Métis youth meet at Camp Kitchikewana

Camp Kitchikewana (1)Métis Youth from the Métis Nation of Ontario Georgian Bay
and Moon River Métis Councils learned about Métis way of
life during a recent trip to Camp Kitchikewana. The annual
excursion took place from June 13 to 15. Click here to view
a larger version of this image.

Submitted by MNO Georgian Bay Métis Council Chair Larry Ferris with information from MNO Moon River Métis Council Treasurer Erin Hadaway

Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Georgian Bay Métis Council (GBMC) and Moon River

Métis Council (MRMC) youth attended a three-day adventure at Camp Kitchikewana from June 13 to 15.

There were 22 youth and five councilors attending from the MNO GBMC and five youth from MNO MRMC.

The camp, run by the YMCA, is located on Beausoleil Island National Park in Georgian Bay and is one of the first places Métis stayed when they came to the area.

This is the eighth year the MNO GBMC organized the excursion for youth and the first time MNO MRMC joined in. It provided an excellent opportunity for Métis youth from the two councils to get to know each other.

During the camp, youth learned about the healing benefits of Métis salve from Knowledge Holder Janice Ferris, tried finger weaving and beading with Knowledge Holder April LaCroix-Bellinger and heard Métis stories from MNO MRMC Treasurer Erin Hadaway.

They also learned about orienteering and how to start a fire, and went canoeing, kayaking and swimming. On a medicine walk, they found turtles and several types of snakes.

Later during a Parks Canada presentation, the youth were able to hold a live fox-snake named Pineapple.

Campers ranged in age from five years old to 16. The experience provided a wonderful opportunity to watch older Métis youth help out the younger participants.

The campers bonded quickly. Though they met just a few days before, they looked like they had been friends for years. The sense of community was amazing and was supported by MNO GBMC Youth Representative Dalton Latondress and his brother Devin, former youth campers, who came back as councilors.

The Métis youth bonded as a community and worked to support each other, creating a successful experience for everyone and increasing everyone’s self-confidence in the process.

The children were awesome ambassadors for the Métis people and will be great future leaders.

The experience was possible thanks to the support from MNO Georgian Bay Métis Council and the financial support from Ontario Power Generation.

Posted: Sept. 19, 2018

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