Submitted by: Amanda Pont-Shanks, MNO Niagara Region Métis Council Chair

Niagara Region Métis Council
(L-R) Members of the MNO Niagara Region Métis Council:
President Derrick Pont, Chair Amanda Pont-Shanks,
Councillor Brian Kon and Youth Representative Niki Ann
Brideau. Click here to view a larger version.

On May 27, 2016, members of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Niagara Region Métis Council (NRMC) shared their traditional Métis knowledge with students from the District School Board Indigenous Summit (DSBIS). The event was very successful with a total of over 300 students in attendance.

MNO NRMC President Derrick Pont and Councillor Brian Kon set up a hands-on, interactive traditional encampment where students could learn about the life of a Métis fur trapper. Students were also given a summary of Métis history and culture.

MNO NRMC Chair Amanda Pont-Shanks and Youth Representative Niki Ann Brideau taught students traditional dot art on locally harvested rocks. Their presentation was inspired by the amazing artwork of MNO citizen Christi Belcourt.

The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) Indigenous student service, which is run by Georgie Groat and Jennifer Stewart, held a First Nation, Métis and Inuit conference last month with their Grade 7 and 8 students and allowed the youth to plan the DSBIS. The students decided that they wanted to share their Indigenous culture with their classmates and invited schools from across the Niagara region to attend.

The feedback from facilitators, students, and educators was very positive. Many teachers were excited to bring back to their schools what they learned at the summit.

The MNO NRMC and the DSBN have been in partnership for many years and this summit was just another example of their great relationship.

Published on: June 20, 2016