmonton, owned and operated the first Aboriginal Night club in Edmonton, managed the Wildland Firefighters, Buck Lake Campsite and Buffalo Lake Cat’s Construction, was a Native Liaison for Access Pipeline, and worked for Alberta Native Communications Society where he interviewed people from Alberta and across Canada.

Today, Joe still attends various conferences, workshops, cultural events and keeps abreast of current events.

As a Metis Elder, Joe is a pipe holder and has been invited and participated in numerous cultural and spiritual events and ceremonies.

In his many travels across Canada, he met many people including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chief Dan George and many actors, singers, artists, politicians.

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Tansi — Cree | Oki — Blackfoot | ​Aba washded — Stoney (Nakota) | ​Ɂedlanet’e — Dene |  We respectfully acknowledge that we are on the traditional lands and territories of Indigenous people in Alberta. We want to recognize the significance of our relationships with the land and the peoples who call this ‘home.’ We commit to a reciprocal relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews that honour and respect ways of knowing and being.