Mid-Island Metis Nation

The Mid-Island Métis Nation is a 1,000 person strong community of Aboriginal people living the values of our Métis Heritage through community engagement, education, economic development and cultural sharing. We are a very proud people with a rich and significant past, and an exciting future.

We inspire Métis people to embrace their heritage to improve the communities they live in.

What is means to be Métis

The Métis Nation emerged during the seventeenth century as a result of   the French and English fur trade – well before Canada would exist – through marriages between European fur traders and First Nation women – producing children of mixed ancestry, who eventually became known as Métis, Half-Breeds, or Country Born people.

Establishing relationships with Aboriginalwomen gave fur traders valuable contacts with tribal communities, and tribal communities received regular access to trade goods. The women were also able to teach the traders local languages, show them how to survive on the land and tend to domestic affairs such as preparing food, constructing shelters, and making clothing. Daughters born from these unions usually carried on traditional roles taught by their mothers. Sons grew up to enter the fur trade, become hunters, trappers, or canoemen. Those with schooling were able to become clerks or interpreters at the trading posts.The development of a unique Métis culture began to unfold.

An Essential element– the Middlemen

The spirit of the Métis and the spiritual practices of the Métis are as complex as the ancestral roots of their Indian and European culture and languages. During the time of the fur trade, the Métis became the essential middlemen, knowledgeable on both their fathers’ and mothers’ cultures.

Today, the Métis Nation across Canada is a recognized Aboriginal group with a vibrant future. We, the Mid-Island Métis Nation are a part of this future. Our partners include Vancouver Island University, Island Health, the Nanaimo Arts Centre, the City of Nanaimo and many more.

2014/2015 Mid Island Metis Nation Programs & Services 

ARTS, CULTURE & HERITAGE

  • Youth Ribbon Shirts – designed and constructed youth ribbon shirts for the “Nanaimo’s Little Jiggers” group
  • Traditional Beading – classes and ongoing support from beginner to experienced
  • Beading Classes – VIU Foreign Student Program, share the Metis culture/history and provide instruction
  • Youth Michif Singing group – group organized for the production of Michif Language DVD & performances
  • Cultural Presenter Development Sessions – developing a strong base of knowledgeable presenters
  • Moccasin workshops – inclusive of beaded vamps and moccasin construction
  • Jigging Instruction – child, youth & adult jigging lessons
  • Nanaimo’s Little Jiggers – group performs at community events and City of Nanaimo markets and celebrations
  • Bannock Workshop – Elder led bannock teachings, recipes, methods and healthy variations
  • Nanaimo Beading Circle – supplies, instruction and project undertakings led by local Beading Artists
  • Walking with our Sisters – participated in Canada wide beaded vamp project
  • Saturday Cultural Craft Drop In – instruction provided by skilled artisans for the creation of a variety of items

CULTURAL EVENTS

  • Metis Cultural Awareness Days SD68 – numerous presenters and artisans share culture, heritage and provide hands on experience for up to 300 students over a two day event
  • Parksville School District – presentation for Metis families on culture and heritage
  • Numerous SD68 Schools – crafters, artisans, and presenters are called upon to attend Aboriginal events and do classroom presentations
  • SD68 Aboriginal Graduation – participate and present cultural gifts to Metis Graduates
  • VIU Gathering Place – prepare and serve a Traditional Welcome Feast for students each fall.
  • National Aboriginal Day – celebration of Aboriginal arts, culture and heritage open to the general public
  • Multicultural Festival – jigging performances, cultural sales, information sharing of Metis Culture
  • City of Nanaimo Metis Cultural Awareness Week – proclaimed by city, MIMN hosts a variety of culture sharing events
  • Remembrance Day – participate in the parade and wreath ceremonies
  • Aboriginal Family Night – evening of culture and food sharing by various Aboriginal communities
  • MIMN Pot Luck Dinners – sharing culture and healthy foods with community
  • SD 84 – provide elder and cultural support and presentations

HEALTH PROGRAMS 

  • Recreation Fitness Passes – available to Metis families
  • Boot Camp – three times a week, throughout the year
  • Yoga classes – offered through local studio
  • Tai Chi – when funding available through grants
  • Child Exercise class – elder led using traditional games
  • Youth warm up and cool down – pre exercise and dance classes
  • Gleaning fruit & vegetable – in partnership with Brechin Hill Community Association
  • Healthy after school snack program – offered in conjunction with ongoing programs
  • Alterations to traditional foods – healthy ingredients and cooking methods
  • Good Food Box – Nanaimo Food Share promote and assist financially
  • Metis Health Presentation – topics: exercise, healthy lifestyle, healthy food choices, etc
  • Health Initiative workshops – presenters from Island Health, Pharmacies, Registered Nurses, Inter Tribal Health
  • Youth Paddleboard – introduce youth to the activity
  • Information packages – list of local health agencies, info brochures, available health programs
  • Red Cross Emergency Preparedness – information workshop
  • Health Newsletters – by monthly compilation of relative health information to share in community

GENERAL/OFFICE ACTIVITES

 Regular office hours – Monday Thursday and Friday mornings

  • Announcements – bulletin board, weekly email
  • Master data base – membership information is updated regularly
  • Membership Applications – processing is ongoing
  • Web Page & Facebook – information is updated and posted regularly
  • Community Meetings – September – June
  • Shaw Cable interviews – featured several times throughout the year
  • Genealogy/historical research – Metis genealogist, member research
  • Ministry of Children & Families Metis Mentor Contracts – participate in the interest of Metis children
  • Community Services Referral – provide contact information to various agencies/organizations
  • Regional Governance Council meetings – host MNBC meetings for VAN Island charter communities
  • Leaders 4 Learning – participate on the Aboriginal Education Council in SD68
  • Greater Nanaimo Early Years Partnership – provide Metis representation
  • MNBC – maintain in good standing Metis Nation of British Columbia Charter Community Status

Current Financial & Fundraising Model 

Unlike traditional First Nations we receive no funding from the Government to run our organization. All our board, office, and organizers are volunteer driven and currently we have very little administration costs. There are no paid staff. Almost all of the money we raised goes into delivering programs and services.

  • Donations & Raffles – undertaken on an annual basis
  • Bake Sale – items offered at various community events
  • Bottle Drive – runs year round with occasional one day events
  • Cultural/Art Sales –items are created & donated by craft group
  • Poinsettia Sales – purchased from VIU Horticultural program & sold to members
  • Island Health – MIMN Health Initiative Grant
  • Metis Youth Mentoring Youth – CCAY Youth Grant
  • City of Nanaimo – equipment grant
  • Processing Fees – new members pay a fee for service