Oshawa Metis get federal funding Print

The federal government has announced funding to the Oshawa and Durham Métis Council for three projects—the Métis Dance Project, the Métis Fiddle Project, and the Voyageur Canoe Project—that will provide Aboriginal young people with opportunities to learn about Métis culture.

Under the Métis Dance Project, Aboriginal youth will participate in developing and designing a jigging course. This includes learning basic steps, moves, and routines to various jigging dances. In the Métis Fiddle Project, young people will take part in developing, designing, and implementing a fiddling program and will learn about the history of fiddling and to how to play the instrument. Finally, the Voyageur Canoe Project will get youth involved in building a smaller version of a voyageur canoe that was used to transport trade goods and furs mainly between Montréal and Fort William.

"Our Government recognizes the importance of providing Aboriginal young people with projects that connect them with their culture and language," said James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. "By funding youth-led activities, we are helping these young people gain the life skills they need to achieve their goals, which will lead to stronger communities."

"The Oshawa and Durham Métis Council plays an important role in our community and for Aboriginal youth," said Colin Carrie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Member of Parliament (Oshawa). "They provide youth with a positive environment where they can partake in culturally relevant activities. This helps them build self-confidence and self-esteem and motivates them to make positive life choices."

"We want to thank Canadian Heritage for providing funding for our three projects and, of course, Colin Carrie for being so supportive of the proposals," said Robert Pilon, President of the Oshawa and Durham Region Métis Council. "Oshawa has a relatively large number of Aboriginal residents, so having these heritage projects is particularly meaningful to us and helps bring the community together, as well as bring a sense pride to our youth. The Durham District School Board and their trustees have embraced these projects wholeheartedly and worked tirelessly to ensure the youth in the community will benefit from participating in the canoe building, Métis dance lessons, and Métis-style fiddling lessons."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $137,015 through the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth initiative (formerly known as the Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centre Initiative) of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program. This initiative provides Aboriginal young people aged 10 to 24, living in urban settings across Canada, with programming that incorporates Aboriginal values, cultures, and traditional practices in projects and activities designed to improve their social, economic, and personal prospects and to strengthen their cultural identity.