Submitted by: Tera Beaulieu, President, Toronto and York Region Métis Council

Toronto CouncilMembers of the MNO Toronto and York Region Métis Council. (Left to right)
Katherine Stewart-McNei, Chair; Marilyn Hew, Secretary/Treasurer; Tera
Beaulieu, President; Christine Skura, Youth Representative and Senator
Robert Bird.

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Toronto and York Region Métis Council along with community artists Jennifer LaFontaine and Emmy Pantin of Community Story Collective have been awarded a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to examine Métis people’s health through a Métis Digital Storytelling Project.

The project will provide an opportunity for a group of MNO Toronto and York Region citizens to make two to five minute multi-media narratives using photos, video clips, art, and sound to share a personal life story. The creative process will support Métis community members in exploring their histories and life experiences within a collective setting geared towards recognizing and affirming the strength, resiliency, and vitality of the Métis Nation. It is anticipated that the digital storytelling workshops will be held from September to October 2014.

The Métis digital storytelling workshop will encourage healing and community connection as participants share their stories under the theme of health, including mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. A key focus of this project is to explore a range of wellness perspectives and the relationship between Métis culture and health. Cultural teachings will also be provided by a Métis knowledge keeper who will facilitate sharing circles with the participants over the course of the workshop gatherings. Participants will also have an opportunity to see each other’s stories and reflect on how they evolved over the course of the workshops. While the digital story workshop is an individual process in that each participant creates her or his own story, the workshop is also a strongly collective process and will assist in building and strengthening a sense of community among the participants. It is anticipated that a screening of the completed stories will occur in late 2014. The digital stories will celebrate Métis experience and knowledge, and it is hoped that from sharing these stories, greater understanding of Métis people’s health and its relationship to culture will emerge as a result of this project.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact Tera Beaulieu, President of the Toronto and York Region Métis Council at