Temiskaming Metis Community Council History
The Temiskaming Metis Community Council (TMCC) is a charter member of the Metis Nation of Ontario. The founding meeting of the TMCC was held on November 1, 1999. In 2001, the TMCC opened an office in Haileybury and launched their website. They offered a range of services to their members which included addressing health, social, and economic development. As of July 2004, the province officially recognized the Temiskaming Metis as historic Metis community, recognizing their right to harvest on the land.
The mission of the Temiskaming Metis Community Council is to allow the Metis Community to unite in the common interest of the enrichment of the body, heart, mind, and spirit through the provision of programs and services and to promote Metis cultural traditions.
In 2002, TMCC developed a business plan for a native craft store, this led to the launch of “Country Born Artisan”, an authentic aboriginal arts and crafts store in 2003. Country Born Artisan was a store for discerning, quality conscious buyers of authentic aboriginal arts and crafts and complementary products. It was owned and operated by the Temiskaming Metis Community Council.
This project was operated to create employment and promote the Metis history and culture through public education, workshops, conferences and special events. Every effort was made to maintain a consistently high standard of quality supplying items that were original, authentic and Canadian/aboriginal made.
The TMCC has provided a variety of programs and worked on various projects over the years. Major projects included the following;
Breast Health for Metis Women
A project to establish a comfortable level of communication between the service providers and the Metis women in Temiskaming which created a sustainable support network resulting in better informed Metis women on the prevention of Breast Cancer and thereby reducing Breast Cancer.
Weaving The Strands
This project was the second phase of the “Knowledge is Understanding” project, entitled “Weaving The Strands”. It took the knowledge from the first phase, and attempted to educate the Metis community and the general public on the effects of the residential school legacy.
Significant Activities to date:
• November 1999 - Adopted name
• November 1999 - Adopted Logo
• March 2000 - Adopted By-laws
• May 2000 - Cultural Gathering
• July 2000 - Signed Charter agreement with Metis Nation of Ontario
• October 2000 - Native Craft Class
• December 2000 - "Knowledge is Understanding" project approved for funding by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation
• March/April 2001 - Organizational Development Training Course funded by the Ontario Aboriginal Economic Development Program
• May 2001 - Career Fair funded by the Indian and Inuit Health Career Program
• June 2001 - Secured first office space
• June 2001 - Fundraising - Yard Sale
• August 2001- First installment received from Aboriginal Healing Foundation
• September 2001 - Office Grand Opening & Launching of "Knowledge is Understanding" project
Voyageurs of the New Generation
This project was intended to be a long term initiative aimed at promoting the Metis culture and educating Metis/Aboriginal youth so they would better understand their past, present, and gain a sense of empowerment to be better prepared for their future. The project was funded by the Metis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Urban Multi-Purpose Aboriginal Youth Centres (UMAYC) program. The project was funded for three years and saw a full council of young Metis youth from Temiskaming.
In 2007-2008, Temiskaming Metis Community Council activities and projects were post-poned. This led to the closing of the office formerly located in Cobalt, Ontario, Canada, and the closing of the Country Born Artisan.
Now in 2010, the Temiskaming Metis Community Council has seen a shuffle of its council members. In 2008-2009, the following members were acclaimed to their positions. Liliane Ethier, born and raised of a Metis family in Temiskaming, Ontario, was acclaimed to sit as President of the Temiskaming Metis Community Council. Other members include, Karen Beland, George Ethier, Claude Dupuis, Florence Watson, Tina Nichol, and Chris Acton.
The Temiskaming Metis Community Council is working to establish a presence for Metis people in the region, a deeper understanding of Metis culture within their community and the general public, and financial sustainability in order to continue to provide their important programs and services.
The TMCC is still committed to their code of behavior which states the following;
• We respect the individual differences of all people in our community.
• We value honest and open communication.
• Each of us is dedicated to sharing the responsibilities of all activities.
• We will not make judgments until we have walked a mile in ones moccasins.
• Regular Executive Committee meetings
• Four General Meeting per year
• Aboriginal Celebrations
• Provide assistance with: general inquiries and application forms
• Provide Educational resources i.e. Pamphlets, flyers, contact people, phone numbers, addresses for various programs
• Actively seek funding for programs that will enhance and promote the Metis Culture