Young guests get the full proclamation experience at the Big House at Fort Langley National Historic Site. (Fort Langley National Historic Site/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Young guests get the full proclamation experience at the Big House at Fort Langley National Historic Site. (Fort Langley National Historic Site/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Fort Langley honours two influential Canadian historical figures

Louis Riel Day and Douglas Day to be celebrated Nov 16, 17 at the National Historic Site

Fort Langley National Historic Site (FLNHS) will highlight the contributions of two historical characters this weekend, whose impact on Canada continues today.

Nancy Hildebrand, promotions officer at FLNHS, said the weekend will provide Langley will a great opportunity to learn about the province’s past.

“The two events are quite different, though it’s interesting both events highlight the important contributions of a historic figure,” Hildebrand explained. “Our national historic sites reflect the rich and varied heritage of our nation and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history.”

On Saturday Nov. 16, Parks Canada hosts the fourth annual Louis Riel Day, which will be presented by a group of Métis organizations at FLNHS.

Visitors will be able to experience a multitude of Métis cultural activities, from finger weaving to jigging and archery. A flag ceremony is also scheduled for 1:15 p.m.

“Louis Riel Day is a popular, interesting event with lots to see and do, thanks to the six Métis organizations who organize it. Working together with more than 300 Indigenous communities across Canada, Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving, restoring, and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage,” Hildebrand explained.

The six local organizations are working together to present Louis Riel Day are the North Fraser Métis Association, Fraser Valley Métis Association (Abbotsford), Golden Ears Métis Society (Maple Ridge), Chilliwack Métis Association, Waceya Métis Society (Langley) and the NOVA Métis Heritage Association (Surrey).

On Sunday, Nov. 17, FLNHS will celebrate the day James Douglas proclaimed British Columbia a Crown Colony inside Fort Langley’s Big House (officially Nov. 19, 1858).

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Visitors will learn about Douglas, B.C.’s first governor, at the very birthplace of the province.

Two of the day’s highlights include a proclamation-themed skit at noon in the Big House and a special White Glove Program at 1:30 p.m., where visitors will have the opportunity to see James Douglas’ original satchel.

“Because this event was one of the main reasons that Fort Langley was made a national historic site, visitors can learn about the proclamation of B.C. every day by viewing the exhibits in the Big House, listening to our audio tour or speaking with our heritage interpreters,” Hildebrand added.

For more information on both days, people can visit www.pc.gc.ca.

Admission is $7.80 per adult and $6.55 per senior. There will be free admittance for youth 17 and under, or for anyone wearing a Métis sash on Nov. 16.

FLNHS’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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