Past Projects

  1. Weaving The Strands / Knowledge is Understanding
  2. Come Read With Us
  3. Breast Health For Métis Women
  4. Voyageurs of the New Generation
  5. Jobs for Life, Think Health!

Weaving The Strands - Phase #2

(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

Strand 2 Gathering our stories - Exploring the Métis landscape

Strand 3 Telling our stories - Building our common story

Strand 4 Telling our stories - Building cultural awareness in the larger community

Results we expected to achieve over the course of the project:

Knowledge Is Understanding - Phase #1
(Completed 2002)

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.

Expected Results:

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:

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:

Evaluation results:
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.

  1. Familiarity - most were not very familiar with the subject matter
  2. Overall quality of workshop was rated as Very Good to Excellent
  3. Presenters knowledge of the subject matter was rated as Good to Excellent
  4. Usefulness - most found workshop Very Useful
  5. Effectiveness - workshop was rated as Effective or Very Effective
  6. 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)

Come Read With Us

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.

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:

Results were measured by:

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.

Evaluations were carried out by:

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.

Key Objectives

Presentations include some of the following:

Breast Health for Métis Women

Project Implementation Framework
(Began April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2004)

Project Goal
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.

Project Objectives

Project Activities

Project Summary
"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


Voyageurs of the New Generation

A Project of terminating Métis Community Council

PROJECT FUNDING PROVIDED BY the Métis Nation of Ontario Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centre Initiative (UMAYC)

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
Career Fair
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
Genealogy Workshop
Wilderness Safety Course
National Aboriginal Day Celebration
Snow Shoe Making Workshop
Snow Shoe Track Walk Competition
Second VNG Youth Career Fair
Fort Temiscamingue
Temiskaming Tour
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

Community Supporters
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

Jobs for Life, Think Health!

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.


Links and Resources
There are many helpful websites to visit.
Here are just a few for starters.

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

Some examples of health careers:
Addictions Counselor
Dental Assistant
Dental Hygienist
Health Care Administrator
Home Care Worker
Marriage & Family Therapist
Massage Therapist
Medical Laboratory Technologist
Medical X-Ray Technologist
Nurse Practitioner
Radiation Therapist
Social Worker
Speech Pathologist
Veterinarian Assistant

There are many Bursary and Scholarship programs.
The ones below may be of particular interest to you!

Education and Training Programs

Laurentian University
Queens University
McMaster University
Ryerson Polytechnic University
University of Ottawa
University of Toronto
University of Western Ontario
University of Windsor

Algonquin College
Cambrian College
Canadore College
Centennial College
Collège Boréal
Conestoga College
Durham College
Fanshawe College
George Brown College
Georgian College
La Cité Collégiale
Lambton college
Mohawk College
Niagara College
Northern College of Applied Arts & Technology
Seneca College
Sheridan College
St. Clair College
St. Lawrence College
Ridgetown College