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MÉTIS VOYAGEUR

COMMUNTY COUNCILS CREDIT RIVER MÉTIS COUNCIL | NEW COUNCIL ELECTED

A new vision for Council

By Richard Cuddy Credit River Métis Council BRAMPTON

T he Credit River Métis of Re- gion 8 have a new council. Debbie Alves returns as president. New members include Vice President/ Chair, Richard Cuddy; Senator, Ray Bergie; Treasurer/Secretary, Joyce Tolles; Youth Rep., Talitha Tolles; Women’s Rep., Karen De- rocher; Councillor, Jim Tolles; Councillor, Murray Berger, and Sr. Councillor, Bill Morrison.

On May 7th and 8th, 2011, the Credit River Métis Council at- tended training for governance and finance provided by the Métis Nation of Ontario. We went

around the table introducing our- selves and sharing our stories. Several stories included a histori- cal element of shame and denial of our heritage. We all seem to share the ongoing search for something or somewhere to be- long. I have noticed this common thread of discussion throughout our community as I connect with citizens. This saddens me be- cause I was, fortunately, not raised with this same shame or denial. My family always knew and accepted our “mixed blood” heritage. Instead of being ashamed to be Métis it always made me feel special. I was raised to celebrate hunting, fishing, trapping, the outdoors, and our connection with nature.

When I moved to a large, ur- ban area, it became clearer to me that aspects of my culture were not as well appreciated when cel- ebrated openly. However, I be- lieve this may be the case for many minority people.

The Métis are a mobile people that are spreading across the provinces, and indeed the world. Our migration is not as one large group, but more as individuals and families. We take our culture and heritage with us to these new destinations. We can also take our shame and fear, but shame and fear do not need to define us; we can choose another route.

During the training, the Credit River Métis Council decided to make choosing another route a

top priority. One training activity asked us to “Create Our Vision” by defining the type of organiza- tion we want to be. Course in- structors, Gary Lipinski and Andy Lefebvre, assisted us in this activ- ity and we developed the follow- ing vision statement:

“The Credit River Métis Coun- cil is proud to promote and pro- tect the Métis culture for citizens now and in the future.”

The Métis youth are as pre- cious to us as our past. Citizens, please reach out to your commu- nity council, elders and veterans. Learn and reinforce our culture and heritage and share it with our youth. There is no longer any rea- son for our culture to be invisible due to ignorance. While the Métis

should not forget past struggles, we can’t let them define us. We must ensure that our family her- itage and culture are passed on to our youth with pride.

Richard Cuddy Vice President/Chair Credit River Métis Council www.creditrivermetiscouncil.com crmc@rogers.com

The Credit River Métis Council represents the citizens of The Métis Nation of Ontario residing in Orangeville, Caledon, Bolton, Georgetown, Halton Hills, Mil- ton, Mississauga and Oakville. Contact us. Connect with us.

GREAT LAKES MÉTIS COUNCIL

GEORGIAN BAY MÉTIS COUNCIL

GBMC one step closer to community centre

  • Malcolm Dixon, Chair of the Great Lakes Métis Council, at

the One World Festival in Owen Sound.

Grey-Bruce Métis take part in local diversity celebration

by Brenda Laurin Georgian Bay Métis Council PENETANGUISHENE

T he Georgian Bay Métis Council has taken one step closer to a Métis Com- munity and Cultural Centre. The Building Committee and GBMC Council along with Scott Carpen- ter and supporters such as MP Bruce Stanton, MNO COO Doug Wilson and local Métis citizens, completed an initial presentation to the Town of Penetanguishene Town Council on Wednesday May 4, 2011.

The presentation was well re- ceived by Penetanguishene Mayor, Gerry Marshall, as per his comments found in his weekly e- news letter to residents of Pene- tanguishene.

“In terms of presentations, in last week’s update I very much understated what the Georgian Bay Métis Council was bringing to the table. The centre they were proposing was positioned as a Youth Centre. The Centre is all of this and much more. This will be a Georgian Bay Métis Community

and Cultural centre. The proposal would see a 75,000 square foot fa- cility being constructed. This fa- cility will be open to use by all of our citizens and it will be multi functional. Beyond the meeting and conference room amenities it will boast training rooms, healing, wellness and day care centre ar- eas. In terms of activities it will have an indoor soccer, lacrosse and field hockey field comple- mented by a walking track and 3 indoor lawn bowling lanes.”

There is much work to be done and many options to look into and funding to find, but we will move ahead one step at a time. Dave Dusome, treasurer of the Midland-based Georgian Bay Métis Council, said that the hope is for the centre to be located on the waterfront site of the former Ojibway Landing campground on Robert Street West.

“That’s our homeland. The majority of us came from Drum- mond Island hundreds of years ago, and we migrated from there to Penetang and area,” he ex- plained.

Georgian Bay Métis Council President, Brenda Laurin, hailed the project as an important de- velopment. “It will allow local Métis to capture and display our culture and language, while pro- viding vital health, training and sports facilities to the whole com- munity,” she stated in a news re- lease.

Any citizens who wish to help out with funding issues, building aspects, etc. can contact the GBMC office at 705-526-6335.

by David Clark Community Wellness Coordinator OWEN SOUND-GREY/BRUCE

M alcolm Dixon, Chair of the Great Lakes Métis Council, participated in the first-ever “One World Festi- val” held the 27th of May, 2011, in Owen Sound. The event, or- ganised by the “Inclusive Com- munities Committee”, was a cel- ebration of diversity.

Displays included activities sponsored by Community Liv- ing, and Klezmer Music, and fea- tured a Black Heritage display, Aboriginal singers and drum- mers, children’s choirs from area schools, Nepalese food, PRIDE exhibit, Chinese folk mu- sic, and of course, the MNO along with over 20 other dis- plays.

The event was alive with chil- dren who attended with teach- ers and parents. As I was snap- ping a picture, a small group of children chatted with Malcolm about the bison skull which was part of the exhibit.

Other Aboriginal presenta- tions included the Chippewas of Nawash, M’Wikwedong Native Cultural Resource Centre, and the “Restoring the Circle Gath- ering” (an event to help Aborig- inal people who attended resi- dential schools) in their healing.

The One World Festival was the culmination of a month- long celebration of community diversity, the success of which hints at it becoming an annual event, and no doubt, the Métis will be present again, proudly promoting our heritage.

YOUTH AND ELDERS

Uniting generations

by Brenda Laurin Georgian Bay Métis Council PENETANGUISHENE

I n an effort to aid youth and elders alike, Georgian Bay Métis Youth Committee mem- bers; Georgian Bay Métis Council (GBMC) President, Brenda Lau- rin; and Community Councillor, Larry Ferris, in conjunction with MNO Long-Term Care/Aging at Home Coordinators, Debbie Fer- ris-Giammattolla and Natalie Noonan, recently met with local high schools: Penetanguishene

DO YOU NEED VOLUNTEER HOURS? Help a Senior, Meet an Elder & Make memories that will last a lifetime.

Assisting with outdoor chores, raking, weeding, general clean-up.

Contactyour guidance office or call the GBMC: (705) 526-6335 xt. 213/204

Secondary; Midland Secondary; and École secondaire Le Caron.

In the meetings, the question raised was, “how do we bring our elders and youth together?” A common need was identified. Our Métis elders need to get work completed around their homes and the high school stu- dents need to obtain their com- munity hours.

The answer to both needs was to bring these two generations together to help each other and possibly build long lasting rela- tionships in the process.

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