With this painting, I wanted to commemorate all the Métis soldiers who fought and died for the protection of their land and their families. The Battle of Batoche was not a battle of "rebels" against the Canadian Government. It was the last sad event in a long line of government bungling and racism against Metis people. Metis people were not rebels. We were honest, hardworking mothers and fathers who had created settlements and found our very own land being stolen and our rights as citizens ignored completely.
In 2000 I attended the "Back To Batoche Days" in Batoche Saskatchewan for the first time. Held annually, It is one of the largest Metis gatherings in Canada. During the festival there were rumours that the legendary Bell of Batoche was to resurface. In 1885, the Bell of Batoche was stolen from the church steeple by Canadian soldiers after the battle and brought the bell back to Ontario as a war trophy. It sat under glass at the Legion Hall in Millbrook Ontario, until in 1991, it was stolen. By all accounts, it was taken back by Metis people, where it remains somewhere underground.
The Bell has become an important cultural symbol for the Metis. And a potent metaphor representing the reclaiming of Metis history and renewal in our strength as a people. The bell is represented in this painting by a red bell flower in the centre.