Submitted by MNO Education Officer Michael V. Smith

IRF midyear gathering sml
MNO Infinite Reach Facilitators met for a gathering in
Toronto on Jan. 27-28. Pictured are: (back row left to right)
Kristyna Frenken-Francis, Sheila Grantham, Tomas Lucas,
André Nault, Leah Prisque, Alexis Chapman, Cassidy
Eames, Cassidy Press, Connor McNamara, Katie
Gervais, Liam Blore, Megan Southwell, Breton Burke, Elijah
Cadarette, (front row left to right) Jessica Mageau,
Holly Pankhurst, Heather Bell, Hope Bell and Ally
Freedman. Click here to view a larger version of the picture.

Over the weekend of Jan. 27-28, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Infinite Reach Facilitators from across the province gathered in Toronto to share their experiences and learn more about Métis culture.

Infinite Reach Facilitators are upper year post-secondary students who assist new students by helping them adjust to university and college life. They create and maintain a sense of community among Métis students by hosting cultural events and information sessions.

The 25 facilitators spent the weekend participating in discussions and taking in presentations, which provided information about post-secondary education scholarships, bursaries, financial assistance and employment opportunities.

Facilitators also participated in Métis cultural training including jigging and Métis traditional games. To assist facilitators in hosting events that honour women and work toward ending violence against Indigenous women, MNO Honouring Women is Part of Métis Culture Engagement Toolkits were also distributed.

“The weekend was a wonderful opportunity to get together and network with Infinite Reach Facilitators from other post-secondary institutions,” said one participant. “We shared our experiences as Métis in post-secondary, discussed events we’ve hosted as Infinite Reach Facilitators, and talked about ways of supporting each other, Métis students at our schools and the Infinite Reach Network as a whole.”

Throughout the school year, facilitators host Métis cultural and information events to connect students to the local MNO community council(s), as well as various programs, services and events offered by the MNO. Some examples of events that facilitators have hosted include cultural activities such as Métis dot art painting, beading, finger-weaving, as well as information events such as a high school outreach and Métis 101 presentations.

Posted: March 22, 2018