Way of Life Framework

The Métis “Way of Life Framework”, or WOLF is the Métis Nation of Ontario’s (MNO) unique way of documenting Métis traditional knowledge acquired through time spent living on the land. It encompasses all aspects of the Métis way of life – biological, ecological, economic, social, cultural and spiritual. Traditional knowledge is part of the collective memory of a community, and is passed orally from one generation to the next through songs and stories, as well as through actions and observation.The goal of WOLF is to document the traditional knowledge of the MNO so that it cannot be lost – our stories will carry on for generations to come.

Current WOLF Activities include:

With funding from Hydro One Networks Inc., the MNO’s first Métis Traditional
Knowledge/Land Use study was completed in the Georgian Bay traditional territory in the fall of 2009. The study involved interviews with Elders, traditional resource users and knowledge-holders in this territory, which includes the counties of Bruce, Grey and Simcoe.The goal of the study was to document the traditional practices of Métis through video and audio recordings, and to aggregate the data into a report that reflects the traditional knowledge of the Métis community.

For this important work, the MNO hired Dr. Victor Lytwyn, an expert, known for his work with Aboriginal peoples on traditional knowledge issues. An expert witness in the historic Powley case, Dr, Lytwyn is also very familiar Métis people in Ontario.

In the spring of 2010, a special study focusing on traditional and medicinal plants in Southern Ontario will get underway. The study is being completed with the support of Ontario Power Generation (Darlington New Nuclear project), the Northumberland Métis Council and the Oshawa & Durham Region Métis Council. Some of the results from this traditional and medicinal plant study will be shared with the Joint Review Panel (the approval authority for the Darlington New Nuclear project) so that the paries understand the potential impacts this project  may have on the Métis way of life.

Métis traditional knowledge and land use studies will be initiated in other regions throughout the province in the very near future.