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Métis Nation of Ontario Summer Youth Cultural Program Workshops Available, Métis Nation of Ontario-Thunder Bay

Our workshops are free and fun for all ages. The Summer Youth Cultural Program workshops will provide opportunities for participants to engage with Métis culture, traditions, and history. Participants have the opportunity to be involved in Métis music and dance, Métis crafts, traditional outdoor activities, and interact with historical artifacts and symbols of the Métis nation.

Music and Dance Workshop

  • Music and dance are important aspects of the Métis culture. Originating from the early 1800’s, Métis music and dance has evolved in many ways. Through this workshop participants will learn about the history of Métis music and dance such as, Métis fiddle music, and Métis jigging. The activities we provide include; Métis Red River Jigging; Métis Fiddle demonstration; Métis spoon accompaniment; Métis Group dances.

Métis Arts Workshops

  • Dot Art: Dot Art is a contemporary art form that mimics the intricate beadwork of the Métis people.  In our Dot Art workshops we provide participants with a background on Métis art forms including Dot Art and Beadwork. We then provide participants with paint/markers and paper for participants to have a try at Dot Art.
  • Finger Weaving: In our finger weaving workshops we teach participants how to finger weave their own small sashes. We provide the wool to finger weave with along with any other supplies needed. This workshop takes about 45 minutes to an hour and we can only take on around 40 participants due to the one on one teaching that is needed in order to understand how to finger weave.

Métis Craft Workshops

  • Beading: The beading workshop is recommended for participants aged 15 and up. We will teach participants how to bead traditional Métis flowers on wool using small seed beads. This work shop can take up to 4 hours depending on the size of the group.
  • Paper Canoe: This session involves an introduction to how birch bark canoes are made, as well as a history of the canoe in the fur trade. The participants will be given materials to decorate and assemble their very own paper canoe.
  • Paper mukkuk: This session involves an introduction to how birch bark baskets (mukkuks) are made. The participants will be given materials so make their own paper version of a birch bark mukkuk.

Historical Artifact and Symbolism Workshop

The Métis have various artifacts consisting of tools, modes of transportation, and different objects that shaped their culture. Through games and activities, the participants will learn about Métis artifacts including its function. Various artifacts will be brought in and used in an interactive and educative way. Some of the activities we provide include:

  • Métis Symbols Bingo:  We provide a bingo sheet with Métis images (artifacts and ect..) it works exactly like bingo except with images instead of numbers. This activity is great for seniors in nursing homes and small children.
  • Mystery Bag: This great activity is designed for preschool and kindergarten aged children. We provide a bag full of historical Métis artifacts and ask participants to pick out an object and try to guess what it is and its historic function.
  • Storytelling: Stories have been a large part of Métis oral traditions, workshop attendee’s will be able to hear stories and ask questions about Métis culture.

Outdoor Activities

  • Capture the Métis Flag: This session involves a history of the Métis flag followed by a fun game of capture the flag between the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Northwest Trading Company.
  • Voyageur Games: This workshop can be either inside or outside. The games test the Métis voyageur’s skills, wit, strength and competitive nature.

Our workshops give people the opportunity to learn about Métis history and culture through storytelling, music, dance, games, visual arts, as well as hands-on artifact displays and cultural items. Feel free to contact us with any questions or to set up an appointment.
Casandra Gravel
Summer Youth Cultural Program Lead
Métis Nation of Ontario-Thunder Bay
226 May Street South
Thunder Bay, ON, P7E 1B4
Phone: 805-355-3449