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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.
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 Aboriginal women 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.
- 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