A weekend of knowledge sharing and community connections

IR midterm meetingMNO Infinite Reach Facilitators, staff and community
members at the 2015-2016 Infinite Reach Midterm Meeting
in Toronto. Front row (left to right): Alicia Blore, MNO
Education Officer; Senator Verna Porter-Brunelle; Senator
Cecile Wagar; Victor Brunelle; Katie Baltzer, University of
Windsor. Middle row (left to right): Hope Lelieveld, Nipissing
University; Janna Garrett, Nipissing University; Dana
Carson, University of Windsor; Faith Bell, Lakehead
University; Madeline Dennhardt, Confederation College;
Melissa St. Amant, Wilfred Laurier University; Elise St.
Germain, University of Toronto; Shanese Steele, Trent
University; Paul Robitaille, Lakehead University. Back row
(left to right): Ben Robitaille, Confederation College; Maddy
Arkle, Western University; Michael Peters, Wilfred Laurier
University; Aaron Oakes, Lakehead University; Joelle T
horgrimson, Northern Ontario School of Medicine; Renee
Monchalin, University of Toronto; Karly Chapman,
University of Guelph.
Submitted by Alicia Blore, MNO Education Officer

The weekend of October 23 to 25 was truly a Métis fun-filled weekend for old and new Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Infinite Reach facilitators!

Métis post-secondary students in the MNO Infinite Reach Student Solidarity Network gathered in Toronto for the Infinite Reach Midterm Meeting where they were given the opportunity to connect with senior facilitators about their past experiences, as well as connect with MNO Senators, community members and MNO staff.

New and returning MNO Infinite Reach Facilitators (IRF) enrolled in 11 post-secondary institutions from across the province were in attendance. All facilitators participated in a two-day training session to further familiarize themselves with the MNO, the Infinite Reach Student Solidarity Network, and to prepare for the current school year.

This year there were presentations on MNO programs and services in addition to cultural knowledge training. Community Engagement Toolkits were also distributed in order to assist Infinite Reach Facilitators in hosting events Honouring Our Women and ending violence against Aboriginal women.

One of the cultural activities included Métis jigging and dancing, facilitated by MNO staff member Anne Trudel. Facilitators enjoyed jigging in group dances such as the Rabbit Dance.

When facilitators were not jigging, they were learning to finger weave, embroider, and bead a five petal rose in honour of victims of violence. Passing on traditional knowledge is very important to the Infinite Reach facilitators who can then take back and share what they learn with their local community and post-secondary institutions.

The MNO is very proud of its Infinite Reach Facilitators; they volunteer their time to support the Métis community in their post-secondary institutions.

Infinite Reach is comprised of incoming and upper year post-secondary students who have the common goal of working together to enrich and enhance their post-secondary education experience. The objectives of the Infinite Reach Facilitators is to offer assistance to incoming students by helping them adjust to the transition of post-secondary life, connect Métis learners with the MNO community through cultural events, provide incoming and returning students with a culturally appropriate support system that encourages the maintenance of the traditional Métis values and practices and increase awareness of post-secondary education opportunities among secondary school students by having Infinite Reach facilitators engaged in outreach to high schools throughout the province. Other objectives of the program include: providing facilitators with the opportunity to learn how to effectively raise awareness about issues such as barriers to education for Métis people and the prevalence of violence against Aboriginal women. The Infinite Reach: Métis Student Solidarity Network serves 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.

Published on: November 4, 2015


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