More than 400 people are expected to gather together to celebrate Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) during their 40th anniversary and Métis culture and education conference in Saskatoon this week.

The event began Thursday and will finish on Saturday and includes keynote addresses, workshops, presentations and entertainment at the Saskatoon Inn and Conference Centre.

“This is an opportunity for our community to come together and to celebrate the foresight of our ancestors and those who came before us in order to found the institute,” Karon Shmon, director of Métis culture and heritage at GDI said. “We are very proud of all the students that have gone through the Gabriel Dumont Institute. We know that we’ve provided a prototype for other Métis organizations that would like to follow suit and we’re very proud of that.”

25 individuals are being invested into the Order of Gabriel Dumont at the event. Gabriel Dumont Institute makes the appointments after individuals are nominated by the public.

“The Order of Gabriel Dumont is awarded by the Gabriel Dumont Institute to persons who have distinguished themselves with outstanding service to the Métis of Canada,” Geordy McCaffrey, executive director of GDI said. “The conference has been fantastic. We’ve had tremendous support from the Métis community. I think Métis people in this province collectively understand how important it is to have a Métis controlled institution like GDI.”

(Photo: Adam Gaudry, a professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta speaking at Gabriel Dumont Institute’s 40th anniversary and Métis culture and education conference.)