wawa arrival
MNO Canoe Expedition arriving in Wawa, Ontario and being
greeted bMichipicoten First Nation Elder Emerson Reil
(left) and PCMNO Youth Representative Mitchell Case

On Friday, July 25, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Canoe Expedition arrived in Wawa, Ontario where they were greeted by locals on Beach Pergola.

Métis cultural interpretation presentations were held on the beach. A memorable moment occurred when a local First Nations Elder Emerson Reil challenged MNO Canoe Expedition Guide Jeremy Brown to a leg wrestling match. This leg wrestling match was unique as it was held in the waters of Lake Superior. Soaked to the bone wrestling along the shore, Brown put up a good fight but in the end the Reil was named champion.

On Saturday July 26, the voyageurs went down stream to Michipicoten Bay where they were graciously welcomed by Michipicoten First Nation members Reil and Ron Botham. Botham presented an axe as a gift for the group saying that it had cut a lot of firewood for him, and hoped it would do the same for them.

leg wrestling
MNO Canoe Expedition guide Jeremy Brown leg wrestling with
Michipicoten First Nation Elder Emerson Reil.

The young Métis then enjoyed a wonderful spaghetti dinner, and entertained fellow diners with tales of their journey from Ottawa. Throughout their journey they have been making offerings at sacred spots, and on Lake Superior that included the Pictographs at Agawa and at the Devil’s Chair – Gargantua Harbour. After dinner, paddler Emily Ingram tuned her fiddle and played a couple of jigs.

This was followed by a Pow Wow hosted by Michipicoten First Nation. Provisional Council of the MNO (PCMNO) Youth Representative Mitchell Chase was also in attendance. The voyageurs dressed in their traditional garb and taught jigging to the youth in attendance. A drumming circle was held and Michipicoten First Nation members taught the modern day voyageurs their traditional techniques.

Axe gift
Michipicoten First Nation member Ron Botham gifting an axe to
MNO Canoe Expedition guide Jeremy Brown.

The MNO Canoe Expedition would like to thank the Michipicoten First Nation for their generous hospitality.