Weaving the Sash: MNO youth hold a traditional medicine and cooking workshop

Submitted by: MNO TYRMC Youth Committee Member Elise St. Germain

Weaving the Sash - Toronto and York Region Métis Council
(L-R) MNO citizen Will Skura, MNO Knowledge Keeper
Virginia Barter and MNO Toronto and York Region Métis
Council Women’s Representative Lindsay DuPré. Click
here to view a larger version.

On Saturday, May 7, 2016, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Toronto and York Region Métis Council (TYRMC) Youth Committee hosted a Métis medicine and cooking workshop at the Fort York Historical Site. This workshop was part of the MNO TYRMC Youth Committee’s Weaving the Sash: Métis youth, culture and connection (Weaving the Sash) project, generously funded by the Laidlaw Foundation.

MNO TYRMC Senator Constance Simmonds began the workshop with an opening prayer and performed a smudging ceremony on the roof of the Fort York Visitor Centre. Senator Simmonds went into great depth on the teachings of the four sacred medicines: tobacco, sweetgrass, cedar, and sage. The youth learned about the significance of these medicines for the four stages of life, the four directions, and the role they can play in our own personal healing. Each youth then built their own bundle using fabric and the four types of medicine.

In the afternoon, MNO Knowledge Keeper Virginia Barter taught the youth her bannock recipe and they cooked it over the fire in the historical kitchen. Once it was ready, everyone enjoyed a feast of bannock and the other dishes lovingly prepared by Barter and the MNO TYRMC Youth Committee, such as venison, smelt, and duck. Barter also shared traditional foods prepared in contemporary ways, which proved that we can still enjoy healthy, traditional diets in our busy, urban lives. It was a fun and delicious way to build relationships with each other, our elders, and our Métis culture! Each of the MNO youth were gifted a copy of a Métis cookbook.

The final event for the Weaving the Sash project will be even more fun and will take place late this summer.

For more information about Weaving the Sash and to find out how to get involved, please send an email to tyrmc.youth@gmail.com. For regular updates about the project, please visit the MNO TYRMC website at http://www.torontoyorkmetis.com/ and check out their Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/tyrmc/timeline) and Twitter (@TOYorkMetis) accounts.

Published on: June 10, 2016

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