Sharing Métis Culture (K-6s)!

How much fun are kids? My kids are teenagers and I forgot how inquisitive and honest they can be! I was honored to be asked to be a part of the 2017 Aboriginal Day Celebrations at Ecole Riviere Rouge last June. It’s a great opportunity for me to share Métis Culture with our youth and touch base with Educators. (Wow – if you haven’t hugged a teacher lately – maybe you could? I was there for two days and I slept for 2 days after, I was drained). The Vice Principal, Principal and the teachers were so helpful and really engaged with the kids. I felt like I fit right in, even if I stumbled here and there with my French.

This was a great opportunity for me to share Métis Culture with our youth and touch base with Educators. (Wow – if you haven’t hugged a teacher lately – maybe you could? I was there for two days and I slept for 2 days after, I was drained). The Vice Principal, Principal and the teachers were so helpful and really engaged with the kids. I felt like I fit right in, even if I stumbled here and there with my French. I was welcomed. It has been a while since I’ve used my French, it was a bit of French Bootcamp but I survived. I’m going to practice it more regularly.

I taught the kids the importance of harvesting to our People, the meaning of the colors in our decorative sash and why we were nicknamed “The Flower People”. We also talked about how storytelling gathered the family and relatives together and could sometimes break out into a jam session and a jig or two. It felt natural to share my knowledge and I think they could tell I was excited to be there. It pushes me to learn more about my Ancestors. (I’m grateful to be currently working on a book series with an Elder and the MMF. I am learning so much from both parties).

The students each created individual pieces over 2 days and I put the pieces together, much like beads on a deer pelt. The huge mural is a collective reflection of what brings the kids together at school or what makes them happy.

At first, I was scared when I had to start assembling the pieces of the mural. This was the whole school, it’s a lot of pieces. Sometimes when you imagine a vision in your mind for the composition of a piece – it can turnout completely different when you’re creating it. Honestly – I was doubting myself. As soon as I mapped it out, I was getting excited… it felt like a new obstacle and a different kind of medium.

This was a rewarding challenge! I love how it turned out. When I was installing it, many kids were coming in to discuss the new school year with some of their teachers. They were “oowwwing” and “aahhhing” and searching for their artwork in the artwork. It was purdy cute. I hope to do more workshops with kids  – it was a treat and brought me back to when my daughter was tiny-tiny. Love it!

 

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