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A message in a time capsule

January 5, 2022

Pictured here from left to right: President of the North Bay Métis Council Susan Van Der Rassel; Right Honourable Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Elisabeth Dowdeswell; President of the Métis Council of Ontario (Region 5) Roger Rose; Women’s Representative for the North Bay Métis Council Lise Hughson; and Corporate & Indigenous Affairs specialist for Vale’s Ontario Operations Danica Pagnutti wearing a gold hard hat and holding a gold shovel, which are gifts from the MNO to thank our company for being a prestige sponsor of the event. Photo: Vale Archive

“We must cherish our inheritance. We must preserve our nationality for the youth of our future. The story should be written down to pass on.” Those words, penned by Louis Riel (1844 -1885), founder of Manitoba, father of Confederation and leader of the Métis people, may be more than 130 years old, but they pierce the page just as passionately today, and are perhaps more relevant than ever. 

Knowing this, representatives from the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) have made good on Riel’s wishes with the MNO Legacy Preservation Project, which MNO calls, “a gift to our future citizens.” 

The gift is a Métis time capsule to be opened in 2085. “Sixty-four years from now will mark the 200th Anniversary of Louis Riel’s passing and the opening of the capsule,” said Susan van der Rassel, president, North Bay Métis Nation of Ontario Council. 

The stainless-steel capsule was filled with objects from MNO citizens including handwritten letters, bead crafts and other artwork, recipes, books, flags and more, and it was buried on November 16, 2021 at Kinsmen Beach in the city of North Bay, ON, known for its rich Métis cultural history. 

Left: Danica Pagnutti, Corporate and Indigenous Affairs specialist, Ontario Operations, helps bury the Métis time capsule. Right: Vale’s contribution to the time capsule: a bag of nickel pellets from our operations in Sudbury. Photos: Vale Archive

Our company, a prestigious sponsor of the event, was given the honour of contributing to the capsule as well. Danica Pagnutti, Corporate and Indigenous Affairs specialist for Vale’s Ontario Operations, provided a bag of nickel pellets from our Sudbury Operations. 

Danica was invited to speak on behalf of Vale, and presented with a gold hard hat and shovel, and a traditional Métis sash. “The event was well attended by local and regional MNO leaders and members, as well as the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and other government officials,” Danica said. 

Susan added, “The North Bay Metis Council is extremely appreciative of the donation and the nickel pellets. The support for months of preparation to see this project accomplished is truly magnanimous!”

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