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Métis tradition celebrated at new workplace and cultural house

  • CULTURE

Michael Oleksyn/Each day Herald Sherry McLennan (centre) is surrounded by individuals who attended the grand opening as she cuts the ribbon on the brand new Cultural Gathering Place on Friday.

The Western Area 2 of the Métis Nation—Saskatchewan has a brand new house to have a good time their tradition following a ribbon chopping ceremony on Friday.

The brand new workplace, positioned on Central Avenue throughout from the Northern Lights On line casino, is greater than an workplace, Western Area 2 regional director Sherry McLennan mentioned. It’s also a Cultural Gathering Place.

“We did not have that at our different workplace simply because it was so small, however now we’ve got a possibility to carry all of our occasions right here, (and) to have the ability to help extra residents in numerous issues.

“We’ve the capability now to have the ability to maintain neighborhood occasions and accomplice up with town and the YWCA and the police.”

The constructing will nonetheless have workplace house for administrative duties, however McLennan mentioned they wished greater than that.

“We mainly need a spot the place individuals know that is the Métis constructing,” she defined. “That is the place you go while you need Métis companies or Métis stuff. We’re going to have a flag on high of the constructing for the roof and we’re going to get a greater signal.”

McLennan hopes the constructing will give individuals a way of belonging and identification, the place they will stroll inside and “really feel prefer it’s their second house.”

The area plans to host craft courses, jigging courses, and different cultural occasions. McLennan mentioned it would even be a spot the place individuals can come heal from previous trauma.

“Our individuals have been damage in additional methods than one and (the workplace) permits for that therapeutic to start,” she defined. “They’ve a spot they will name their very own and someplace the place they will belief.”

McLennan added that the constructing will serve extra than simply Métis individuals. She mentioned the Prince Albert Lecturers’ Affiliation will maintain conferences right here, as will the Aboriginal Headstart program. The Ministry of Social Providers can even do some coaching on web site.

McLennan mentioned the previous workplace was acquainted to everybody, and had beforehand served because the workplace for the Gabriel Dumont Institute. Nevertheless, she mentioned they wanted a brand new house in the event that they wished to broaden.

“It simply form of made sense to go to that workplace,” she defined. “We’ve outgrown (the previous house) a lot. Now we’ve got this large house and we will do issues for the youth and do issues for households and Elders and everybody.”
Elder Max Morin gave the opening prayer on Saturday, and Mayor Greg Dionne introduced greetings from the Metropolis of Prince Albert. There have been additionally impromptu speeches by Sergeant Lisa Simonson of the Prince Albert Police Service, Donna Brooks of the YWCA and Richard Ahenakew of the Northern Mild On line casino.

Michael Oleksyn/Each day Herald The Northern Prairie Dancers carried out throughout the ceremony to have a good time the brand new Cultural Gathering Place on Friday.

Tim Dyck carried out the Métis nationwide anthem and extra music within the afternoon. There was additionally a cake and excursions of the constructing.

Métis Nation president Glen McCallum was scheduled to look however was not current for the ceremony.

The dancers for the occasion have been the Northern Prairie Dancers, who jigged and invited members of the group for a jigging lesson. McLennan mentioned it might be nice to host youth dance classes on the constructing as a technique to convey again conventional Métis tradition.

“After I was younger and we went to a marriage, everyone was up dancing and all the things,” she mentioned. “Now our youngsters do not even know who one another are.”

Earlier than the ribbon chopping there was greetings from Youth Consultant Cody Demerais.

The method to open the constructing started in July. Since then it has been considerably reworked.

“It was House {Hardware} earlier than after which it sat vacant for a very long time, so we made a take care of the individuals and requested if we may flip it into this,” McLennan mentioned.

The constructing additionally needed to be rezoned from business to make use of for a non-profit.

“You may’t inform it was a lumber yard. There was a lumber yard exterior too. We’ve a fenced in compound there with some storage areas,” McLennan mentioned.

McLennan herself is happy to have the build up and operating.

“It actually hits my coronary heart as a result of it permits us Métis individuals to only get to know who we’re as Métis individuals.”

michael.oleksyn@paherald.sk.ca

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