Lougheed House and Métis Nation of Alberta: A special partnership

MNA Region 3 President Lawrence Gervais and Lougheed House Executive Director Naomi Grattan at the partnership signing ceremony. Photo: Ila Vivier.

As we were in the swing of seasonal celebrations just before Christmas, Lougheed House staff welcomed members of the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3 to recognize a special partnership. Lougheed House Executive Director Naomi Grattan and Region 3 President Lawrence Gervais co-signed an agreement that would solidify close ties between both organizations, one that highlights the Métis heritage of the house.

Lady Isabella Lougheed, who with her husband James Lougheed built the house in 1891, was the daughter of Hudson’s Bay Company trader William Hardisty and May Anne Allen of the Chinook people. Her story as a Métis woman, and as matriarch of one of early Calgary’s most socially and politically prominent families, is told throughout the house.

In more recent years, Lougheed House has been home to regular gatherings for the Métis community and the site of the annual Métis Week flag-raising. In 2022, we opened two co-exhibitions – Forgotten: The Métis Residential School Experience and Remembered: The Story of Métis Children at St. Joseph’s-Dunbow Industrial School. The second exhibition later travelled to Central branch of the Calgary Public Library.

The partnership agreement signed this week will strengthen both organizations’ commitments to education and visitor experience, and will foster involvement from members of the Métis community and Métis elders in planning and outreach for some of Lougheed House’s public programming. It will also provide a site for ongoing community activities and celebrations.

“The Métis Nation of Alberta considers Lougheed House to be a key landmark in the Métis history in Southern Alberta,” Gervais says. “Today, it’s become an important gathering place that we want to help preserve and protect for future generations.”

Photo: MNA Region 3 President Lawrence Gervais and Lougheed House Executive Director Naomi Grattan at the signing ceremony in December. Photo by Ila Vivier.

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1 Comments

  1. Jake Kuiken on January 12, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    I first learned about the Lougheed family history in J G MacGregor’s book on the Senator Hardisty’s Prairies 1840/1889. As an immigrant to Canada in 1952, I never heard a thing about the significance of the Hardisty family in Calgary’s school system. In fact, I can remember only one teacher (Mr. Watson) who talked briefly about the North-West Rebellion and Louis Riel.

    It’s ironic that In MacGregor’s book on the History of Alberta, the following is noted. “In one way or another a great deal of welfare activity is directed towards the Métis who have continued to experience difficulty in finding a place in the province’s rapidly changing economy.” (Page 304). While the partnership is overdue, the fact that it is now done is a good thing! I hope you continue to uncover the history of Alberta through the eyes of the Métis. Congratulations!

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