Submitted by: Wendy Stewart, Manager of Mental Health and Addictions

MNO youth_Mattingly Turgeon
Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) youth Mattingly Turgeon at
the “We Belong” conference in Vancouver. Click here to
view a larger version of the picture.

On November 17-19, 2016, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) youth Mattingly Turgeon and Wendy Stewart, MNO Manager of Mental Health and Addictions, attended the We Belong conference held in Vancouver along with other Métis National Council (MNC) delegates and Indigenous youth. This international conference focused on life promotion to address Indigenous suicide.

“My fire to keep driving for answers about my culture and history is recharged as I come out of this conference,” said Turgeon. “Culture is so important when it comes to mental health and wellness.”

Among an impressive delegation of Indigenous community members from across the globe, the conference highlighted how culture is at the foundation for making a difference in social equity, life promotion and for shifting the way we think about supporting Indigenous families across a lifespan.

Two days prior to the conference, Turgeon, along with other youth from across the country, attended a retreat on current mental health issues within communities and future directions on their roles in facilitating wellness and life promotion. Much of these discussions were subsequently tabled at the We Belong conference, driving change in how Indigenous youth want to be engaged in leading initiatives for the wellness of their communities.

In addition to being a fruitful opportunity to network and share knowledge, Stewart says that the Conference left both her and Turgeon with renewed energy and ideas to promote and support Métis community wellness. Stewart plans on sharing this knowledge with leaders within the MNO community.

Turgeon currently resides in MNO Region 5 and is involved in MNO Youth programming. She is currently studying Indigenous Social Work at Laurentian University.

Published on: January 5, 2017