Metis Hunt and Gathering at the French River for Metis Traditional Harvesting Territories South of S
Tuesday, October 12 2004
Metis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President and Chief Captain of the Hunt, Tony Belcourt, has called his people to hold a Metis Hunt for social and ceremonial purposes in the Metis traditional harvesting territories of Mattawa-Nipissing and Georgian Bay. The special hunt has been organized in areas south of Sudbury for the elderly and those who are otherwise unable to gather their meat for the winter. On Thursday, October 14, 2004, while the hunt parties are out, the MNO will hold a special gathering at the point where the French River crosses Highway 69 north of Parry Sound and south of Sudbury for special ceremonies and celebration of Metis culture, history and traditions.
Regional Captains of the Hunt for communities south of Sudbury, Regional MNO Councillors, Community Council Presidents and Senators of all communities held conference calls on Thanksgiving weekend to work together to coordinate this hunt and gathering. All seniors and those physically challenged are being canvassed to see who needs meat for the winter. An estimate will be made of their needs and also of the MNO’s needs for the traditional Metis feasts to be held on Riel Day, November 16, 2004.
Captains of the Hunt are contacting MNO Harvester’s Certificate holders to put together the required hunting parties for each Metis traditional harvesting territory north and south of the French River. Deputy Captains of the Hunt are being appointed for each hunt party and coordination will be made for communications purposes to ensure that once all required meat has been harvested, the hunt will be terminated.
Metis families will take their children out of school and bring them to the gathering at the French. The day will begin with a sunrise ceremony, a feast will be held at lunchtime and a special screening of a video on the retrieval of the Michif song is scheduled to take place. There will be demonstrations of hide tanning, story telling by our elders, “moose calling” demonstrations and displays of our history and our culture. Metis musicians such as Elder Elmer Ross and the Couture, Lemieux and Giroux families will fill the autumn air with the sounds of Mechif music.
As the day goes on, each team of Metis Harvesters nearby the French will bring their harvest to the gathering at the conclusion of their hunt. There, our Senators and Elders will give a blessing and an offering to give thanks for the bounty that has been provided to us.
First Nations and the public are invited to join us in this celebration to learn about our rich traditions and our historic Metis communities in the area, throughout Ontario and the rest of the Metis homeland from the rivers and lakes of Ontario, across the mid-west north and south of the “medicine line”, to the tributaries to the Pacific Ocean.
For further information contact:
Beverley Newton at: 1-613-798-1488 or 1-800-263-4889
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