Submitted by: Tina Nichol, MNO Timiskaming Métis Council Secretary/Treasurer
Non-perishable food items are collected at the
harvest gathering. (L-R) Stephane Devost,
Devost Value Mart Owner; Tina Nichol,
MNO TMCC Secretary/Treasurer; Claude
Dupuis MNO TMCC VP/Chair; and Julie Devost,
Devost Value Mart Owner.
On November 22, 2014, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Timiskaming Métis Community Council (TMCC) hosted their 14th Annual Métis Harvest Gathering in Timiskaming Shores. The event saw more than 60 Métis and other people and included activities for children, a silent auction, live entertainment and a wild game feast.
Instead of charging admission, the MNO TMCC asked participants to bring a non-perishable food item. In partnership with Devost Value Mart, the collected food items were then distributed to local food banks just in time for the Christmas season.
The MNO TMCC had a variety of games organized for kids throughout the afternoon. Karen Beland, MNO TMCC Councillor, taught the kids how to make a dream catcher using recyclable materials. Children also had a great time making turtles out of paper bowls, which were then tied to a string and raced.
Ekela Nichol, (left) holds up her paper dream
catcher with Karen Beland, MNO TMCC
Councillor. Photo by Tina Nichol.Once the activities were finished, participants indulged in a feast that included beaver, moose, and deer meat as well as traditional Mohawk corn soup.
A silent auction took place during the event with funds going towards MNO TMCC cultural activities. Many local businesses and organizations donated to the auction. Devost Value Mart donated a turkey for the “Christmas Dinner in a Basket” prize, valued at $150. This prize was won by local MNO citizen, Lorette McKnight.
A live guitar and banjo performance by Timiskaming born MNO citizen Jamie Dupuis was the highlight of the evening. Jamie is a composer and guitarist who has spent the last seven years studying music. His first studio album is entitled Inspired by a Dream. Jamie obtained a Gracie Masulka (front) jigs her feet to the music,
while Jamie Dupuis (left) and Jamie’s uncle
Claude Dupuis, MNO TMCC VP/Chair, provide
entertainment at the harvest gathering.
Photo by Jocelyn Dupuis.College diploma from Cambrian College in Music Performance and studied classical guitar with renowned guitarist Philip Candelaria. Jamie has won many different awards, including the “Full Ride Scholarship, 2011” at the Musicians Institute of Contemporary Music in Hollywood, California.
The MNO TMCC would like to acknowledge Marilyn Chevrier-Wills—a First Nation Elder from the Algonquin Timiskaming First Nation. Marilyn organized a display of traditional First Nation culture and gave teachings to participants. Marilyn also drummed with Tina Nichol, MNO TMCC Secretary/Treasurer.
“It is fantastic to share our traditions with the various Aboriginal communities in our area. As an MNO TMCC employee and a Métis woman of Temiskaming, I long to see our partnerships grow in the community we live in. It speaks volumes to the public and our governments,” explained Nichol.