Home » The Canadian Press » Manitoba Man Who Was Switched at Birth Receives Métis Citizenship

Manitoba Man Who Was Switched at Birth Receives Métis Citizenship

February 14, 2024 12:47 PM | The Canadian Press


By The Canadian Press

Edward Ambrose

Edward Ambrose is photographed at his home in Winnipeg on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. Ambrose, who was switched at birth more than 60 years ago, has received his Métis citizenship. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — A Manitoba man who was switched at birth and raised without being aware of his Indigenous heritage for more than 60 years says he feels a sense of belonging after receiving his Métis citizenship.

“My identity is something I lost a long time ago,” Edward Ambrose said in a news release.

“I’m 68 now, so being welcomed into the Red River Métis family really touches my heart.”

Ambrose received his Manitoba Métis Federation citizenship card in Winnipeg on Tuesday.

He was accompanied by his daughter, Eileen, and his biological sister Leona.

“I am proud to be with my family, and it feels so powerful and meaningful to receive my card,” Ambrose said.

“I will always love my other family too, but I feel like this is where I belong – where I have always belonged.”

David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Métis Federation, said the citizenship card doesn’t change what happened but it will allow Ambrose to look forward to a future with his people.

“I know he will be embraced by our community, and we will help Edward and his daughter Eileen make up for the time they lost. We will introduce them to our values, our culture, our music and our people,” Chartrand said in a news release.

“There is so much love and acceptance waiting for Edward and his daughter, and I look forward to seeing them thrive.”

Ambrose was born in 1955 in a hospital in the community of Arborg, north of Winnipeg, on the same day as another baby named Richard Beauvais. Somehow the babies were sent home with the wrong families.

The babies became children, who became men, who were married and had children of their own. For decades they were unaware of each other or the puzzle piece that inextricably would tie the two men together.

Ambrose was raised in a Ukrainian family and has said he has good memories of growing up in Rembrandt, a farming community south of Arborg. But both his mother and father died by the time he was 12. Ambrose was shuffled between relatives then placed with a foster family who adopted him.

The other man, Beauvais, has said his father died young and his mother struggled to raise him and his siblings in Saint Laurent, a historically Métis community on the shores of Lake Manitoba. He was sent to a residential day school, was picked on for being Indigenous and was taken from his family and placed in foster homes.

Eventually he became a commercial fisherman and moved to British Columbia.

The truth that the two had been sent home with the wrong families was only discovered a few years ago through at-home ancestry kits. It upended both men’s lives as they tried to navigate their past and what it meant for their future.

For Ambrose, the reality of what happened sent him down a path of exploring his Indigenous identity.

— By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Saskatoon

CP - The Canadian Press


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