Project Overview

Click here to download the PDF Backgrounder

This summer, 10 Métis youth from across Ontario will take part in an once-in-a-lifetime adventure that is also one of the most unique and rewarding summer job experiences that any student could ever have!

In the course of just over 90 days, they will follow historic fur trade routes of their voyageur ancestors covering over 2,000 kilometres by canoe and portage.   During this incredible trek, the great outdoors will be a classroom and a work place for the students to learn skills that they will use to secure future jobs and advance their future careers.  Also on this amazing journey, they will stop in 23 different communities where they will deliver presentations about Métis culture and heritage, be interviewed by the media and act as ambassadors of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO). Participants will share responsibilities for photography, videography and providing written descriptions of their experiences that will be shared through the MNO’s social media and web communications networks.  The MNO Canoe Expedition is an interdisciplinary model of experiential learning that challenges and rewards students as they gain important employment values and skills.

The skills put into practice during the MNO Canoe Expedition provide a foundation to face future employment settings, as well as valuable experience to enhance employability within today’s labour market. Among the skills participants will develop and enhance are:

  • logistics and project planning
  • risk management
  • team building
  • public speaking
  • communications
  • media relations
  • overcoming adversity
  • problem solving
  • leadership
  • time management
  • understanding natural environments
  • cultural awareness
  • social interaction

Skills Development & Training Plan

Prior to starting their trip, MNO Canoe Expedition participants will receive extensive training to prepare them for the journey and their responsibilities. Each must complete the Wilderness First Aid course, several health and safety workshops as well food preparation and storage courses. Team building activities and instruction on how to present and teach Métis culture practices such as finger weaving are also part of their preparation.

Participants will also participate in cover letter and resume writing workshops that will teach them how to explain the value of their skills to potential employers.

Project Outcomes

The MNO Canoe Expedition will help participants set and reach their career aspirations. Participants in previous canoe expeditions have testified that the experience made a lasting impact on their careers and changed “I can’t do that” thinking to a “if I work hard I can accomplish anything” attitude.  This is far more than just a summer job as it will shape the lives of participants by impacting their whole working career.

Regular updates will appear on the MNO website, Facebook page, MNO mobile app and on the MNO Canoe Expedition Twitter feed.

Click here for the launch agenda.

Click here to download the PDF Backgrounder