Submitted by: Barb Lair, MNO Grand River Métis Council Chair

Waterloo Students
Jennifer Parkinson (left), MNO Grand River
Métis Council President, and Barb Lair, MNO
Grand River Métis Council Chair, lead a
workshop at the Aboriginal Teaching Circles.
(Source: MPP Cambridge – Kathryn McGarry)

From September 30 to October 1, 2014, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Grand River Métis Council (GRMC) participated in the Waterloo Region Museum’s First Peoples Festival. Students in the area were invited to attend workshops presented by First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. There were over 1100 students in attendance over the three day event.

Jennifer Parkinson, MNO GRMC President, sat on the question and answer panel, while Barb Lair, MNO GRMC Chair and Heather Bunn, MNO citizen and 2014 Canoe Expedition participant, taught the children Métis games such as sling shots and neck, leg, and arm wrestling.

The MNO GRMC was also invited in November by the Healing of the Seven Generations organization to offer Métis knowledge in the Aboriginal Teaching Circles. Teaching circles were organized over six separate days for students in Grades 5 to 8 in the Waterloo Region.

President Parkinson, Chair Lair and Leslie-Anne Muma, MNO GRMC Secretary/Treasurer, taught the students Métis 101, using the Métis Education Kit and other resources such as furs and beadwork. At the end of each session, a short lesson in jigging also took place. The teaching circles were a great success and enjoyed by all!