- Weaving The Strands / Knowledge is Understanding
- Come Read With Us
- Breast Health For Métis Women
- Voyageurs of the New Generation
- Jobs for Life, Think Health!
(A project funded by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation)
A description of the project:
Weaving The Strands was conceived as a number of strands, symbolic of the woven nature of the Métis sash. The strands were developed both independently and in relation to one another. For example, knowledge gathered in strand 1 was instrumental in developing a comprehensive needs assessment that could be shared with health care/counseling professionals as part of Strand 4. The over-lap was ongoing and encouraged as the project matured.
As well, the four strands represented the four parts of our holistic journey: heart, mind, body and spirit. These too are interwoven with each other.
Strand 1 Gathering our stories - Exploring words and pictures
- Identify and refine the nature and purpose of our journey of discovery
- Research training workshop
Strand 2 Gathering our stories - Exploring the Métis landscape
- Hold a Residential School Conference to educate the public and health workers to better understand the issues
Strand 3 Telling our stories - Building our common story
- Invite participants/Survivors to share their stories, ensure the exploration process is healing for participants including Survivors and inter- generationally impacted
- Consult with all participants to ensure materials presented reflect the shared vision of the Métis community
Strand 4 Telling our stories - Building cultural awareness in the larger community
- Building awareness in the larger community around the impact of the Residential School
- Ensure responsible conclusion to the project and ensure a sustainable healing process.
Results we expected to achieve over the course of the project:
- Dramatically increase the overall skills of our membership
- Complete significant documentation of the Residential School Legacy and it's impact on the Métis in Temiskaming
- Create a comprehensive portrait of the Métis community in Temiskaming
- Educate other Health Care providers to be better equipped to deal with the effects of the Residential School system
- Establish meaningful personal relationships with one another and a more defined Métis community.
- Restore the balance of well being
- Create a sense of empowerment for the Survivors/descendants
The Temiskaming Métis Community Council was pleased to announce the "Knowledge is Understanding" Project. The project was to address the Legacy of the Residential School System and its impact on the Temiskaming Métis community. Funded by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, this ambitious project was a strong and positive first step on the long journey to healing.
The project focused on a holistic approach to community healing. The over-riding purpose of the project was to empower members of the Temiskaming Métis community by providing a variety of accessible training opportunities in conjunction with a respectful and creative public awareness campaign aimed at bringing the story of the residential school legacy to both the Métis people of Temiskaming and the general public.
Our project used sharing and healing circles to enable the Métis people to break the silence and isolation that surrounded the long-term effects of the residential school system.
The project promoted understanding of the issues, both through the campaign and by offering cultural sensitivity workshops for service-providers, educators and police.
The project was produced materials for use in the schools, mental health agencies and community groups. Staff will network and establish an on-going relationship with agencies in our region.
We also developed a small resource unit that was useful for the Temiskaming Métis Community Council, service-providers and community groups that were identified relevant programs and services in the broader northeastern Ontario.
To educate the Métis people and the general public by telling our story about the residential school legacy and its intergenerational impacts.
Pedagogy of Place - to implement a training approach to foster leadership in the Métis community that is culturally appropriate and sustainable by providing participants with employable skills (i.e. computer literacy, life skills, etc.)
To develop a long term healing process suitable to the Temiskaming Métis people by sharing the traditional knowledge and establishing a support network.
Cultural identity - by the end of the year, we had gathered a sound foundation of cultural and historical knowledge. This information included not only the legacy of the residential schools but also the cultural Strengths and traditional ways (talking circles) and non-traditional (creation of a web-site documenting a cultural atlas of Temiskaming Métis). Our Métis community had the opportunity to participate in healing circles as a first step on the long journey of self-awareness and healing.
Leadership skills - at the end of the year, we had expected a core group of people to be moving towards leadership roles within the community. By experiencing an empowering learning process, our trainers would then be able to share this knowledge with the larger Métis community.
Public awareness - by the end of the year, the region of Temiskaming had a greater awareness of the historical importance and experience of the Métis community in the area. The impact of the residential school system had been articulated through a number of mediums and public awareness of this issue was deepened and localized. The suffering was understood not just as something that happened "over there, to others" or a long time ago, but as something that profoundly affected our Métis people in Temiskaming. For our Métis community we will have had an opportunity to grapple with the issue of residential school as well as reflect on the traditional strengths available to us to embark on a healing journey.
Residential School Workshop - October 22, 23, 2001
This event was held at the Timiskaming Child Care facility in Haileybury.
The Workshop was facilitated by Dennis Windego a certified Focus Trainer from the Aboriginal Peoples Training Program, Timmins, Ontario.
24 Front Line Workers from the following agencies (including partners) participated:
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Temiskaming Substance Abuse Service
- Ontario Provincial Police
- Pavilion Family Resource Centre
- Temiskaming Métis Community Council - Project staff, volunteers and Elders Pineger Youth Centre Healthy Babies Program
- Kirkland Lake Native Women's Resource Centre Kunuwanimano
As a safety precaution, an Aboriginal Counsellor was in attendance to provide support if needed. A circle was formed for the two days and all participants took part in the traditional smudge ceremony and prayer. This was a good introduction to those who were not familiar with traditional customs. The atmosphere was very relaxed and participants shared thoughts and ideas freely throughout the entire two days.
During the stories told, it was expressed several times by some participants that they had no idea what had taken place at Residential School and they felt much more enlightened by the information shared. Others stated they felt a deep sense of sorrow and also felt a sense of urgency to move toward the healing of all Aboriginal people.
Project team/participant review:
- The Project team sees this as a very successful workshop.
- Everyone agreed the facilitator did an excellent job.
- Participants were very focused on the subject presented.
Feedback from participants was very positive and reveals a definite need for more cultural awareness for the Métis people and the general public as well.
- Familiarity - most were not very familiar with the subject matter
- Overall quality of workshop was rated as Very Good to Excellent
- Presenters knowledge of the subject matter was rated as Good to Excellent
- Usefulness - most found workshop Very Useful
- Effectiveness - workshop was rated as Effective or Very Effective
- Out of 18 responses 15 would like to participate in a similar workshop specifically focused on Training for the Front Line workers.
Summary Report Knowledge Is Understanding project
Cultural Awareness Workshop
Elk Lake Eco Resource Centre
January 28,29,30, 2002
This event was held over three days and two nights. Participants enjoyed their overnight stays in the chalet style cottages, which slept six to a cottage. The Eco Centre is situated on the Montreal River and includes conference/meeting rooms, washrooms, lounge and dining room.
The workshop itself, was facilitated by Bob Stevenson ("Trapper Bob")
The overall atmosphere of this facility was very comfortable and considered an appropriate setting for this type of activity.
Following is the agenda and activities that took place:
January 28, 2002 (1:00pm to 5:00pm)
- Opening prayer
- Eco Centre history/purpose, presented by Todd Eastman, Director
- Presentation of Métis Traditional lifestyles - Bob Stevenson
- Sharing circle
January 29,2002 (9:00am to 5:00pm)
- Reviewed Video Documentary
- Life Skills/knowledge, traditional medicines, fire starting
- Trapping (history)
- Show & tell with Métis art, clothing, etc.
- Trapping (politics and fur trade)
January 30, 2002 (9:00am to 12:00pm)
- Talking/sharing circle
- Closing prayer
a project funded by Early Years Challenge Fund
Out of 42 completed questionnaires conducted in 1999, 45.2% stated they would like to see more children’s programs and 47.6% would participate in a literacy program. 26% of respondents were identified as Residential School Survivors or descendents of. As it is now known that the effects caused from Residential School, including intergenerational impacts, has negatively affected child rearing practices, we believe an Early Years Challenge program such as this would provide needed parental support, increase literacy, and promote learning skills for young children in a more culturally appropriate manner. For example, an Elder and/or grandparents may participate and provide traditional teachings to further promote interaction between children and parents/caregivers.
- Promote literacy through reading,
- Increase readiness for school,
- Promote Aboriginal/Métis culture,
- Encourage bonding between adult and the child,
- Introduce the Michif language (the official Métis language - a mixture of French, Cree and/or Ojibway) to enhance the cultural component.
Parents/caregivers and children met once a month for approx. two hours, at one of three sites to participate in a ‘reading group’. The ‘book of the month’ was a culturally related children’s story, to be read to the children by the program facilitator while demonstrating expression and intonation. Parents/caregivers were encouraged to interact with the child and turn the pages while the facilitator was reading. Elders and grandparents were invited to give an oral story or simple teaching to promote learning and create a nurturing and fun atmosphere. Nutritional snacks were offered to participants as an added attraction. The book was then taken home to encourage parents to read to their children on their own. One Michif word was introduced each month in conjunction with a play activity such as incorporating the new word into a children’s action song.
This project targeted Aboriginal/Métis children between the ages of 0–6 years old, and parents/caregivers in Temiskaming.
The expected outcomes were:
- to have an established group participating in regular reading activities
- increased level of enthusiasm and willingness for parents and children to learn
- increased confidence and self-esteem
- increased level of participation in other community activities (including schools) involving reading and learning
- increased knowledge of Métis culture and language
- increased level of interaction between parent/caregiver and the child
- enhanced parenting skills
- increased sense of belonging and self-identity
Results were measured by:
- the number of participants involved
- demonstrated interest and attendance record
- a reward system that will be self-monitored by participants.
They will be permitted to sign out the book of the month, there will be a library card on the back where they can document each reading of the book. When they return the following month they will bring back the book and hand in the card. There will be incentive gifts for those who read the book the most, increased the number of readings over the previous month, etc.
- level of participation in other activities i.e. library cards, toy libraries, school activities, museum visits.
- demonstrated knowledge of culture and familiarity with Michif words
- observed level of interaction as a result of activities, and discussions
- observed level of confidence gained through interaction, reading and learning
Evaluations were carried out by:
- overall reviews by steering committee based on Facilitator reports and records
- evaluation questionnaires completed by parent/caregivers
- sharing circles
- committee meetings to exchange ideas
- suggestions and personal feelings
Evaluation summaries were shared with all participants and larger community through regular newsletters, email, website, and local media outlets.
This project is funded by: Aboriginal Culture Experience Program.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, receives annually $100 million of government funding generated through Ontario's charity casino initiative.
Project Coordinator: Linda Bensler
The Aboriginal Cultural Experience program was developed by the Temiskaming Métis Community Council and is intended to:
promote the history, values, culture, languages and traditions of the Métis Nation and to create an awareness of our proud heritage.
gain the recognition and respect of the Métis as a Nation and a people.
- To allow students to gain a better understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal history and culture.
- To define the differences in Aboriginal groups.
- To increase awareness of Aboriginal culture.
- To increase awareness of distinct Aboriginal communities in the region.
- To promote and preserve Aboriginal Culture and history.
- Presentations for Schools and Community Groups
- Approximate Time: 2 Hours
Presentations include some of the following:
- Oral Introduction
- Hand outs
- Craft session
- Look – Touch Display
- Video Presentation
- Power-Point Presentation
- Taste of Culture
- Story telling
The overall goal of the project was to establish a comfortable level of communication between the service providers and the Métis women in Temiskaming, create a sustainable support network resulting in better informed Métis Women on the prevention of Breast Cancer and thereby reducing Breast Cancer.
- Identify and dissolve communication barriers between the service providers and Métis women in Temiskaming
- Promote public awareness of Breast Cancer
- Educate Métis women on Breast Cancer
- Provide support to meet the needs of Métis women affected by Breast Cancer
- Promote the prevention of Breast Cancer
- Organize Cultural Sensitivity training for service providers and Health Care Professionals
- Distribute pamphlets by mail, strategic locations, advertisements, website
- Partner with Health Unit and Pavilion Family Resource Centre to assist in promoting educational material.
- Provide traditional methods for support i.e. Elder guidance, healing circles, smudge ceremonies and traditional healers.
- In partnership with Health Unit encourage and promote self-examinations, preventative check ups, healthy lifestyle
- Create a one-hour video documentary involving the personal experiences of several Métis women and how this project has affected them. This can be distributed to existing service providers, other aboriginal groups, and the Cancer Foundation to be used as an educational tool and to promote awareness.
- Print a one-year calendar with aboriginal artwork, local sponsoring business ads, and Breast Health tips, upcoming events and promotion of healthy lifestyle.
- Create a plastic coated reference card to be placed in the shower with breast self-exam instructions
- year-end dinner inviting all participants and service providers
"Breast Health for Métis Women" was an important step toward the goal of a future without Breast Cancer.
Métis, meaning "mixed" are a people that have adapted to both worlds of the Native and non-Native culture. As a result, we believe the needs of the Métis women will be met by offering that balance of conventional and traditional methods.
The project used the holistic approach, focusing on the four aspects of the 'whole' being. The mind was stimulated by the education about Breast Cancer through newsletters, pamphlets, meetings and our website, video documentary and calendar. The Métis women were in a position to make more informed decisions when choosing between conventional or traditional methods of healing the body. The spirit was lifted from receiving the spiritual teachings from the Elders. By providing the opportunity to connect with other Métis women where they were able to support each other in a safe and meaningful way to heal their hearts. This also improved on their self-esteem. Wellness can only take place when all four parts of the being are considered.
Together with the Métis Nation of Ontario Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy, Elders and advisors, we developed Traditional Healing Guidelines specific to the project.
The existing services were enhanced as a result of improved communication between them and the Métis Council. It is quite evident with the positive and enthusiastic response from the local service providers that there is a real concern and interest in strengthening the ties with the Métis community. The Cultural Sensitivity workshops created a better understanding and awareness among the existing Health care providers, which improved the services for the Métis women. The results of the Breast Cancer questionnaire sent a strong message that Métis women are in need of more culturally appropriate services. The expected impact from this project was, improved Breast Health services, the empowerment of Métis women in Temiskaming to better control their own health and a reduced rate of Breast Cancer in Temiskaming.
Temiskaming Métis Community Council Breast Cancer Questionnaire
In October 2002, the following survey was conducted.
85 questionnaires were mailed out to those on our mailing list.
26 were completed and returned.
12 questions were asked with the option to provide comments and/or suggestions.
The questions on the survey were designed to determine the general profile of the target group and if a need for this type of project does in fact, exist.
• To what age group do you belong?
• Do you perform Breast examinations on yourself?
• Have you ever had a mammogram?
• Have you or anyone in your family ever been treated for Breast Cancer?
• If you answered yes, how many survived? How many did not?
• Do you have access to Breast Cancer information/services?
• Have you ever used the existing Health Care services in your community for Breast Cancer treatment or information?
• Were you comfortable with the services provided?
• Would you feel more comfortable with Métis specific services?
• Would you rely on elders to help you during and /or after treatment for Breast Cancer?
• Do you feel that you would benefit from a Métis support group?
• Do you feel that there is a need for more public education concerning Breast Cancer?
The following are the comments and suggestions that were received.
• More Pap smear & gynecological services are also needed.
• The existing services were very unpleasant, no follow-up, no education offered.
• This would be a good education and very helpful for Métis women.
• I would feel more comfortable and talk freely with my own "kind".
• It is so important to have a support person to help you deal with cancer.
• Please go on with this program. It’s a necessity for all of us.
• More public awareness about cancer prevention should be available.
• I would definitely feel more comfortable having a Métis support group and Elder to help me cope if I had Breast Cancer
A Project of terminating Métis Community Council
PROJECT FUNDING PROVIDED BY
the Métis Nation of Ontario
Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centre Initiative
This Project is intended to be a long term initiative aimed at promoting the Métis culture and educating Métis/Aboriginal youth so they will better understand their past, present, and gain a sense of empowerment to be better prepared for their future.
2003-2004 VNG EVENTS
Standard First Aid/CPR Course
Maple Syrup Moon Cultural Celebration
Weekend Youth Retreat
Stress/Health & Nutrition/Hyde Mitt Workshop
Métis Nation of Ontario Annual General Assembly
Voyageur Tradition Supper
2004-2005 VNG EVENTS
Seeding the Lands Initiative
White Wolf Wilderness Expedition
Flat/Moving Water Canoe Training
Wilderness Safety Course
National Aboriginal Day Celebration
Snow Shoe Making Workshop
Snow Shoe Track Walk Competition
Second VNG Youth Career Fair
Walking Stick and Herb Walk
Part of the Voyageurs of the New Generation project includes the formation of a local Aboriginal Youth Group.
The group will include approximately 15 to 20 local Métis, First Nation, and Inuit youth and one board member of the Temiskaming Métis Community Council.
Duties of Youth Group Participant
- Try to attend approx. 4 meetings throughout the year.
- Opportunity to attend several cultural activities and events.
- Assist the VNG staff in delivering workshops and providing feedback to the committee.
- Excellent opportunity to get a job, make new friends and learn all about the Métis culture.
Northern College (Haileybury/New Liskeard)
Temiskaming First Nation
Town of New Liskeard
Town of Kirkland Lake
Town of Cobalt
Town of Englehart
Town of Haileybury
Temiskaming Health Unit
Métis Nation of Ontario - Timmins
Aboriginal Family Resource Centre
Temiskaming Shores Police Service - Drug Safety Program
This project is funded by the Inuit and Indian Health Careers Program
Jobs for Life, Think Health! was a community-based project of the Temiskaming Métis Community Council.
The project was funded by the Aboriginal Recruitment Office (ARCO) on behalf of the Indian & Inuit Health Careers Program (IIHCP).
Jobs for Life, Think Health! targeted Aboriginal youth in the District of Temiskaming through an awareness campaign. The campaign ran for one month beginning on September 12, 2005 and ended October 12, 2005
The goal of this project was to promote health careers to Aboriginal youth.
Our youth were encouraged to choose a career in health by creating a visible awareness in their everyday environment such as schools, clubs, churches, public bulletin boards, internet, advertisements through local radio, newspapers, monthly newsletters and an interactive information workshop.
- An advertising campaign began on September 12th and continued for one month on the website, in local newspapers, in the TMCC monthly newsletter and on CJTT and (N.Tem) radio.
- A "Jobs For Life, Think Health!" information pamphlets and posters, was created and placed in visible locations around the community.
- "Jobs For Life, Think Health!" CONTEST PRIZES
- Names were entered to win one of several prizes being offered.
- All that was required was that individuals complete a short questionnaire, which was advertised in the newspaper, in the TMCC newsletter. The contest ended on October 31st, 2005.
- An informational workshop was held on October 12th in partnership with the Voyageurs of the New Generation youth project.
- An Aboriginal role model was invited as a guest speaker to encourage youth to consider careers in health.
Links and Resources
There are many helpful websites to visit.
Here are just a few for starters.
- Rural Health Online: to promote rural health and careers in rural health
- National Aboriginal Health Organization: to promote health, health careers and health information for Aboriginals
- Northern Ontario School of Medicine: for Aboriginal Initiatives
- Indian & Inuit Health Careers Program: to promote health careers
Quote: Access to health care services is critical to the maintenance of good health. Increasing the numbers of Aboriginal health care providers is one step towards building good health in Aboriginal communities. National Aboriginal Health Organization, January 2003. Analysis of Aboriginal Health Careers, Education and Training Opportunities. P.8 www.naho.ca/english/pdf/analysis_health_careers.pdf
Some examples of health careers:
Health Care Administrator
Home Care Worker
Marriage & Family Therapist
Medical Laboratory Technologist
Medical X-Ray Technologist
There are many Bursary and Scholarship programs.
The ones below may be of particular interest to you!
Education and Training Programs
Ryerson Polytechnic University
University of Ottawa
University of Toronto
University of Western Ontario
University of Windsor
George Brown College
La Cité Collégiale
Northern College of Applied Arts & Technology
St. Clair College
St. Lawrence College