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Robert Pilon, a Metis from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan is presently the interim President of the Metis Federation of Canada. He is a past President of the Oshawa and !rham M"tis Co!ncil. #n $%%&, Robert was ind!cted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame for initiatin' the Prince Albert Sports Co!ncil in ()&*.
Robert Pilon, an +oodon, ,oe +oodon and ennis -eber at Metisfest $%($, .illarney, Manitoba. Photo by Sharon -eber. After mo/in' to Oshawa Ontario in $%%$, Robert 0oined the local M"tis comm!nity and ser/ed as president of the Oshawa and !rham Re'ion M"tis Co!ncil for o/er 1 years prior to resi'nin' in Febr!ary $%(2. He then became con/inced that there was somethin' different he needed to do to promote M"tis ri'hts from a broader perspecti/e. Ha/in' come to know many M"tis from across Canada, he belie/ed that there needed to be a national or'ani3ation that wo!ld reco'ni3e all M"tis 4 from coast to coast to coast 4 which has bro!'ht him to be part of the fo!ndin' members of the M"tis Federation of Canada. Personal statement5
One of ten children, # was raised in Prince Albert Saskatchewan. 6oth of my parents descended from a lon' line of M"tis families, 'oin' back to the 6atoche comm!nity (, and prior to that, the Red Ri/er settlement in Manitoba. # 'rew !p knowin' only a little abo!t my back'ro!nd b!t /ery m!ch li/ed a M"tis lifestyle 4 my father and 'randparents spoke Michif, we ate traditional M"tis foods, listened to the m!sic, danced the old dances, and played the M"tis 'ames. My family went berry pickin', and many also h!nted and fished. At the same time # did not yet ha/e a f!ll !nderstandin' the si'nificance of o!r c!lt!re and the massi/e contrib!tion we made to establishin' o!r 'reat co!ntry and to the b!ildin' of this nation. As an ad!lt # started becomin' in/ol/ed, initially as a member of the Manitoba Federation when li/in' in -innipe', and later as a member of the Saskatchewan Federation. At the same time # was learnin' more and more abo!t my own family roots with a 'rowin' appreciation of o!r herita'e. # ha/e also worked with a n!mber of or'ani3ations in a /ol!ntary and board member capacity thro!'ho!t m!ch of my ad!lt life. # was president of the Saskatchewan 7able 7ennis Association for a n!mber of years, and recently was ind!cted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame for initiatin' the Prince Albert Sports Co!ncil in ()&*, which is still acti/e today. As president of the Oshawa M"tis Co!ncil, # ha/e de/eloped and worked with my fellow M"tis citi3ens on a n!mber of pro'rams to increase participation and b!ild a 'rowin' appreciation of o!r herita'e 8 incl!din' social e/ents where we en0oy traditional m!sic, dancin' and M"tis foods, and o!r First 9M"tis Herita'e Celebration ay9 which showcased o!r c!lt!re to the lar'er comm!nity.
,oseph Pilon :(&218()(;<5 ,oseph was born at St. =orbert in (&21. He married An'eli>!e =ormand at St. =orbert ,an!ary ($, (&;&. 7hey mo/ed to St. ?a!rent, Saskatchewan in (&&$. ,oseph was a member of Captain
-illiam 6oyer@s company, one of the () dizaines led by +abriel !mont d!rin' the (&&; Metis Resistance. ,oseph@s name appears as A1( in Philippe +arnot@s list of Resistance participants. ,oseph was acti/e at the battle for 7o!rond@s Co!lee b!t left before the Metis were totally pinned down. Bdo!ard !mont@s acco!nt mentions Pilon5 Aro!nd ten or ele/en o@clock, Bdo!ard !mont sets o!t a'ain with Pierriche Parentea!, Moise Parentea!, and old ,ean86aptiste 6o!cher 4 this time, 0!st the fo!r went, as 6oniface stayed behind on this occasion. At ?enoir Parentea!@s they be'in to meet some of the #ndians who ha/e left the battle. 7hey do not want to ret!rn to Fish Creek with Bdo!ard. At #'nace Poitras@, they meet old Pilon and three others who do not want to 'o back either. Father Clo!tier@s 0o!rnal notes that at the battle for 6atoche5 C+ilbert 6reland, -illiam 6oyer, ,oseph Pilon, ,oseph Sa!/", et dDa!tres :!ne 2%ne en/iron< sont dans les tro!s distants de ; E F pieds les !ns des a!tres, le lon' de la belle prairie, ils nDont pas 'ro!ill" de la 0o!rn"e.G ,oseph was arrested on May ($, (&&;, and on A!'!st (*, (&&; at Re'ina was 'i/en a conditional dischar'e for his Resistance participation. He died March $;, ()(; at 6atoche. He is b!ried at St. Antoine de Pado!e Cemetery, 6atoche.
Compiled and edited by ?awrence 6arkwell Coordinator of Metis Herita'e and History Research ?o!is Riel #nstit!te