Kitchener Moccasin Camp Helps Promote Métis Culture

Moccasin_camp-kitchenerParticipants in the Kitchener Moccasin Camp (Picture courtesy of Pauline Saulnier)

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) held the fourth very successful Moccasin Camp, this time in Kitchener on January 14, 2012.  Moccasin camps build a community of learners within the Métis Nation.  Métis presenters are in high demand from schools, governments and among the general public who are interested in learning more about Métis in Ontario. The Camps assist the Métis community by building presentation skills, increasing awareness and instilling pride about our Métis identity. At each camp community members share what they know about Métis history and culture.

In response to the growing demand for Métis presentations, Moccasin Camps, provide Métis educators and community leaders including senators, elders, youth, community councillors, and other active community members with effective ways of making presentations to different audiences and how to use various presentation tools such as the Métis Education Kit.

MNO Chair France Picotte, MNO Vice-Chair Sharon McBride and Provisional Council of the MNO Councillor Pauline Saulnier were among the approximately 30 participants. MNO Education and Training Staff including Chris Paci, Chris McLeod Benny Michaud, and Guylaine Morin-Cleroux led sessions on such topics as public speaking skills, presenting Métis material culture, and how to promote Métis education. The participants were provided with tools they can adapt for their own presentations.

The highlight for many of the participants was a presentation by renowned Métis canoe maker Marcel Labelle. Marcel was assisted by his apprentice Christian Pilon and together they demonstrated how they use the canoe as the basis for teaching traditional Métis knowledge. Marcel brought a full-size canoe with him to help with his teaching. He also was kind enough to present the MNO with a miniature replica of a traditional canoe, which is now proudly displayed in the MNO head office in Ottawa.

The next camp is being planned for some time in March, will be an all French camp which will bring Michif and French speaking Métis from across the province together; location and date to be confirmed. If you are interested email (chantalc@metisnation.org) or call Chantal Côté, Education Officer Analyst in our Timmins Office.

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