Submitted by: Lindsay DuPré, MNO citizen

Toronto and York Region Métis Council Youth Committee
(L-R) MNO youth Elise St. Germain, MNO TYRMC Youth
Representative Christine Skura, Sheila Laroque, MNO
TYRMC President Tera Beaulieu. Click here to view a larger

On May 10 and 12, 2016, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Toronto and York Region Métis Council’s youth committee collaborated with the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) to offer daylong workshops on Métis history and culture. They visited German Mills Public School and Ashton Meadows Public School and worked with over 100 students and educators from First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-Indigenous backgrounds.

The workshops were organized as part of the youth committee’s yearlong Weaving the Sash project—an initiative aimed to strengthen connections to identity and culture for Métis youth in their region. Weaving the Sash has created opportunities for youth to learn from a variety of mentors and knowledge keepers and encourages them to continue learning and building relationships with one another through a series of seasonal cultural events. Inspired by these experiences, many of the youth have been motivated to share their knowledge about Métis history and culture; this collaboration with the YRDSB offered a wonderful opportunity to do so.

The workshops included presentations on how Métis communities first formed, the role of the voyageurs, traditional medicines, music and dance, and historical and contemporary uses of the sash. Everyone was also welcomed to join in on several hands-on activities such as playing the spoons, jigging, dot art and finger weaving. It was a powerful day of sharing stories, laughter and culture—central pieces to any Métis event!

Published on: June 8, 2016