Submitted by: PCMNO Senator Verna Porter-Brunelle

Gathering Of Elders Photo
PCMNO Senator Verna Porter-Brunelle (centre)and other attendees of the first ever Gathering ofElders. Click here for larger picture.
From September 11-14, 2017, Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) Senator Verna Porter-Brunelle attended the first ever Gathering of Elders in Edmonton Alberta. Senator Porter-Brunelle attended the gathering as a member of the Elders Justice Committee, which was formed in 2017 by the Ministry of the Ontario Attorney General. Senator Porter-Brunelle was among 13 respected Indigenous Elders from diverse communities across Ontario appointed to the Committee. Ontario established the Elders Justice Committee to provide advice to the Attorney General on how to improve the justice systems’ responsiveness to the needs of Indigenous people and support the reclamation of Indigenous legal systems. Senator Porter-Brunelle joined approximately 4,600 elders and helpers from across the country.

The Gathering allowed the Elders to collaborate on how to improve Canada’s education and legal systems from an Indigenous perspective. It offered the opportunity to share knowledge with youth, which helps to bridge the generation gap and allows the younger generations to demonstrate respect, regard and honour for their Elders.

At the Elders Gathering, Senator Porter-Brunelle wore her Métis sash, which became a special conversation piece that allowed her to share her Métis heritage.

During the three day event, group sessions included Reconciliation, Climate Change, Revitalization of Culture and Language, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Indigenous Health. The keynote speaker for the Language and Cultural Traditions session that Senator Porter-Brunelle attended was Member of Parliament (MP) Robert-Falcon Ouelette. MP Ouelette is an Indigenous veteran and a former university professor.

There were many Indigenous entertainers including Métis jiggers and fiddlers, Inuit throat singers and First Nations dancers who performed in their traditional regalia. Attendees enjoyed traditional food such as moose and the event was a great experience. The Elders Justice Committee has already received two requests to host the next gathering in 2018.

During the Gathering, Senator Porter-Brunelle and the other members of the Ontario Elders Justice Committee also travelled to Jasper to hold a ceremony.

PCMNO Senator Rene Gravelle and PCMNO Region 2 Councilor Cam Burgess also attended the Gathering. Senator Porter-Brunelle had the opportunity to meet with both Senator Rene Gravelle and Councilor Burgess during the event.

For more information on the National Gathering of Elders please visit:

Posted: October 11, 2017