Back to school Métis style

infinite reach
MNO Infinite Reach Facilitator’s, staff and community members at the University of Ottawa. (Left to
right) front row:
Wanda Botsford, MNO Education Officer; Chantal Cote, MNO Educational
Analyst/Officer; Sahra Maclean, Carleton University; Brianne Gosselin, Hearst University; Tegan
Mandeville, Loyalist College; Senator Lois McCallum; and Senator Roland St. Germain. Second row:
Sheila Grantham, MNO Education Officer; Nikki Doucette, Sault College; Christine Skura, Ryerson
University; Alicia Blore, University of Waterloo; Marie-Louise Lariviere, Wilfrid Laurier University; Kian
Connor, Laurentian University. Third row:
Mitch Case, Algoma/Shingwauk University; Katelyn Lacroix,
Wilfrid Laurier University; Jesse LaFleur, Seneca College; Jessica Maclean, University of Toronto;
Kailyn Wilson, Lakehead University; and Melody Chislett-Morris, Sault College. Back row:
Mathew
Lafreniere, University of Ottawa; Elijah Cardarette, St. Clair College; Brad Lafortune, University of
Ottawa; Tera Beaulieu, University of Toronto; Kevin King, University of Guelph; and Jesse Donovan,
University of Toronto.

From September 13-15, Métis post-secondary students from across the province reunited in Ottawa for the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Infinite Reach Facilitator orientation session.

New and returning Infinite Reach Facilitators were given a three-day orientation session to familiarize themselves with the MNO, the Infinite Reach Program, go over the facilitator manual, code of conduct and tips to prepare themselves for the new fall semester at their respected institutions.

As part of the orientation, students were given tours of the three Ottawa post-secondary institutions: Carleton University, Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Each school provided a representative who guided the tour and shared the different services provided to Aboriginal students. The tour of the University of Ottawa was provided by one of the schools MNO Infinite Reach Facilitators, Brad Lafortune who added a facilitator perspective to the tour. MNO staff, some local Métis youth and Senators Lois McCallum and Roland St. Germain also attended the orientation.

Cultural activities and a feast were enjoyed on the Saturday evening. Jaime Koebe provided a jigging workshop and Alicia Blore played traditional Métis fiddle music. Some of the youth in attendance had participated in the MNO Summer Youth Cultural Program from this past summer and showcased their dancing skills and shared their experience in the program with the other students. The feast was a great bonding opportunity for the students as well as a great opportunity for new facilitators to meet and chat with senior facilitators.

To thank them for their time as volunteers, students were given MNO swag which included a MNO travel bag, an Infinite Reach Network shirt, a stapler, pen and MNO padfiolio.

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Infinite Reach is comprised of incoming and upper year postsecondary students who have the common goal of working together to enrich and enhance their postsecondary education experience. Members form a community of Métis learners within their college or university and support each other in their academic pursuits. Infinite Reach facilitators are upper year students who can offer assistance to incoming students by helping them adjust to university life. Infinite Reach facilitators also work to create and maintain a sense of community among Métis students. Throughout the year Infinite Reach facilitators will host/facilitate cultural and informative events to connect students to the local Métis Nation of Ontario community councils and to the various programs, services and events of the MNO. The Infinite Reach: Métis Student Solidarity Network will serve as a community of learners with the ability to inspire Métis students to achieve their full potential and provide the support of the Métis community.

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