Siblings Mathew Knowles (left) and Samantha Knowles
(right) create their own Healing Blanket at the MNO
Atikokan and Area Métis Community Council’s Annual
Submitted by Marlene Davidson, President of the Atikokan and Area Métis Council
On April 26th the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Atikokan and Area Métis Council held their Annual General Meeting, which included a potluck dinner, presentations, and a Healing Blanket workshop for children led by Community Council Youth Representative Chantele Gouliquer. The council has designated a special area in their office for children’s activities, which was where the healing blanket exercise took place.
The purpose of the Healing Blankets is to help individuals regain or reaffirm their self-esteem, self-worth, and see their beauty and strength from within. The exercise involves covering the blankets with words of love, and to then wrap yourself with the blanket; it represents inner beauty and strength, and the gifting of the blanket symbolizes a ‘blanket of care’, which will serve as a reminder to that person that they are important, cared for and loved within the Métis nation. Being mindful of the age of the children attending the workshop, Chantele encouraged them to draw and or write things on the blanket that made them feel happy.
Grandchildren of Senator Brian Gouliquer, Samantha and Mathew Knowles, participated in creating Healing Blankets with four other children. When Chantele demonstrated how to tie the blankets, one of the children said it would take weeks to tie her own. Overall, there was plenty of enjoyment, as the children filled their blankets with drawings of hearts, flowers, animals, and words of endearment.