Discovering, building & promoting Métis identity
The MNO Summer Cultural Program
“As I have come from a background that had consisted of very little to no Métis knowledge or teachings,” said Genevieve Routhier, a previous Summer Youth Cultural Interpreter (SYCI), “coming on board to work with the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) through the Summer Youth Cultural Program was definitely a life changing experience.”
Designed to strengthen and share Métis culture and history, the MNO Métis Summer Cultural Program (MSCP) is a community based initiative comprised of two key components. The first involving comprehensive training of all summer students in culture and history including workshops on MNO programs and governance, Métis history and culture, finger weaving, beading, embroidering, snowshoe making and paddle making. The second and primary part of the program is the actual delivery of Métis culture and history programs by the students to community groups.
“This program allowed me to gain valuable work experience while gaining personal interest, culture and history, building stronger community and stepping out into the workforce with a sense of individuality all the while having a great summer,” said Melody Chislett-Morris, past SYCI.
The MSCP gives enthusiastic Métis students the opportunity to go out into the community and share their experiences and raise awareness about Métis. The participation in community events allows knowledge sharing in an interactive and engaging manner. Each Métis student brings a unique voice to the project and will continue to grow through the learning experience.
“This program allows you to be who you are and build on that confidence in a warm and friendly environment,” said Chislett-Morris. “The SYCI position has helped me gain a stronger sense of who I am both as an individual and as a member of a team.”
This year’s MSCP has an added focus on highlighting the Métis contributions to the War of 1812. Participants will take part in the re-enactment of the war along with building upon the success of previous years cultural activities.