A vision became a reality at Batoche. 

Last week, the Dumont Lodge opened its doors as the facility continues to build the connection between elders and youth and help preserve the Metis history. 

The lodge idea originated from Elder Albert LeClair about two years ago, as he wanted the Riel scouting program to learn more about their Metis history. 

Vice-President of Metis-Nation of Saskatchewan, Michelle LeClair explains passing down the knowledge.  

“Where youth learn about the cultural ways that have been lost as a result of not passing it along.”  

 LeClair said it was “a no-brainer" to build the lodge at Batoche with its historical value and scenic beauty.  

Work began with a groundbreaking about 18 months ago. The lodge was built and designed by 3twenty Modular and a Metis architect Jason Surkan. Leclair noted Surkan created the lodge that reflected the Metis history.

Several Métis tradespeople and subcontractors were utilized throughout the entire process of building the lodge. 

With the Dumont Lodge officially opened, it will have many uses. One of the benefactors of the facility will be the Riel Scouts, a youth program for Métis youth aged five to 18. The program aims to instill pride in Métis heritage by immersing them in core Métis values and culture and teaching the Michif language through the guidance of Métis elders. 

LeClair noted the Dumont Lodge is a multipurpose facility and will hold other functions, including meetings, weddings, and family reunions. She said that when it’s now being used by the scouts, it will be available for rent for other functions. 

With Metis-Nation Saskatchewan currently negotiating a treaty with the Government of Canada to cement the right to self-governance for Métis people in Saskatchewan, LeClair says it’s a historic time for Metis people in the province, and the Dumont Lodge is a symbol of that.  

At the upcoming Batoche Days (July 18-21), the Dumont Lodge will be the home of the Elders' headquarters during the festivities.