The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) was pleased to join the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) as they gathered for their 3rd Indigenous Conference Circle. The Circle was an opportunity for all OPSEU members to immerse themselves in a special knowledge-sharing event – Discovering the Métis – The people of the Sash.
The conference, held June 16-18, 2023, took place at the Unifor Family Education Centre in Port Elgin Ontario, moments away from the waves and water of Lake Huron.
The gathering was brimming with learning opportunities hosted by MNO staff, MNO senators and others, including an opening address from MNO President Margaret Froh and workshops exploring Métis traditional music and dance, finger-weaving, the Michif Language, and lessons on beading.
MNO staff from the Midland and Owen Sound offices participated as workshop facilitators and at information booths highlighting the many programs and services offered by the MNO.
President Margaret Froh gave regards via video, saying, “This is a wonderful opportunity to share and celebrate our incredible Métis history, culture, and traditions, as well as showcase the beauty of our Métis heritage through storytelling, art, music, and dance.”
Other Métis speakers shared their unique perspectives and voices throughout the weekend. To see a full list of conference speakers and facilitators involved, be sure to read the 2023 OPSEU Conference Booklet.
“I’m so thrilled because this was such a necessary and educational event. I think that we will see the OPSEU members blossom because of this experience” shared Theresa O’Conner, OPSEU/SEFPO Indigenous conference planning committee member.
The MNO extends its gratitude to the organizers and staff who participated in creating such a meaningful and engaging opportunity. As weaving a sash takes dedication and care, so do the actions of learning and reconciliation.
To view Métis Minutes, a series of educational videos filmed at the event, please click the button down below! Videos explore jigging, beading and finger weaving.
OPSEU/SEFPO represents approximately 180,000 members across Ontario. They are full- and part-time workers, young and old. They trace their ancestry to all parts of the globe – as diverse a group as you could imagine. Our members work for the Ontario government, inside community colleges, for the LCBO, in the health care sector, and they are employed in a wide range of community agencies within the broader public sector.