Submitted by: Jennifer Parkinson, MNO Grand River Métis Council President

Bringing Métis traditions and culture into the classroom
Jennifer Parkinson (left), MNO Grand River
Métis Council President, teaches students
how to jig.

The teachers of the Upper Grand District School Board participated in Aboriginal Art workshops organized by the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO). Teachers were taught Métis Dot Art by Marie-Louise Lariviere, MNO Infinite Reach Facilitator at Wilfred Laurier University, as well as loom beading and how to make dream catchers by Barbra Ricard Lair, MNO Grand River Métis Council (GRMC) Chair. At the end of the workshop, the teachers brought these skills back to their classrooms.

Stephanie Jordan, a teacher from John McCrae Public School, particularly enjoyed learning Métis Dot Art and taught her students this craft. The students’ beautiful artwork will be submitted to the museum for Zoongeheshkwaad—student art inspired by First Nations, Métis and Inuit culture and art. Their artwork will be on display at the Wellington County Museum in Elora during the Aboriginal Heritage Festival, which runs from April 30, 2015 to May 2, 2015.

Stephanie also invited Jennifer Parkinson, MNO GRMC President, into her classroom to teach students about Métis culture and history. The students learned to jig and play the spoons and also had the opportunity to feel different types of furs, hides and traps.