MÉTIS YOUTH | WRITING CONTEST
“I Am Métis”
Mitchell McCron is 10 years old and in grade 5 at MacTier Public School. This is his submission to the James Bartleman youth writing competition.
Mitchell (left) with his brother
Dawson and their dog Niijii.
By Mitchell McCron Grade 5 MacTier Public School
J ean Baptiste Trudeau was born December 29th, 1783 in Montreal, Quebec. He was a French Voyageur. When he was 18 he signed a fur trade contract with the North West Company. His job was mid- dle canoe man and he would travel to Grand Portage from Montreal. He would also work as a blacksmith. Jean later worked at Fort William in 1817 and 1818 and for the Indian Department on Drummond Island from 1820 to 1828 as the blacksmith. He met Angelique Papannaatyhia- nencoe, an Ojibwa woman who was born in 1796 on Lake Huron. They had a “country marriage” on Drummond Island in 1820. This marriage would be the be- ginning of my Métis heritage.
A war broke out in 1812 be- tween England and the United States. A result of the war was the British surrendering Drummond Island to the Americans in 1822. The civilians, fur traders and their Métis families were forced from the island. Some of the Métis families were awarded land in the harbour of Penetanguishene, On- tario. Jean and Angelique were one of those families. They voy- aged in a canoe to Penetan- guishene. They had a Catholic marriage on Feb 9, 1836 at St. Ann’s Church in Penetan- guishene. They were my 5th great grandparents.
My first memory recognizing I was Métis was at a Métis Ren- dezvous in the fall of 2006 when I was 6. A Métis Rendezvous is when a group of Métis citizens gather to celebrate being Métis. Some of the things we do are clean and butcher animals, jig-
ging (Métis dancing) and voyageur games. The voyageur games include target shooting with pellet guns and sling shots, axe throwing, and pack racing (carrying packs over your shoul- der while running).
Whenever I go to a Métis gath- ering or event I wear my sash (a wide woven colourful scarf). A sash was traditionally used for many things such as hauling heavy gear and even for carrying infants or children on their backs. Also in emergencies they would cut off a piece and use it to patch clothes and bags. The colors of a sash helped to identify different Métis communities.
One of the Métis things I do is to go hunting to harvest large game animals such as moose, deer, and bear with my parents to feed our family. When we shoot the animal we offer tobacco to the animal’s spirit as a thank you
Igniting youth interest
By Brenda Laurin MIDLAND - PENETANGUISHENE
D uring March Break stu- dents from Beausoleil Is- land First Nation, along with Métis students from Midland and Penetanguishene area took part in a three day IBM IGN.I.T.E. Camp at St. Theresa’s Catholic High School in Midland.
IGN.I.T.E. stands for IGNiting Interest in Technology and Engi- neering. This unique opportunity was part of IBM Canada’s national Aboriginal strategy to encourage First Nation, Métis and Inuit youth to stay in school, build self- confidence in their technical abil- ities and explore possibilities for their future.
The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDSB) was one of 10 sites across Canada to deliver an IGN.I.T.E. Camp, in partnership with IBM. The hands-on science and engineer- ing activities were designed to demonstrate that technology is fun and exciting. Guest speakers included local First Nation and
First Nations and Métis students build robots at St Theresa’s
High School in Midland, Ontario.
Métis role models who empha- sized the importance of technol- ogy, education and students working toward their potential.
This unique partnership also included York University teacher candidates as camp instructors. The faculty and teachers of the York University Barrie site wel- comed the opportunity to sup- port First Nation, Métis and Inuit
youth. They also explored new dimensions in education through this innovative model.
Georgian Bay Métis Council would like to thank our local ed- ucation contact, Linda McGregor, Manager of First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Initiatives (SMCDSB) for bringing this op- portunity to our attention at our February Committee Assembly.
MY MÉTIS CULTURE IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN PASSED ON FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION AND I AM VERY PROUD TO HAVE IT IN MY BLOOD.
for its life and to Mother Earth as a thank you for providing the an- imals to feed our family.
When we get the animal to our house we have to wash it before we do anything with it. When the animal is washed we then skin it (take the hide off). Once it is skinned we can butcher the meat to put in our freezer. We would flesh the animal hide (remove fat and excess meat) and salt it so the hide doesn’t go bad. When all these steps are done my mother brings the hide to a tannery so we can use the hides to make leather items. The things we make out of the hides are medicine pouches, moccasins, and vests.
My Métis culture is very im- portant to me because it has been passed on from generation to generation and I am very proud to have it in my blood. I do many more things with my family besides hunting that connect me
with my Métis culture such as fish with gill nets, celebrate National Aboriginal Day and collect edible and medicinal plants. Also I live on the water and we rely on wa- ter every day to travel just like my ancestors but they traveled by birch bark canoe and I travel by a motorized boat. These are some of the things that inspire me about my Métis background.
Now for where I fit in! Jean Baptiste Trudeau and Angelique Papanaatyhianencoe had six chil- dren. One of them was Antoine Trudeau who married Cecile Rec- ollet on December 30th, 1851. They are my 4th great grandpar- ents. They had fourteen children and one was named Suzanne.
Suzanne Trudeau married Isadore LePage but she had a child named John before they met. John’s father is unknown but Isadore raised him like his own son and gave him his last name of LePage. Suzanne and Isadore had seven children of their own. Suzanne is my 3rd great grandmother.
John LePage married Ella May Melina Carriere on October 4th, 1910. They are my 2nd great grandparents. They had twelve children and adopted one. One of the children was named Henry.
Henry LePage married Edith Morson on September 16th, 1954. They are my grandparents. They had ten children. One of them was named Lisa.
Lisa married Keith McCron on September 18th, 1999. They are my parents. They had two chil- dren and one of them is me!
FAMILY HISTORY PROJECT
Keira Cameron with her family history project.
By Kristy Cameron MIDLAND - PENETANGUISHENE
to pass around her collection of objects.
he students in Keira Cameron’s grade two class were asked to re- search their family history and share their project with the class. Here we see Keira giving a presentation about her Métis culture to her classmates, who are eagerly awaiting their turn
“I liked learning about my ancestors and what they did, like doing flower beadwork and hunting buffalo. I enjoyed reading my project to my class, because then my class got to know about me and my cul- ture.”