HeritageCelebrationThe weekend of June 23 and 24, the MNO Oshawa and
Durham Region Métis Council held its 12th annual Métis
Heritage Celebration in Memorial Park in Oshawa. Among
the activities and entertainment were demonstrations in
finger weaving, storytelling, jigging, fiddling and more. Click
here to view a larger version of this image.

It was a rainy weekend in June but that didn’t stop the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Oshawa and Durham Region Métis Council (ODRMC) from hosting another great Heritage Celebration.

The amazing line up of entertainers for the 12th annual event, including Ariko, Amanda Rheaume, Leah Belle, Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers, Alicia and Liam Blore, Auriele Diotte, All Our Relations Drum Circle and the Gravel Road Fiddlers, kept the audience tapping their toes all day long.

The event took place on June 23 and 24 at Memorial Park in Oshawa, which also featured a number of vendors and exhibitors. Among the other activities for attendees were Voyageur Games, a silent auction, storytelling and cultural workshops in fiddling, jigging, spoons and more.

A highlight of the event was a talk by Trent University Durham graduate Sean Badgley who spoke to the audience about reconciliation. Badgley studied the history of Canada’s Indigenous people, and the history of Indigenous rights activism.

“To me, reconciliation means respecting and advocating for the rights of Indigenous people, their histories, cultures, and traditions. In addition, reconciliation means working towards righting the wrongs of the past, learning from those wrongs, and making sure that they do not happen again,” he said.

In 2015, he started volunteering at Oshawa Community Health Centre drum socials and in September that year was asked to be Trent University Durham’s first Firekeeper, a job he held for three years.

“With my position as a Firekeeper, I also learned firsthand the importance of elders and Indigenous traditions, protocol for the territory we are situated on, and an immense number of details that no book could teach you, which I am beyond grateful for,” he said.

“And all of this, helped form my views on reconciliation… Things as simple as learning about the traditional territory you are standing on, learning the about the treaties associated with it, or learning some of the languages of Indigenous nations, which can even be learned through an app on your phone, can be some steps in working towards reconciliation, and respecting the history and cultures of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. ”

The MNO ODRMC would like to thank special guests MNO President Margaret Froh, Oshawa Mayor John Henry and Oshawa Member of Provincial Parliament Jennifer French for their attendance and participation.

Hopefully the rain stays away next year!

Posted: Sept. 11, 2018