Aboriginal youth conference in Halton

Our Pride, Our Stories, Our Future

Submitted by Suzanne Jackson, Chair of MNO Clear Waters Métis Council

clear-water(Left to right) Suzanne Jackson (Chair of the MNO Clear Waters
Métis Council), self-identified Métis students Carolyn and Danielle
Lacka and Nick Bertrand (Instructional Program Leader: First
Nations, Métis and Inuit Education for the Halton District School
Board).

On April 30, the Halton Public and Catholic School Boards in cooperation with the Halton Aboriginal Educations Advisory Committee (AEAC) held the Our Pride, Our Stories, Our Future conference for self-identified Métis, First Nations and Inuit students in the two school boards.  The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) was represented on the AEAC by Suzanne Jackson, the Chair of the MNO Clear Waters Métis Council.

The school boards have been encouraging Aboriginal students to self-identify for several years and received feedback from parents and students that they would like the self-identified Aboriginal students to have the chance to meet and interact with other Aboriginal students. Based on the feedback, the school boards organized this conference.

Highlights of the conference included a keynote address from Talitha Tolles. Ms. Tolles was formerly a Youth Representative on the MNO Credit River Métis Council and now she is a Me to We speaker and facilitator with Free the Children, an international youth organization that seeks to make a difference in the lives of young people.

Draws were held as part of the conference and Suzanne Jackson donated a hand drum that she had created herself. The winner of the hand drum was appropriately two Métis sisters, Carolyn and Danielle Lacka.

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