By Ethan R., Halton Youth Initiative Community Builders Virtual Team
December 11, 2020
On a bright Remembrance Day afternoon, myself, along with a diverse cast of youth volunteers across the Halton Region, had the privilege of hearing from Vice-Chair Sharon Cadeau, the spokesperson for the Métis Nation of Ontario Women’s Council. Vice-Chair Cadeau first entered Métis politics in 1999, through her career, she has served in many roles, such as Regional Women’s Representative, Regional Councillor, and founding President of the Credit River Métis Council. Additionally, through these positions, Sharon worked to secure the necessary funding to conduct important advocacy and public awareness within the Women’s Council. Furthermore, she has worked on several different boards and committees, along with her involvement in the historic Self-Government Agreement with Canada. Through her impressive contributions to the Métis community, Vice-Chair Cadeau shared her valuable knowledge and experience in an engaging and impactful conversation with Halton youth.
During the session, Sharon first shared with us some videos about the Métis Nation of Ontario, to create a greater understanding before the youth question period. Many of these videos were quite eye-opening. Learning about the land dispute in Sault Saint Marie effectively presents the challenges that the Métis community face. It is shocking to hear that over 170 years later the Métis are still waiting for recognition from the Crown. Additionally, the videos showcased the history of the Métis within Northwestern Ontario along with their distinct culture and identity, the challenges they faced over the years, and their movement to self-govern. These videos provided me along with my Halton youth colleagues a clear picture and understanding of the Métis, which would assist in the impactful question period, to follow.
From Louis Riel, the stigma surrounding Métis identity to Indigenous Truth and
Reconciliation, we gained valuable insight from a prominent Métis community member.
Overall, I felt satisfied with the newfound knowledge gained from this experience. It was
very impactful to learn and hear from Vice-Chair Cadeau and am looking forward to the next time we cross paths.