MMF to buy historic bank at Portage and Main

By | May 12, 2020

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) announced on Monday that it is buying the historic bank located at Portage and Main.

According to a joint news release from the MMF and Bank of Montreal (BMO), the two groups have agreed to the sale of the BMO building at 335 Main St. It is set to become the future home of the Métis Nation Heritage Centre.

CTV Winnipeg previously reported the bank is moving out of the landmark building to switch to another across the street.

David Chartrand, president of the MMF, said they are celebrating Manitoba’s 150th anniversary by making this announcement.

“Reconciliation is about making real change through practical accomplishments,” he said in a news release.

“Today’s milestone of reconciliation shows the leading role that can be played by the private financial sector.”

John MacAulay, regional president of Prairies Central for BMO, noted the Métis’ history in Winnipeg. The Red River Settlement, which is now known as Winnipeg, is the birthplace of the Métis nation.

“We’re driven by our Purpose to boldly grow the good in business and life, which includes helping create a more inclusive society,” he said.

“Along with our fellow Winnipeggers, we look forward to celebrating both their history and future in the city.”

The BMO building at Portage and Main has been part of the city since 1913. 

The MMF described it as the ideal space to celebrate Métis heritage, but said it will still respect its historical significance and architectural importance.

“For two centuries Portage and Main has been an essential crossroad of trade and commerce and holds symbolic importance to the Métis and all Canadians,” Chartrand said. 

“Today’s joint announcement welcomes us back.”

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