midland-visit-2Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) officials with MNO
staff at the MNO Midland office. (Left to right) Back row: Wenda
Watteyne, MNO Director of Healing and Wellness; Jo-Anne Parent,
MNO Regional Employment & Training Coordinator; Lorraine
Mountney, MNO Community Support Services Coordinator;
Stephanie Prosen, MCYS Manager of Aboriginal Strategy Unit;
Darryl Sturtevant, MCYS Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic
Policy & Planning Division; Tera Lynn Copegog, MNO Community
Wellness; Debbie Ferris-Giammattolla, MNO Community Support
Services/Aging at Home Coordinator; and Alden Barty, MNO
Consultation Assessment Coordinator.
Front row: Shirley Dorion, MNO Aging at Home; Jodi Blue, Healthy
Weights Connections Coordinator; Tracy Bald, Community Wellness;
Mary Mackie, MNO Métis Healthy Babies Healthy Children; MNO
Senator Audrey Vallee; and Ashley Collins, MCYS Senior Policy
Over the next 18 months, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) will be working with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) on the development of an Aboriginal Children and Youth Strategy. As part of this partnership, representatives from the MCYS met with the MNO at the Midland office on July 17, 2013 for an overview of community projects and programs in the area.

MNO management in attendance were: Doug Wilson, Chief Operating Officer; Wenda Watteyne, Director of Healing and Wellness; Jennifer St. Germain, Director of Education and Training; and Scott Carpenter, Manager of Projects and Partnerships. MNO Senator Audrey Vallee and Provisional Council of the MNO (PCMNO) Region Seven Councillor Pauline Saulnier were also in attendance.

Ministry representatives included: Darryl Sturtevant, Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Policy & Planning Division; Stephanie Prosen, Manager of Aboriginal Strategy Unit; and Ashley Collins, Senior Policy Advisor.

The MNO presented the Ministry with an overview of MNO programs and services provided through the MNO Midland office. This included information in the areas of healing and wellness, education and training and lands, resources and consultations. Presentations featured perspectives from MNO front-line staff; this was followed by an open dialogue with the Assistant Deputy Minister.

Ministry representative were introduced to Métis culture and heritage. MNO Summer Cultural Students Alexandra Dusome, Katelyn LaCroix and Justin Blondin facilitated a beading circle, finger weaving lessons, live fiddle music and jigging lessons. Everyone enjoyed a traditional Métis feast.

The MNO would like to thank the Ministry and the Government of Ontario for partnering with the MNO in the development of a multi-year Children and Youth Strategy.