Family and Fun at Fort Frances Métis Celebration
Based on an article published in the West End Weekly by Marlene Deschamps. Click here to view original story.
January 20 was a big day at the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Sunset Country Métis Council Hall in Fort Francis with MNO staff hosting a day of family-friendly activities.
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Events began with a fantastic brunch consisting of pancakes, ham, fruit trays and beverages. This was followed by jigging and square dancing featuring the music by Elmer Whitefish of Lac La Croix playing fiddle and Tommy Councillor from Northwest Bay playing guitar. Roger Fobister from Fort Frances provided the calling and got everyone’s toes tapping. During the dance, it was hard to miss one very young lad who left the children’s' play area to stand and watch his grandparents. He studied their every movement and clearly wanted to jump in and join the fun!
Following the dance, everyone’s attention shifted to a Mock Casino event hosted through the MNO Responsible Gambling program. Everyone got an envelope with $100 in play money. The money could be used to play Odds & Evens, Black Jack or Plinko. Tickets for draws on great prizes could be purchased with the play money. Those who lost their money gambling though had to answer questions about gambling and gambling addictions before they could get any more. It was a fun way to host a gambling education session while also emphasizing being responsible in your gaming.
There was a lot of laughter and visiting along with the games and although the weather outside was extremely cold, the atmosphere in the Hall was very warm. There was no charge for the event but participants were asked to bring food bank donations and there was a very large box that was pretty full by the end of the day.