Submitted by: Sahra MacLean, MNO Project Officer

Reaching out to Métis Students
Métis students take part in the Infinite Reach Student
Solidarity Network Facilitator orientation session.
Back row (L-R): Jesse Donovan, Simon Bain,
Gabriel Picard, Mitchell Huguenin, Lucy Fowler,
Paul Robitaille, Melissa St Amant, Meghan Caveen,
Sheila Grantham. Middle row(L-R): Mady Arkle,
Senator St Germain, Elise ST Germain, Melissa Webster,
Kailynn Wilson, Jordyn Playne, Alicia Bloor, Andrea Jibb,
Katelyn LaCroix. Front row (L-R): Joanna Burt,
Warren Cardinal McTeague, Sahra MacLean,
Celeste Larocque, Heather Van Wyck, Helen Tracey,
Marie-Louise Lariviere, Wanda Botsford, Joseph Paquette

This October, Métis students from across Ontario gathered for the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Infinite Reach Student Solidarity Network Facilitator orientation session held in Waterloo, Ontario.

New and returning MNO Infinite Reach Facilitators (IRF) from 19 post-secondary institutions were given a two-day orientation session to familiarize themselves with the MNO, the Infinite Reach Student Solidarity Network, and to prepare for the upcoming year.

As part of the orientation, students were given tours of both Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. IRF’s from each institution gave a guided tour and shared the different services provided to students on those campuses. The IRF’s were welcomed and hosted by Aboriginal Support Staff Andre Moreau from the University of Waterloo and Melissa Ireland from Laurier University. The meeting was also attended and supported by the MNO Veterans’ Council President Joseph Paquette and MNO Senators Roland St. Germain and Carol Levis.

This year’s orientation included a presentation on the MNO Healing and Wellness Community Engagement toolkit, which supports community members in discussing the important issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. The IFR’s held a Faceless Dolls workshop and were joined by the Laurier University Change Project, which addresses issues of gender based violence on campus.

On the Saturday evening, cultural activities and a dinner were enjoyed by all. Some of the facilitators in attendance had participated in the MNO Summer Youth Cultural Program this past summer and shared their finger weaving knowledge as well as their overall experience of the program. This gathering was a great opportunity for new facilitators to meet and talk with senior facilitators and MNO Senators.

The Métis Nation of Ontario is very proud of our Infinite Reach Facilitators who volunteer their time to support the Métis community in their post-secondary institutions.

Infinite Reach is comprised of incoming and upper year postsecondary students who have the common goal of working together to enrich and enhance their postsecondary education experience. Members form a community of Métis learners within their college or university and support each other in their academic pursuits. Infinite Reach Facilitators are upper year students who can offer assistance to incoming students by helping them adjust to university life. Infinite Reach Facilitators also work to create and maintain a sense of community among Métis students. Throughout the year Infinite Reach Facilitators will host/facilitate cultural and informative events to connect students to the local Métis Nation of Ontario community councils and to the various programs, services and events of the MNO. The Infinite Reach: Métis Student Solidarity Network will serve as a community of learners with the ability to inspire Métis students to achieve their full potential and provide the support of the Métis community.