Submitted by: Larry Ferris, MNO Georgian Bay Métis Council Chair

Georgian Bay Métis Council_Beausoleil Island
MNO Georgian Bay Métis Council volunteers, citizens and
staff take part in a guided tour of Beausoleil Island. Click
here to view a larger version of the picture.

On August 12, 2016, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Georgian Bay Métis Council (GBMC) volunteers were invited to Beausoleil Island—the largest island within Georgian Bay Islands National Park—to celebrate some of the achievements and work they have completed at the Cemetery of the Oaks. Most recently, theMNO GBMC assisted with tree planting efforts and were instrumental in the construction of information plaques—written in Annishinabe, French, English and Michif—that can be found beside the cemetery.

The event was led by Brian Charles, Aboriginal Liaison Officer at Georgian Bay National Park. Throughout the day, guests were treated to a free boat ride and were invited to take part in a guided tour provided by Heritage Presenter/Naturalist Shawn Corbiere.

The MNO GBMC were happy to bring along four MNO staff members— Debbie Giammottolla, Tracy Bald, Shirley Dorion and Tera Lynn Moreau Vivian—who have worked so hard and collaborated with the Council on many different projects. The celebration was an opportunity for the Council to show MNO staff some of the work they have recently done on behalf of MNO citizens.

For lunch, the Georgian Bay Islands National Park staff cooked up a barbeque lunch. While digging in to some delicious food, an impromptu brainstorming session was held between the Council and MNO staff on future events they can collaborate on. “When we join the two efforts of the Council and MNO staff for the benefit of our citizens, good things can happen,” said Larry Ferris, MNO GBMC Chair.

Earlier this spring, Chair Ferris’ son Carl planted over 20 trees on the Island on behalf of MNO GBMC harvesters. Upon returning to the Island for this celebration, Carl was thrilled to reconnect with an old friend, however unfortunately not everyone was as excited as Carl. Slithering in the bushes was no other than Carl’s old friend Pineapple the Fox Snake! Chair Ferris said that the circle of visitors spread out quite quickly during Pineapple’s visit!

To close off the celebration, Corbiere gave a presentation on the history of the Beausoleil Island and passed around several artifacts. Guests were also entertained with an Atlatl throwing demonstration—an ancient method of spear throwing.

Published on: September 20, 2016