Reconnecting youth with Métis traditions and culture through art

Submitted by Susan Schank, Office Coordinator for the MNO Great Lakes Métis Council

Youth crafts
Métis youth taking part in the MNO Great Lakes Métis
Council’s Youth Art Program.

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Great Lakes Métis Council has recently launched a new initiative to reconnect youth with their Métis traditions and culture, the Youth Art Program.

The Youth Art Program is designed to develop artistic talent and creativity and develop understanding and awareness of Aboriginal culture and tradition by providing theoretical knowledge as well as historical and cultural context of the subject being studied. It allows students to apply and develop the skills being taught through a variety of styles and subject matters and makes sure the student not only understands the work, but that they are connecting with their work and enjoying what they are doing.

The MNO Great Lakes Métis Council Arts Program has four programs which follow the Medicine Wheel, four harvesting cycles, four stages of life, four elements of life and four directions. Each program has three courses with roughly one course per month. Each course is structured to ensure the students growth and development throughout the program.

The goal of the program is to reconnect youth with Métis traditions and culture through art. Each course will be taught by experienced teachers teaching contemplative arts, a way of being with spiritual tradition and way of life, wisdom teachings with a goal of strengthening the student’s leadership, respect and discipline skills.

Each program starts the first month of that season: March 21, June 21, September 21 and December 21. Youth are from several communities including Grey, Bruce and the north end of Wellington counties.

Thank you to Bruce Power for their support.

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