Submitted by: Sahra MacLean, MNO Infinite Reach Facilitator for Carleton University
Participants of the moccasin workshop. (Left to right) back row: Naomi Sarzan,
Jessica MacLean, Warren Cardinal McTeague, Sydney Ducharme, Benny
Michaud and Adam Gauthier. Middle row: Senator Lois McCallum, Sahra
MacLean and Brittany Anderson. Front row: Tegan Mandeville.
From March 1-2, 2014 the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Infinite Reach Student Solidarity Network facilitators from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University came together to host their first Métis moccasin workshop.
Held at Carleton University, 19 students from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and Algonquin College attended the event.
The workshop was taught by Tegan Mandeville, the MNO Infinite Reach Facilitator for Loyalist College. An accomplished Métis artisan, Mandeville shared her skills and techniques with the students. MNO Senator Lois McCallum also attended the event. Senator McCallum provided the opening prayers, shared stories and kept moral up when stitching got challenging.
This was the second event held in the winter semester by the Carleton University Infinite Reach facilitators Sahra MacLean and Gabrielle Fayant. The workshop was a great success and was enjoyed by students and MNO staff.
Benny Michaud and Warren Cardinal McTeague cutting the hide.
“When I started at Carleton we didn’t have Métis specific students events,” said MNO Post-Secondary Officer and Carleton University Ph.D. student Sheila Grantham, “and thanks to all the facilitators there are now spaces where Métis students can find supports and friendly faces.”
The event was one of many held at the university. MacLean was happy to see so many youth in attendance.
“At our weekly beading circle the group kept saying they wanted to try making moccasins,” explained MacLean, “and to see it come together with so many new faces was a great feeling.”
Maclean hopes that the MNO Infinite Reach program can continue to grow and support more students in their post-secondary journey.
The MNO Infinite Reach: Métis Solidarity Network is comprised of incoming and upper year post-secondary students who have the common goal of working together to enrich and enhance their post-secondary education experience. Infinite Reach facilitators offer assistance to incoming Métis students by helping them adjust to university life and also work to create and maintain a sense of community among Métis students. Throughout the year, Infinite Reach facilitators host cultural and informative events to connect students to the local MNO community councils and various programs, services and events of the MNO. To learn more about MNO’s Infinite Reach program visit: /programs/education–training/infinite-reach