Past Events & Projects - 2020-current


Foundations Montessori School Nature Photography
Nature Photography Class, Foundations Montessori School
hosted by Our Medicine Walk | ononhkwa'shon:'a
at Fieldcote Museum in Ancaster
Instructor: Rae Pemberton of lumaRae Photography
Thursday, June 23rd

The Métis Women's Circle sponsored a class in Nature Photography for the senior students, ages 9 to 13, of Foundations Montessori School. Held at Our Medicine Walk | ononhkwa'shon:'a garden of indigenous medicine plants on a beautiful June day. Professional photographer, Rae Pemberton, led the class in different ways of seeing and photographing nature. Each student was provided with their own disposable camera and worked with nature and other students to create interesting photos.

Funding from Government of Canada New Horizons for Seniors.

Celebrating an Evening in Carolinian Canada
Celebrating an Evening in Carolinian Canada
hosted by Our Medicine Walk | ononhkwa'shon:'a
at Ryerson United Church in Ancaster
with Foundations Montessori School
Friday, May 27th

It has been estimated that more than 50% of the federally-listed species at risk occur in Ontario's Carolinian Zone. Throughout this region, pressures from urban expansion, increased industrialization and intensified agricultural practices have caused extensive wildlife habitat destruction.

In parts of this zone, over 90% of the original forests are gone. Most of the remaining forests are too small and isolated to accommodate at-risk forest bird species and other species that depend on the specialized habitats found in larger forest tracts.

The Métis Women's Circle in partership with Ryerson United Church and Foundations Montessori School hosted an information evening at 265 Wilson St. East in Ancaster showcasing a Caolinian display plus student art and their research on Carolinian species.

Funding from Government of Canada New Horizons for Seniors.

Elders Teaching Traditional Plant Science
Understanding Respect, Responsibility, and Relationships to Medicine and Food Plants
Hess Street School, Hamilton ON
Spring/Summer 2022

In March, 2022, students in grades 6, 7 and 8 started planting seeds in their classroom to grow medicines and vegetables commonly used in their families' home countries and ones indigenous to Turtle Island. As seedlings grow, students transfer plants to homemade individual planters and the raised cedar beds they built in their playground.

Elders, farmers, and botanists guide students in their journey of understanding where their food comes from, how plants grow, how they are sustained and harvested, and the reciprocal relationship between Mother Earth and living beings.

School community families will care for and maintain the gardens throughout the summer months.

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board in partnership with the Métis Women's Circle with funding from Hamilton Community Foundation.


Our Medicine Walk Logo Our Medicine Walk Photo
OUR MEDICINE WALK | ononhkwa'shon:'a: PAGE

Our Medicine Walk, ononhkwa'shon:'a:
Youth, Commmunity and the Healing Gifts of Plants

A shared venture of Ryerson Ancaster, Foundations Montessori School,
Fieldcote Museum and the Métis Women's Circle

In the late spring and summer of 2021, the Métis Women's Circle worked in partnership with Ryerson Ancaster and students from Foundations Montessori School to create a garden at Fieldcote Museum which featured indigenous healing plants.

"Even now... after many Strawberry Moons, finding a patch of wild strawberries still touches me with a sensation of surprise, a feeling of unworthiness but gratitude for the generosity and kindness that comes with an unexpected gift. How are we to respond to their generosity?" Robin Kimmerer, Potawatomi ethnobotanist, Braiding Sweetgrass.

Ancaster News Article

Walking Words: Making Indigenous Languages Visible
Colouring Pages


Colouring Pages: (click to enlarge)

Metis Women's Circle Walking Words Colouring Page Metis Women's Circle Colouring Page Metis Womens Circle Colouring Page Metis Women's Circle Colouring Page Metis Womens Circle Colouring Page Metis Women's Circle Colouring Page

Hosting Community Conversations: Success in Intercultural Programming
25th Anniversary Celebration
25th Anniversary Brochure During the recent shutdowns, the Métis Women's Circle created appreciation packages for all our supporters and acquaintances so very missed during this time. While we were not able to gather in person to celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary, these little expressions of thanks let individuals know they are in our thoughts and prayers for wellness. Several of the gifts were customized with items indicating fond memories of our work together in strengthening the community.

A brochure was compiled which captured a few impressions of the many imaginative events we have hosted over the years. These gifts also served to introduce our Circle's goals and aspirations to new groups we hope to work with in future.

"Our Board of Directors is proud to promote the vision our Elder Elize Hartley bequeathed to us at her passing in 2020."

Awn Rond
Métis Elders' Stories
Book - Awn Rond "Métis, Métisses, bois-brulée, hivernant, half-breed, mixed blood, road allowance people, mongrel, mutt, watered-down Indian, forgotten people, wanna-be, 'nebulous, like a cloud,' a food in two canoes, a citizen of the Métis Nation, gens libres, 'I honor the blood of my mothers and fathers,' flower beadwork people, daughter of the country, Métis written with an accent, Métis without an accent, big 'M' Métis, little 'm' Métis..."

As part of Community Conversations... a collection of Métis elder stories originally published in 2005, Awn Rond was re-designed and published in 2021.


Walking Words: Making Indigenous Languages Visible
Working with elementary (Foundations Montessori Ancaster) and highschool students (Cathedral Secondary) in the Hamilton area, we developed language games and special word T-shirts in indigenous languages. See the MÉTIS MARKET. Metis Women's Circle Walking Words Tshirt

Metis Women's Circle Ladyslipper Logo Past Events - 2015-2019


The Song-Bird and the Healing Waters
The Song-Bird and the Healing Waters On June 12, 2019 the Métis Women's Circle presented a Métis Music at Hess Street School. It was performed by Grades 5 to 8 students. With appreciation for funding from Hamilton Community Foundation.

Hamilton Spectator - Letter to the Editor, June 2019

"Thank you for opening my mind and heart
RE: Hess Street School

On June 12 from 2 to 3 p.m., in an overheated stuffed gymnasium at Hess Street Public School, I was swept up in a magical and rejuvenating work of art. These primary school students, led by their music teacher, Denise Montgomery - also the director and writer of this original play based on the traditional Indigenous story and book 'The Song-Bird and The Healing Waters' - wove a tale about patience, coexistence, and recovery.

The play incorporated many forms of visual art, soundscapes recorded in nature, drumming and other instrumental and vocal music, all created in collaboration with the Métis Women's Circle and Hess Street Public School students and teachers, and sponsored by the Hamilton Community Foundation. The students, many of whom have come from far away before landing in this Hamilton gymnasium, showed us that people and the world can change and grow if we are able to listen to one another and to the natural world.

More of Hamilton, Ontario and Canada need to see this and to learn the lessons this story and Hess Street Public School are teaching. This could have been a glimpse into what truth and reconciliation could look like and how we might heal some of our open wounds in Canada, Hamilton-style.

Thank you, Hess Street Public School, for opening your doors and my mind and heart."
Catharine Munn, Hamilton

Anishinaabe Bingo For All Seasons
Anishinaabe Bingo A language program offered through the game of Bingo on Friday Evenings in May. We used words and activities associated with each of the four seasons interpreted into the Oji-Cree language. What fun learning together!! A family event, participants of all ages enjoyed Monday evenings together at the Aboriginal Health Centre in Hamilton and won great prizes for their efforts.


MusicMakers - The Power of Indigenous Music
Music Makers Funded by New Horizons For Seniors, this two-part event was held in the fall of 2018 and celebrated Indigenous music which is by its nature participatory; it lends itself to socialization.

Songs come from the natural world and from dreams, often expressing a deep appreciation for life and sustenance.

Rhythms & Rattles: A look at Indigenous Music
This concert at The Gathering Place by the Grand (Oshweken - Six Nations in Ontario) in October featured the performers Rene Meshake, Jani Lauzon and Sadie Buck (Storyweaver). The audience was invited to a meet and greet after the concert to speak with the performers. Refreshments were served.

Shaking The Rattle: Traditions and Rattle Making
Over the course of two days, Rattle Maker Adam Skye lead participants in a Rattle Circle of Rythmic Song. A buffet lunch was served. This event was held at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario in November.

Anishnaabe Bingo For All Seasons
A 16 week language program offered through the game of Bingo. We used words and activities associated with each of the four seasons interpreted into the Oji-Cree language. What fun learning together!! A family event, participants of all ages enjoyed Monday evenings together at the Aboriginal Health Centre, de dwa de dah nyes in Hamilton and won great prizes for their efforts.

Here are examples of the Bingo cards.
Anishinaabe Bingo Anishinaabe Bingo Anishinaabe Bingo Anishinaabe Bingo


They Come From The Mountains
Why The Michif Love Horses
Book - They Come From The Mountains "Jeremy grew very fond of the old man and the horse and learned so much from both of them. He quickly learned that a horse is a very curious and social being. He learned that if approached with haste and anger, Horse would mirror these emotions and respond in the same way.

"Horse always knew if Jeremy was in a bad mood. But, if approached with patience and kindness, Horse did his best to show respect, although cautiously at first, with a flick of his tail and a shake of his head.

"And, he learned that the old man had led a very full and interesting life and was generous and caring in sharing his teachings. Now he had something the other kids at school did not."

Michif Translations by Norman Fleury. Story concept by Lynn Nicholson and Carole Leclair. Paintings by Jocelyn Antone.

With appreciation for funding from the Government of Canada Aboriginal Languages Initiative Program

To read online FLIP-BOOK

Coyte and the Laughing Butterflies Coyote and the Laughing Butterflies
Seminars in Creativity & Well-Being for Seniors
Indigenous storytelling offers us different ways to look at the world around us. Coyote, an ancient mythological being, is a cunning trickster who can be helpful or harmful, but always very creative! Butterflies are not only admired for their beauty but for their power of metamorphosis and flight. In this story, humans are reminded to laugh at our weaknesses and find the humour in our lives. Hopefully, these workshops will help you to achieve just that!

"Spirit of Creativity"
Bus Trip to Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory
Demonstration of The Butterfly Dance by Native dancer Jessa Laight. Lunch in the Cafe followed by tour of Butterfly Conservatory. Jessa can be contacted at 905-719-3479.

"Even today butterflies remember the trick that was played on Coyote. They flutter high and low, to and fro, laughing too hard to fly straight..."

"Spirit of Interpretive Art"
Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington
Presentation of the Ojibwe Butterfly Story by artist Rene Meshake with artistic creation & lunch in the Cafe Annex. Rene Meshake led an animated workshop in self-expression after his Anishinaabe story of the stones that turned to butterflies.

"Spirit of Meditation"
Afternoon Workshop November 18
Afternoon workshop with yoga for seniors with tea and refreshments. Leader - Beth McQueen.

"Spirit of The Rooted Ones"
Afternoon Workshop December 9
Afternoon workshop with aromatherapy and reiki for seniors with tea and refreshments. Leader - Peggy Logan from Six Nations.

Event Logo

Baskets & Berries
2015 welcomed a new program - Baskets and Berries, honouring the contribution of Aboriginal Agricultural Workers.

Metis Women's Circle Baskets and Berries SUNDAY, JUNE 21, 2015
Aboriginal Contributions to Aldershot Farm Economy

In celebration of NATIONAL ABORIGINAL DAY in Canada on June 21, 2015, the Metis Women's Circle invited the public to join in a traditional Strawberry Social and in honouring Aboriginal persons buried at East Plains United Church in Aldershot. The Ceremony began at the cemetery with Elder, Rene Meshake and the Reverend Alison Nicholson to recognize unmarked Aboriginal burials and moved on to strawberries and cream served in Peart Hall. Thank you, Niawen, for helping us to honour an important part of Aldershot's wonderful agricultural history.

Metis Women's Circle Baskets and Berries TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015
Aboriginal Contributions to Aldershot Farm Economy

Professional storyteller Pauline Grondin told the story of a 1947 era Aldershot farm woman, as she reminisced about life on the farm with an emphasis on the Native farm workers of the day.

The stories of these workers are seldom told and not generally recorded in the pages of history, yet their roles were vital to Canadian farms including those in Aldershot.

The lives of Native farm workers, their families and their contributions will be brought to light in these reminiscences.

The Métis Women's Circle invited the public to join us for the evening of information, refreshments and sharing with Storyteller PAULINE GRONDIN at the Burlington Central Lirary.

Storyteller Pauline Grondin is an award winning storyteller, musician, and an 1812 re-enactor who has been telling stories and making music all her life. Audiences of all ages in Canada and Great Britain have enjoyed her presentations. A selection of Pauline's stories were featured on Route 1812, created for the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Look for more of her work at

With funding from New Horizons For Seniors.

Metis Women's Circle Ladyslipper Logo Past Events - 2010-2014


Event Photo Moon Ceremony
On Saturday, July 12th, 2014, the Métis Women's Circle hosted a Moon Ceremony at the Jerseyville Stables in Ancaster, ON.

We considered this "super moon", the seventh moon in creation, as a special gift for our celebration of the full moon ceremony. Approximately fifteen women and their daughters joined in the sharing circle. Despite a cloudy beginning, Grandmother Moon showed with bright, shining light.

Against a rustic, rural background the women were led by Lana General and Val King in this important ritual for rejuvenation. Val shared her Anishinaabe teachings about the 13 moons and their representation on Turtle's back and women's medicine. Prayers and tobacco were offered to Creator for those near and dear who were incapacitated or in need of support.

The water each woman brought was instilled with the power of the moonlight to be used for healing over the coming month. The women shared berries, songs, tears, and uplifted each other.

For some, this was their first time experiencing the ritual. Horses gathered in the surrounding field to watch the women circle the bonfire in song. These were the same horses who guided our youth in the Horse Spirit programs.

Event Photo Women, Horses & Art 2014
2014 welcomed a new program - Women, Horses & Art with support from Heritage Canada - Aboriginal women and their daughters will experience Equine Assisted Learning in personal development with this experience expressed through the creation of an original artistic art form by each participant.


Blankets on the Floor Blankets on the Floor
On Friday, October 25th, 2013, the Métis Women's Circle presented 'Blankets on the Floor' with Norman Fleury, Métis Elder from Manitoba. "For many days and nights the people sang songs, had feasts, told stories..."  Norman Fleury related Métis stories from his youth interspersed with the Michif language. Approximately 100 persons attended this event, many of whom had never heard the Michif language spoken. Anne Lederman complemented Norman's stories with traditional Metis music. Presented with funding from New Horizons for Seniors.

Horse Spirit Halton Horse Spirit Halton
Students in the Halton Horses program worked with both Percherons and miniature horses in their equine assisted learning classes. The program was sponsored by Halton Region Police Service in Milton and coordinated by the Métis Women's Circle.

Racing For Literacy Racing For Literacy
Racing for Literacy was a program designed specifically for students in the Transportation Course at Sir John A MacDonald Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario. Students were provided with auto racing literature, met race car drivers, race track owners and learned about the various racing genres, including dirt track racing divisions and Nascar racing.

Parfleche Bag Bear Spirit Parfleche Communication Bag
Presentation of Bear Spirit parfleche communication bags for information sharing at Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School. With Métis Elder Rene Meshake speaking. Plus Elder Elize Hartley, Carol LeClair and traditional Métis singing and drumming.


Beading Workshop Beading Workshop Beading Workshop Beading Workshop with Natalie Bertin
Several of the Women's Circle and their friends joined together on a summer afternoon to enjoy beading creations with Nathalie Bertin. Nathalie is an accomplished Métis artist. She shared her life stories with us as she taught our women about the history and art of traditional Metis beading. See some of Nathalie's original works at:

Horse Spirit and Young Men Horse Spirit and Young Men
Event Photo During the 2012/13 winter/spring semester at Sir John A Macdonald High School, the Metis Women's Circle offered young Aboriginal men the opportunity to earn high school credits through experiencing equine assisted learning.

Students were made familiar with the historical relationship between Aboriginals and horses. The spirit of the horse was experienced in a country setting under the supervision of a certified equine assisted learning instructor. Students worked with horses both individually and in small group work where they learned acceptance and respect, teamwork, and handling skills.

Exercises were designed to teach students those skills to apply in personal situations addressing self-esteem, counter bullying techniques, peer pressure, and dealing with anger. Aboriginal culture carriers augmented the program by introducing land teachings and their personal working experiences centred on horse culture.

Sistger To Sister II Sister to Sister Young Women Gathering II
Keynote Speakers: Dr. Pamela Palmater, Dr. Robin Bourgeois

The Métis Women's Circle again hosted this special assembly to address contemporary issues faced by high school female students. This project was funded by Canadian Heritage, Aboriginal Women's Programming.

Trout Lilies Trout Lilies and Spring Peepers
Trout Lilies Capturing Elders' Eco Stories - Whatever happened to the natural fields and river streams where you played as a child? Ever wonder about those old-fashioned flowers and herbs your grandmother grew? Will your grandchildren get to enjoy the same wonderment of wide open spaces and all the species hiding there?

The Métis Women's Circle compiled memories of the landscape in story form, poetry, photography, painting and drawing in order to share our "eco" stories, those cherished memories of youth. A number of Aboriginal older persons joined us in this endeavour through small workshops, gathering walks, visits to botanical centres and story sharing. Project funded by New Horizons For Seniors. The finished booklet is available through our Metis Market.

Gookum's Purse Logo Gookum's Purse
Gookum's Purse Poster How much do you know about Canada's residential schools - the government's forceful removal of Aboriginal children from their families? The Métis Women's Circle commissioned an original script be written to raise awareness of these unspoken histories. The result was Gookum's Purse.

In the stage production, Native Arts students worked with Elders to blend traditional storytelling with contemporary urban teen life. New Horizons for Seniors and the Trillium Foundation funded the performance depicting the story of one Anishinaabe girl's life journey suffering abuse and hardships in these church run facilities.

The audience was enveloped in the sounds of aboriginal drums, rattles, and voices from nature, as the lead character is taken from her family and sent to a prairie residential school. Later, with her own small children in tow, she makes her home in Hamilton where she grows into an old "Gookum", a grandmother who reclaims her traditional culture and shares her wisdom and teachings with local teenagers in Gage Park.

Along with offering an authentic historical perspective, the play served as a showcase for students' talents and skills. Youth worked tirelessly to rehearse new drum songs. They not only gained acting experience, but more importantly learned to build community in learning and working together.

Audience members found the play moving and visually beautiful in soundscape and lighting. They expressed gratitude for this insight into Aboriginal history, language and culture. One recurring comment was, "I never learned about this in history classes. I didn't know about this part of Canadian history." In the traditional way, performances were followed by all staff, crew and their families sharing in a feast to celebrate their new theatrical experience.


Urban Thunderbirds Urban Thunderbirds

Urban Thunderbirds was a year long mentoring project at Parkview Secondary High School which included a variety of activities aimed at enhancing Aboriginal students' graduation rates.

Equine Assisted Learning Equine Assisted Learning
"In Western Cree and other First Nations cultures, the horse is revered as part of the circle of creation... It possesses an intrinsic spiritual value." Our newest venture is the introduction of equine assisted learning to the Aboriginal students. Through a certified Aboriginal trainer in EAL, students worked with horses toward achievement in: Self Reflection, Goal Setting and Maintaining, Boundary Setting and Maintaining, Communication and Relationships. This learning style allowed students to acquire land-based teachings. A program of this nature is very important to young Aboriginal men. Elders worked with the youth to demonstrate "rites of passage" and explain traditional and contemporary roles and responsibilities of men.

Equine Assisted Learning Our Horse Social - Finale of The Equine Assisted Learning Program
To cap off the Equine Assisted Learning Program, we offered an an evening of fun and information for Nyaweh students and their family & friends, included showing the results of Equine Assisted Learning workshops presented by Aboriginal students, "The Unity Ride", a spiritual journey for Aboriginal youth presented by Bonnie Freeman, EAL instructor, Aboriginal Social Work, McMaster University, a traditional giveaway and a thank you to the horses.

Literacy Logo Literacy
The Métis Women's Circle provided reading resources in the Nyaweh room at Parkview to encourage students to read and investigate books. A list of preferred reading materials was submitted by the youth worker and reviewed by the Métis Women's Circle organizers. Reading resources were aimed at teenage readership with a variety of titles to choose from - novels, comics, legends, and noted Aboriginal authors like Joseph Bruchac. Bruchac has written award winning titles which were purchased for students and as resources for the Nyawen room: "Keepers of the Earth", "Tell Me a Tale", "When the Chenoo Howls", "The Heart of a Chief", "Pushing Up The Sky".

Literacy Initiatives & Hockey Fun Literacy Initiatives & Hockey Fun
Through initiation by the Métis Women's Circle, the Bulldogs suggested further ideas for literacy incentives for students including signed memorabilia, motivational speakers, and tickets for Bulldogs games in the future. At a home game on January 15, 2010, Aboriginal students met with Bulldogs President, Glenn Stanford, a former high school teacher from the east coast of Canada who recognizes well the problems and barriers at Parkview. He was very helpful in suggesting strategies to improve literacy, attendance, and other motivational incentives for Aboriginal students. After the game, students and their families met with Rochester American owner, Ted Nolan, Aboriginal entrepreneur. Parents expressed their appreciation for a wholesome family activity which, they stated, would not have been within their reach without the assistance of the program.

Event Logo Parkview Talent Show
Parkview's Principal, Paul Beattie, requested a specific Aboriginal component to their 2009 talent show and sought our assistance in this regard. The Métis Women's Circle hired a professional Anishinaabe drama coach to instruct students on dance and choreography as well as prop making techniques. The drama coach taught female students the "Butterfly Dance" along with the storytelling and history of this dance to present at the Talent Show. Students were provided with materials and embellishments to make their own dance shawls which they personalized with Aboriginal designs and animal totems. Students were allowed to keep their shawls as a remembrance of their work on the talent show.

Event Logo Feasts & Fun
Students and their families celebrated students' achievements at feasts to mark special times of the year and the progress of our projects. Members of local Aboriginal agencies and school personnel joined in the celebrations. Students requested more of these events to share their school life with their families.

Sister to Sister Sister To Sister Young Women Gathering
The Métis Women's Circle was pleased to host this special assembly to address contemporary issues faced by high school female students. The assembly took place in November 2010 with facilitation by social workers from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.

Metis Women's Circle Ladyslipper Logo Past Events - 2005-2009


The Dance of Wiindigo and Nanaboozhou The Dance of Wiindigo and Nanaboozhou
The Dance of Wiindigo and Nanaboozhou was an Ontario Government Ministry of the Attorney General funded proposal to gather elders' insites in response to hate crimes. A workshop was held at Sir John A MacDonald High School addressing 'two-spirit' youth (LGBTQQ, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning) and the keynote speaker Jessica Yee.

A book was compiled as a result. See Métis Market

Indige Know Series "Indige Know" Series
The "Indige Know" series at Parkview Secondary School was designed for Nyaweh student literacy level. IndigeKnow information sheets were distributed throughout the year to students and teachers at their request. These handouts covered a variety of subjects and were designed for Aboriginal cultural specific content - language, medicine plants, self esteem, history and general themes. Wherever possible, information sheets were designed to complement or amplify course content. GIKINAWAABI = learning by observation.

Mother Earth Water Walk Mother Earth Water Walk at Crawford Lake
Water is precious and sacred... it is one of the basic elements needed for all life to exist. The Métis Women's Circle, the Hamilton Native Women's Centre and Crawford Lake Conservation Area are working together to support the annual Mother Earth Water Walk. We invite you to join us in a local Waterwalk taking place at: Crawford Lake Conservation Area. The purpose of the Water Walk is to educate and to raise the wareness of an indigenous perspective on Women as the water keepers and their knowledge on how we can connect to and respect the waters of the earth. We welcome you to come and experience our perspective on living in harmony with our water and how to sustain our precious and vital life source.

Mentoring Our Youth Mentoring Our Youth
Mentoring Our Youth was a two year mentoring project at Sir John A. Macdonald High School which included a variety of activities.

Cree Culture Carrier at Sir John A. Macdonald High School
The Métis Women's Circle was very proud to host Delvin Kanewiyakiho Kennedy from Oskayak School, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to share one week with students at the high schools. Delvin holds a Masters of Education degree and is a traditional Cree teacher. From his thesis work, Delvin describes his understanding of Cree learning processes:

"I have learned that when Indigenous scholars discuss epistemology, they are talking about nêhiyaw [Cree] cosmology or world view. The sources both academic... and grassroots (knowledge keepers) indicate that within the nêhiyaw world view, all the knowledge points ultimately to the care and love and teaching of the nêhiyaw child... as that entity begins his earthly journey through life. After all, it is the life cycle and ways of knowing that continue in the child as that child grows spiritually and experientially... youth today need the mentorship and guidance that is given by compassionate and caring knowledge keepers who are kikêhtêyiminawak - our old people. It is the words and the teachings of knowledge keepers that show us the vision for a bright future for nêhiyaw youth.

Delvin lectured in several classes, drummed and sang, and imparted traditional knowledge to students. Teachers were very appreciative of his offerings in history, geography, Native arts, and philosophy classes (please see their responses attached). Students and teachers requested Delvin's return to the school for further instruction in Aboriginal history, hoop dancing, and the importance of oral traditions and retention of indigenous languages.

Mentoring Our Youth Presentations by Elders and Knowledge Keepers
Anishinaabe author and artist Rene Meshake visited both schools to present his latest work both in the Native Art classes and in English classes. Rene is a residential school survivor, a traditional storyteller, and a language teacher.

Mentoring Our Youth Pat Hess, Wolf Clan, Cayuga Nation, presented to Sir John A MacDonald and Parkview students on the photography of medicine plants, their uses, and traditional meanings. Pat's training in mounting professional photo exhibits was shared with students in the Native Arts classes.

Powerpaths Powerpaths
Powerpaths was a year long mentoring project at Parkview High School which included a variety of activities.

Big Drum at Parkview High School
Materials and instruction were provided to instruct young male students in constructing a Big Drum for Parkview. Previous to this, students were forced to borrow a drum from Sir John A MacDonald High School. With their own drum, students will gain experience and reassurance in practicing their drumming and singing as a group. This activity was provided by culture carriers in a traditional manner. It served to raise self esteem of the young men in the Nyaweh program.

Graduation Stoles Graduation Stoles
The Métis Women's Circle commissioned a seamstress to custom design graduation stoles for Aboriginal students to wear upon completion of their education at both schools. Stoles are fabricated in the school colours and bear a variety of Aboriginal symbols like eagle feathers and animal totems.

See our Métis Market


Young Voices They Tell Us Photography From An Aboriginal Perspective
Photo contests were sponsored for students at both Sir John A MacDonald and Parkview High Schools, themed "Urban Aboriginal Styles" and "Aboriginality in the City". Contest winners were presented with a camera, gift cards, and an honour song.

Yonaktiyo Yonaktiyo - Aboriginal Homelessness
Yonaktiyo translates to "A good place to build a lodge". The Métis Women's Circle addressed issues of Aboriginal Homelessness in Halton Region, providing resources to social service agencies in Halton for Aboriginal clients to raise awareness about their own aboriginal population in Halton.

Out of this came the significance of the contribution to Halton's economy historically by Aboriginal Farm Workers.

For Aboriginal As a part of the Aboriginal Homeless Project, the Metis Women's Circle offered the following:

March is Aboriginal Language Month in Canada
In developing language curriculum, Cree scholars explain concepts contained in indigenous languages which relate directly to the land and are not as easily apparent in English definitions.

March signifies a new beginning and a time when Indigenous people celebrate survival and prepare for new beginnings. April Moon, is a time when women have prominent roles in ceremony, it signifies the thawing of Mother Earth, of birth and new life. Each moon cycle is significant to Indigenous life. (Mary Sasakamoose and Irvin Waskewitch from 2008 Indigenous Perspectives on Language Teaching and Learning, A Summary Document to Support Indigenous Language Instruction and Cultural Programming in Saskatchewan)

Full Moon Ceremony For Youth
The Métis Women's Circle organized several full moon ceremonies for inner city women to receive a traditional teaching from knowledgeable elders.

Grant Writing Workshop
As a benefit for members of our circle, the Metis women organized a one day workshop with government agencies to demonstrate proposal writing strategies.


My Wellness Journal For Aboriginal Youth
Based on the teachings of the 4 directions - Medicine Wheel teachings are among the oldest teachings of First Nations people. The teachings found on the Medicine Wheel create a holistic foundation for human behaviour and interaction; the teachings are about walking the earth in a peaceful and good way; they assist in helping to seek: healthy minds (East); strong inner spirits (South); inner peace (West); strong, healthy bodies (North).

A Medicine Wheel can best be described as a mirror within which everything about the human condition is reflected back. It requires courage to look into the mirror and really see what is being reflected back about an individual's life.

The term "medicine" is used within the context of inner spiritual energy and healing. The Medicine Wheel and its sacred teachings assist individuals along the path towards mental, spiritual, emotional and physical enlightenment.

Young Voices They Tell Us Young Voices They Tell Us
The Métis Women's Circle worked with inner city Aboriginal High School students to (re-)introduce cultural and spiritual teachings.


Traditional Bush Medicines
Some medicine plants indigenous to this area - Joe Pye Weed, Boneset, Blue Gentian, Sweet Flag, Wild Blue Flag, Swamp Milkweed, Swamp Aster, Angelica, Marsh Marigold, Scouring Rush, Path Rush, Black Ash, Red-Osier Dogwood, Purple Avens, Cows Parsnip, Touch-Me-Not species, Mad-Dog Skullcap, Meadowsweet

Medicine Plants - Ononhkwasonha - in Mohawk: Maple Sap - Owahtaker, Tobacco - Oien' kwa' tónwe, Milkweed - kanon' tinekens, Burdock - ohrhohtehktó: wa, Strawberries - ken' niiohontésha, Sweetgrass - kahenttékon, Cedar - onen' takwenhtèn:tshera Medicine Plants - Meshkikiiwangin - in Ojibwe: Pine - wingwaak, sumac - pakwaamesh, Wild cherry - bgoji zasiwemesh, Plantain - omakeebag, Elderberry - paashkiseganaak, Willow - seskobimesh, Seneca root - shkeegjeebkans

Turtle Teachings Turtle Teachings: Aboriginal Women's Storytelling

In 2006, the Métis Women's Circle organized a weekend event for all students, teachers, and social service organizations to participate in traditional storytelling. We were very proud to present authors, Lenore Keeshig-Tobias, Lee Maracle, and traditional Longhouse speaker, Christina Skye to present in their areas of expertise.

Over 120 persons attended this two day event at the Royal Botanical Gardens. A very special Remembrance Day ceremony was held to honour our WWII Metis war veteran, Joseph Clement who passed away in 2009. An honour song was sung to him at the event.

Metis Women's Circle Ladyslipper Logo Past Events - 2000-2004


Grandmother Wise One Ma mère oni bavaakaa (Grandmother Wise One)
See our Métis Market.


Silent Memories, Our Place in the World
Description to come...


Indigenous Medicine Plants
The Métis Women's Circle greeted 100 visitors at the medicine planting in Westfield Heritage Centre to identify and deescribe traditional uses of indigenous plants. Ken Parker, Six Nations, presented a slide galleries of photos on indigenous species.

Grandmother Moon Lodge Teachings for Youth
Description to come...

Strong Women caring, Fanny Packs for Homeless
The Métis Women's Circle fund-raised and assembled emergency kits for Hamilton's homeless women. Kits included useful items for hygiene, insulating blankets and emergency telephone calling card and were distributed through emergency social services in the inner city.

From The Stories Women Tell
What sets us apart from any other women's group? We are Aboriginal women who have to create positive meanings around the terms of identity that we have inherited from both our parent groups. Métis oral tradition teaches us that we are never entirely "other," that our social and spiritual identities have always overlapped with those of our tribal relatives, other entities and our European relations in shifting patterns of creative necessity. Métis who remember bush ways remain connected with our first teacher, the land. In this way, we enact an Aboriginal ecology which adapts to, rather than assimilates, the larger common culture.

Excerpt from "From the Stories that Women Tell: The Métis Women's Circle" Carole Leclair, Lynn Nicholson and Elize Hartley, in Anderson, Kim and Bonita Lawrence, eds. Strong Women Stories: Native Vision and Community Survival. Sumach Press, Toronto, 2003.


Alliance of the Four Directions Edlers Project
Resulted in a book, Awn Rond, Métis Elders Stories. See our Métis Market.

A Place of Heart: Building Strong Homes
A Place of Heart Poster
Sponsored by the National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention The gathering is based on the philosophies of the four directions of the Ojibwe medicine wheel. We have chosen the gifts of the southern door as a guide for our program. Our women and their children will learn about respectful living. Zhaawnong - the southern door - is the place of the heart. It teaches us generosity, sensitivity, loyalty and love. Zhaawnong teaches us to express our feelings openly and freely in ways that do not hurt others.

The Heart Remembers, Métis Women Speak
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Traditional Bush Medicines
Following is a sample of a series of teaching cards designed for public school on traditional medicine plants. Pussy Willow: Most Iroquois children know the legend of how the pussy willow came to be from an adventurous rabbit who climbed too high in a tree. The pussy willow branches contain natural aspirin and are a headache remedy and used to treat sore throats. The leaves are used in poultices for sores, cuts, wounds, and bruises. Ojibwe used the inner bark of willow to make baskets and small net twine to snare rabbits and squirrels. Deer prefer the leaves as forage.

Traditional Storytelling
Description to come...


Métis Midwife Medicine Planting
The Métis Women's Circle constructed a traditional medicine planting at Westfield Heritage Centre with 43 indigenous species of plants used as food and medicine.

The Winter Healing Blanket Gathering
Elders shared storytelling and cultural teachings for winter activities.

The Culture of Birth Workshop
Jan Longboat shared women's stories around child-rearing.

Metis Women's Circle Ladyslipper Logo Past Events - pre2000


The Song of Métis Women Gathering
Reflections on our Gathering: wood smoke, bannock and blueberries, red tobacco ties, orange sparks from a night fire, sage smudge, women's drum songs, remembering our Grandmothers, the feel of dew on the grass, horn rattles, prayers on tobacco smoke, Gzhe manidoo nga-noonaa, fry bread, prayers to Creator, a critical eye to history, a Cree song, ceremony, powerful women, silent women, horn rattles, the starblanket, white birch and maples, deerskin, taking the lessons in a story.

Earth, Culture, Wellness
The Métis Women's Circle presented at McMaster University the concept for traditional medicine planting at Westfield Heritage Village.

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