Submitted by: Ashley Laplante, Social Service Worker student at Algonquin College

Reta Gordon_Algonquin College Metis feast
MNO Honourary Senator Reta Gordon (right) with Elena
Abel (left), Aboriginal Program Coordinator at Algonquin
College, at the Algonquin College Métis feast. Click here to
view a larger version of the picture.

On November 3, 2016, Métis students at Algonquin College attended the annual Métis Feast hosted by the college’s Mamidosewin Centre. The centre, which aims to support and empower Indigenous students through a variety of cultural programs and services, hosts a different feast on the first Thursday of every month. There is always a great turnout with around 50-60 students.

With the sounds of fiddle music playing in the background, students were welcomed by the scent of a home-cooked meal prepared by Elena Abel, Algonquin College Aboriginal Program Coordinator. The feast consisted of stew, beans, and baked bannock.

As a special treat, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Honourary Senator Reta Gordon brought in a pot of her homemade hamburger soup―also known as poor man’s soup. The recipe can be found in the MNO Métis Cookbook and Guide to Healthy Living: 2nd Edition and was submitted by the late Earl Scofield who was a MNO veteran and former MNO Senator.

The Métis Feast will be featured on an upcoming CBC Radio segment called D is for Dinner―a featurette on the daily drive-home show All in a Day. Host Alan Neal interviewed staff and students about the connection to food as culture.

“We try to be a home-away-from-home for our students,” says Abel, who has worked at Mamidosewin Centre since 2010. “By providing a hot, home-cooked meal, students can connect with each other and our services, and in this way we address some of the homesickness students might feel.”

There are over 1,000 Aboriginal students who study at Algonquin College. For more information about the Mamidosewin Centre at Algonquin College, please visit

Published on: December 5, 2016