MNO introduces Peel District School Board to Métis culture
Submitted by: Richard Cuddy, President of the MNO Credit River Métis Council
On May 30, 2013 the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) presented a Métis focused training session for approximately 120 students and 18 teachers from the Peel District School Board (PDSB).
Members of the local MNO Credit River Métis Council were in attendance and Senator Ray Bergie provided the event’s opening blessing, speaking with passion and wisdom.
MNO citizens Ginny Gonneau and Alicia Blore facilitated a workshop on Métis jigging and fiddle music. Several volunteers from the audience had the opportunity to join Blore on stage and play the spoons. She pushed their limits as they tried their best to keep up with her steadily increasing pace.
Gonneau had the audience on their feet; teaching students and teachers jigging steps. Once everybody felt comfortable enough, participants had the pleasure of jigging to several Métis fiddle tunes courtesy of Vlore. As the intensity ramped up, there were very few who could keep up to Gonneau’s amazing steps and pace. Participants of the workshop thoroughly enjoyed their dynamic performance.
MNO Manager of Education and Training Chris Paci facilitated a “Métis 101” and a look inside the Métis Education Kits for the teachers. Paci did a thorough job explaining the components of the kit while discussing various ideas about how teachers might use the kits to facilitate learning. Teachers were allowed to explore the tools inside the kits and ask questions. As always, the kits were a huge success.
The days’ training finished with a staff discussion regarding looking ahead to the 2013/2014 school year.
The MNO is grateful for the PDSB’s support in achieving respect and recognition for rights, culture, language and identity of the Métis. The MNO would like to thank PDSB Instructional Coordinator Ian Pettigrew and PDSB First Nations, Métis and Inuit/Equity Resource Teacher Krista Tucker Petrick for organizing and co-leading the event. The collaboration between PDSB and the MNO will prove extremely beneficial to the students and teachers in the Peel Region.
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