Somatic ExperiencingNovember 5, 2022
Men’s Health MonthNovember 23, 2022
It is Métis awareness week!
The Métis, as a people and as a culture, were originally formed in the 1600s during the fur trade of that time. In brief European men working in the fur trade would find themselves far from home for years at a time and so, ended up marrying aboriginal women. Their blended languages formed what is now known as ‘Michif’ which today, is considered an endangered language. Consequently, over generations of this blending, the Métis were eventually recognized (unofficially) as their own culture.
Over time, many of the Métis people settled nearby what is now known as Winnipeg, Manitoba. This happened in the early days of this ‘blending’ of European and aboriginal peoples. Moreover, this area offered a strategic location from which to continue trading furs and providing for the families. Presently, these communities exist across Canada, mainly between British Columbia and Ontario.
Supports & Resources
The Métis people have faced many challenges throughout history. Significantly, from systematically limiting human rights to land through the highly corrupted practice of issuing land “scrips” to everyday discrimination based on their appearance. Today, the Métis people continue to face discrimination and the loss of their culture, identity, and language.
Here are some ways to help preserve Métis knowledge and culture:
- Learn about the jig!
- Participate in one of Melanie Gamache’s virtual beadwork sessions
- Try this Pemmican recipe.
Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services is proud to celebrate and support Métis. The OCCS team is home to indigenous-identifying counsellors and is proud to support our community. Please feel free to connect with us if you would like to connect with an indigenous counsellor.
If you would like to know more, here are some additional resources:
Written by: Mykhaylo Petrynyak, BA Psych, MACP
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