Elders, knowledge holders and storytellers needed for a community-led project

Submitted by: Mitch Case, MNO Youth Council President and PCMNO Youth Representative

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Historic Sault Ste. Marie Métis Council has given the green light to a project that will record and tell the story of the Sault Ste. Marie (the Sault) area Métis community. The name of the book is, The Story Should be Written Down to Pass On. Elders, knowledge holders, and storytellers are needed for this community-led project.

The book will focus on Métis oral history but will also include archival, primary source research and secondary source material. This collection of stories will recount the history of Métis people within the Sault and will explain how this Métis community thrived, survived and is thriving once again. Stories will include topics such as Métis history, resistance, resurgence, cultural revitalization, the sadness of loss and hope for the future. From funny anecdotes to stories of the land, this book will have something for everyone.

A few stories from elders and knowledge holders have already been collected; however the goal is to attain as many stories as possible from a variety of knowledge holders.

We are open to any story by individuals from the Sault Métis community. We are also interested in stories by individuals from other parts of the Métis Homeland that have a connection to the Sault (i.e. Sayers Trial at Red River 1849, Drummond Islanders with Sault connections, etc).

In keeping with our Métis view of regional territories, the Sault area can extend from the Sault, north to Marathon across to Dubreuilville, White River, Chapleau, La Cloche, Killarney, Espanola—essentially Region 4. This area can also include northern Michigan, Drummond Island and Michilimackinac.

Examples of the types of stories we are particularly interested in, include:

  • fur trade, voyageur
  • War of 1812
  • Mica Bay Incident, Robinson treaty negotiations
  • hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering plants, medicines, maple products
  • recipes and traditional foods
  • traditional economy (logging, trapping, commercial fishing, guiding)
  • music and stories of music, entertainment, etc.
  • stories from the land, places where our people lived, seasonal movement, etc.
  • stories of spirituality (ways in which you or your family connected with the Creator)
  • modern day stories of resurgence (involvement in the Powley trial, asserting rights, confrontations with game wardens, political organizing through Ontario Métis and Non-Status Indian Association [OMNSIA], Ontario Métis Aboriginal Association [OMAA], or the MNO or as individuals/families)
  • any and all stories relating to the Sault Métis community

We are also looking for Métis memorabilia that we can add to the book, such as: photographs, beadwork, woodwork, clothing, moccasins, hunting/fishing/trapping tools, maps, spiritual items, historic or contemporary documents, etc.

All contributors will be credited in print with a picture and brief biography and will receive a free copy of the published book.

In addition, knowledge holders will be given the option to be included in online outreach videos for Métis youth and community members.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact Mitch Case at mitch.case@hotmail.com or at 705-297-0084.

Published on: June 9, 2016

See ALL news articles