Educating our youth

Submitted by: Rochelle Ethier, MNO Credit River Metis Council

Peel District School Board
Students at the Peel District School Board in
Mississauga participating in one of the
workstations on Métis history and culture offered
at their school by the MNO Credit River
Métis Council.

On October 29, 2014, MNO Credit River Métis Council (CRMC) visited Grade 3 students at the Peel District School Board in Mississauga to share Métis history and culture.

The day began with MNO CRMC Rochelle Ethier leading a discussion on what it means to be Métis, who Métis people are, and explaining the traditions of the Métis way of life. Students then rotated between four different workstations for a more interactive hands-on approach to Métis culture. The first workstation focused on Métis traditional music and included instruments such as the fiddle, wooden spoons and the Métis cultural dance—the jig!

Jim Tolles, MNO CRMC Traditional Knowledge and Resource, led the second workstation, which involved a Métis cultural display of tools, furs, and various hides. Tolles also brought with him fire starting kits, which the students got to try out for themselves!

The third workstation led by Sam Cuddy, MNO CRMC Youth Representative, involved teaching the students how to finger weave bracelets.

The final workstation, led by Rochelle Ethier, involved a discussion over topics such as: the meaning of the Métis flag; the traditional uses of the Métis sash; the purpose of hunting and trapping; and, the many roles of fire including warmth, lighting and cooking. Students also got an opportunity to touch and feel a real deer hide.

All of the preparation and planning that went into this presentation resulted in it being a huge success. “Thanks again from all of the staff and students for a wonderful presentation” said Grade 3 teacher Karen Palmer. “The kids really enjoyed the variety of hands-on activities available for them to learn about the Métis culture.”

This presentation would not have been possible without the generosity of the MNO CRMC who donated: MNO coloring books, which tell the story of the Métis people; wooden spoons; and, embroidery thread for all 90 students to the complete finger weave bracelet.

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