Cultural Knowledge Through Generations workshops

Children creating arts and crafts during a Cultural
Knowledge Through Generations workshop. Click
here for larger picture.

On February 17, 24, 28 and March 1, 7, 2017, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Community Support Services Program along with the MNO Family Wellbeing Program in Windsor organized a series of workshops based on the theme of cultural knowledge through generations. These series of five events engaged all ages in sharing their unique stories and experiences. Fifteen to 20 participants reflected on their cultural values and stories from their early life to their later life. Traditional knowledge and experiences were reflected in their crafts and art activities. Youth participants focused on the lived experience of senior participants and learned the importance of finding their own voice and culture. Youth participants expressed their curiosity and interest in fishing, hunting and listened to stories from their elders. On the other hand, adult and senior participants discussed the importance of eating healthy, practicing a healthy lifestyle and the importance of living a meaningful life.

Youth participants learned specific Métis cultural practices and took a handful of life skills with them such as how to bead, how to stay focused on a task, how to use a talking stick and the importance of taking turns when communicating with family or in gatherings. Adult and senior participants expressed the need to bring back traditional Métis values and practices through cultural and traditional crafts. Nutrition discussion focused on the importance of growing herbs, eating wild games vs. processed food and its impact on health, body and mind. Senior participants encouraged the youth participants to think with one question: why is it important to take right steps in life to develop good health, mind and spirit and to share personal stories?

At the end of five sessions, all participants felt the outcome of the event was very meaningful and they understood the importance of Métis cultural practices in their everyday life. Through sharing and teaching traditional knowledge, these understandings impact the next generation for better community building from all points of view.

Posted: April 25, 2017

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