MNO Canoe Expedition recognized with Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award

Lieutenant Governor Award - Canoe ExpeditionMembers of the MNO Canoe Expedition at Queen’s Park
following ceremony where they received the Lieutenant
Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award. (Left to right)
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant
Governor of Ontario; Geneviève Routhier,
Jerry Lavallee, Emily Ingram, Heather Bunn,
Elizabeth Clapin, Josh Szajewski; Maria Topalovich,
Board Member, Ontario Heritage Trust. Expedition
members unable to attend the ceremony were Jeremy
Brown, Kyle Grenier and Amilia DiChiara (Picture by
Tessa Buchan, courtesy of the Ontario Heritage Trust).

On February 27, 2015, the Métis Nation of Ontario’s (MNO) 2014 Canoe Expedition participants—Jeremy Brown, Kenora; Heather Bunn, Fergus; Elizabeth Clapin, Manotick; Amilia DiChiara, Thornhill; Kyle Grenier, Midland; Emily Ingram, Sault Ste. Marie; Gerald Lavallee, North Bay; Geneviève Routhier, Sault Ste. Marie; and Josh Szajewski, Kenora—were presented with the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award at a ceremony at Queen’s Park in Toronto. The Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards are presented annually to individuals, groups and communities that have made outstanding contributions to conserving Ontario’s heritage.

Members of the MNO Canoe Expedition departed on May 26, 2014, from Mooney’s Bay in Ottawa and followed the historic routes of the fur trade until they arrived in Thunder Bay on August 22. Their route covered over 2,000 kilometers and took them through 23 Métis communities. Along the way the young voyageurs shared their heritage at community events where they demonstrated and taught traditional Métis storytelling, games, music and jigging.

“We are all very proud of the leadership shown by our young Métis Voyageurs,” said MNO President Gary Lipinski. “They provide a shining example of what is possible when young people set out to be all they can be and provide a living symbol of the relationship between our rich heritage and our promising future.”

The MNO Canoe Expedition was an interdisciplinary model of experiential learning that challenged and rewarded its participants and helped them gain important and transferrable skills, knowledge and abilities. This project provided equipped Métis youth with knowledge of their culture that can be passed down to future generations and taught them skills that they can put into practice as they enter today’s labour market. Click here for more information about the MNO Canoe Expedition.

At the same ceremony on February 27, Métis youth Mélanie-Rose Frappier also received a Heritage Trust Award. Click here to read her story.

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