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Summer 2011

5

Community Councils

OSHAWA & DURHAM REGION MÉTIS COUNCIL | A CELEBRATION IN OSHAWA

Paddle, Fiddle and Jig B By Wendy Pilon who have continued to provide support in opening doors for teaching Métis history and culture in local schools; the many teach- ers who welcomed our programs; and in particular, Principal Deb Johnson of GL Roberts Collegiate and Vocational Institute. ack in November, 2010, the Oshawa & Durham Region Métis Council (ODRMC) was very pleased to an- nounce the launch of three new programs due to the gener- ous funding received from the Heritage Canada program. I especially want to recognize our key contributors: Dawn Boston, who was successful in ap- plying for the grant and adminis- tering the programs; and elder Marcel Labelle, who brought his expertise, wisdom and patience in working with local students to build a large voyageur birch bark canoe. Trina Lavallee, our artistic director not only taught the dance programs in schools throughout the area, but accom- panied the dance programs with important history lessons. The showcasing of our rich Métis culture was achieved through a jigging program in a number of local schools, a fiddle program with an award-winning Métis fiddler, and the building of a 26 foot traditional birch bark ca- noe at GL Roberts Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Oshawa. ( t o p ) A b i r c h b a r k c a n o e a t G L R o b e r t s C o l l e g i a t e a n d V o c a t i o n a l I n s t i t u t e . (bottom) The Oshawa Métis Fiddlers led by JJ Lavallee. In April, 2011, we celebrated the very successful delivery of these programs at a Métis Gala in Oshawa. A fun evening of enter- tainment was organized by Trina Lavallee with traditional dancing by students involved in the school program, and jigging by the Olivine Bousquet Métis Dancers. The Oshawa Métis fid- dlers--fiddlers taught and led by JJ Lavallee--played a number of tunes together along with great solos by two young learners: Dal- lyn Lavallee and Bailey Lavallee. Students who had participated in the dance and fiddle programs Finally, JJ Lavallee, an accom- plished fiddler who came to us from Manitoba, not only taught fiddling in a very traditional Métis fashion, but became part of our community and represented the Métis well at the many events in which he participated. Through them, and the strong support of our larger community, we ran a series of programs that will be long remembered for success- fully showcasing our Métis cul- ture in the Durham region. also did readings in between the entertainment, reminding the crowd of friends, parents and family of Métis history and cul- ture. Colin Carrie, the local MP, also attended and spoke to the group, joining in the celebration of the successful culmination of the programs. Jennifer Henry did a great job of MC-ing the event and in his usual great style JJ Lavallee ended the performance with an amazing rendition of Or- ange Blossom Special, filling the stage with dancers and bringing the entire crowd to their feet! history in area schools. This couldn’t have been accomplished without the very hard work of a number of people. As usual our community pulled together and supported each other. The ODRMC is very pleased with the results of these pro- grams. We brought a renewed ap- preciation of our history and cul- ture to the community and also had the opportunity to share that In addition to the many com- munity members who made this possible, we need to thank Bill Littlefair and Deanna Fry from the Durham District School Board,

GEORGIAN BAY MÉTIS COUNCIL

NEW MNO COUNCIL

Community Charter signed in Mattawa

On May 25, 2011, a Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Community Charter signing ceremony took place in Mattawa. The signing ceremony officially established the Mattawa Métis Council.

  • Donald Desroches, owner of Main Street Computers in

Midland and GBMC President Brenda Laurin.

Métis businessman supports Georgian Bay Métis Council

by Brenda Laurin Georgian Bay Métis Council PENETANGUISHENE

councillor for GBMC). Five years ago, Donald purchased the busi- ness from Greg and has not looked back since.

On May 18, 2011, GBMC Presi- dent, Brenda Laurin, presented Donald Desroches, a Métis citi- zen and owner of Main Street Computers with a Métis sash in appreciation of the donation of an external hard drive for the Georgian Bay Métis office.

Donald started in the com- puter business over 11 years ago when he began working at Main Street Computers for the then owner, Greg Garratt (current

Main Street Computers is lo- cated in the Angel Gate strip mall at 175 Main St, Unit #3, in Pene- tanguishene, ON (705-549-1303). You can tell Donald is a proud Métis; he has the Métis flag in- signia decal on display in his store window so that all Métis cit- izens can recognize that he is a Métis business who supports the local Métis citizens.

Thanks again Donald. GBMC appreciates your assistance.

“Métis citizens are the foun- dation of the MNO,” explained MNO President Gary Lipinski, “and at the local level they are represented through MNO Char- ter Community Councils. The councils are an important part of the MNO’s push towards its in- herent right to self-government. The local councils are also com- munication hubs for the MNO and play a significant role in fos- tering community empower- ment and development.”

The charter agreement was signed by Nelson Montreuil, President of the Mattawa Coun- cil, and by MNO President, Gary Lipinski. Around 30 people wit- nessed the ceremony. “It took a lot of hard work to put this char- ter in place,” stated President Montreuil, “and we anticipate using it to build an even stronger MNO Community Council in Mattawa.”

“I congratulate the Mattawa Métis Council for all their efforts to get their Community Charter Agreement signed,” said Presi-

  • Front row (left to right) Mattawa Métis Council President, Nelson Montreuil; MNO President, Gary Lipinski, and PCMNO Re- gional Councillor, Maurice Sarrazin. Back row: Mike Sarrazin, Roger Pedneaul, Romeo Sarrazin and Jacques Delarosbil.

dent Lipinski. “The dedication that brought us here today demonstrates what can be achieved by working together to advance Métis rights and improve the social well-being of Métis citi- zens, families and communities. The Métis citizens in the Mattawa area will be well served by those who have stepped forward to ad- vance issues important to the community.”

Community councils operate in accordance with MNO Char-

ter Agreements, like the one signed in Mattawa. These pro- vide councils with the mandate to govern, while ensuring ac- countability, transparency, and consistency. The Charter Agree- ments along with the Commu- nity Code and Community Elec- toral Code are the governance and policy documents commu- nity councils refer to when con- ducting council business, and for ensuring accountability through good fiscal manage-

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