(Surrey, BC) On Friday September 28th, 2012 a three hour workshop was made by Metis Connect, comprising two BC Métis Federation representatives, to 17 members of the management teams from the City of Surrey. The seminar was in response to a racial incident involving a Métis worker and her superior which become public in 2011.
The purpose of the Métis Connect workshop was three fold; it was an attempt to better define and promote Metis heritage and culture, increase awareness of about the contemporary Metis community in Surrey (Nova Métis Heritage Association), and enlighten the City of Surrey group to the shortcomings of stereotyping as it relates to who the Métis people are. The Métis Connect workshop involved a video on Metis culture followed by a live jigging demonstration by our own Silver Tip Swingers and Butter town Jiggers. The workshop also included two breakout sessions to discuss a number of topics.
Metis Connect is an idea that has spawned from the ideals of BC Métis Federation board member Joe Desjarlais. The purpose of the workshop is to inspire Canadians and British Columbians and their institutions to change the way they think and act about Metis people. The Métis Connect lessons deal with our history, our image and contemporary encounters. The inaugural Métis Connect workshop group was very responsive to the questions and the workshop breakouts. BC Métis Federation facilitators showed a segment from the Gregory Coyes documentary called When The Fiddle Flows.
The feedback from the City of Surrey staff noted that the fiddlers were older and asked if there younger fiddlers coming up? The Métis Connect workshop finished the morning with a clip from a you tube interview with John Ralston Saul. Mr. Saul is a renown thinker who states “Canada is a Metis Nation, heavily influenced and shaped by Aboriginal Ideas.” The morning ended on a positive note as those who attended indicated it was time well spent. The day belonged to BC Métis Federation board member Mr. Joe Desjarlais who rose to the occasion by designing an effective Métis cross cultural workshop that can be delivered to any business, municipal governance, Aboriginal organization or government department.
BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “The BC Métis Federation leaders continue to showcase our successful growth. This Métis Connect workshop is now available for any organization or company who wants to learn more about Métis people and our history. This was a major success and we look forward to delivering future workshops throughout BC if requested.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “Thank you to BC Métis Federation representatives Joe Desjarlais, Tim St. Denis, Maxine and Phil Lavallee, Rowan and Quinn, and our friends from the Nova Métis Heritage Association. We hope the City of Surrey staff have benefitted from these new teachings that will ultimately increase respect between our community and their municipal government. The BC Métis Federation remains committed to truly support awareness and respect for all Métis people in BC.”
For more information about the BC Mètis Federation please review our website www.bcmetis.com.
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-October-1st-2012-Metis-Connect-Launched-with-the-City-of-Surrey.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BC-METIS-CONNECT-Manual-September-15th-2012-FINAL.pdf” style=”download”]BC METIS CONNECT Manual September 15th, 2012 FINAL[/ilink]