Turtle Island - Day 4 - Metis

These activities can be done alone, but work best with one or more friends on a video chat like Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc.

Grades K-3

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia question: True or False: Today there are 350,000-400,000 Métis in Canada.

Mindfulness activity:

  • Put your palms together at chest height.
  • Push them against each other as hard as you can.
  • Which muscle gets tired first?

Learning About the Metis Flag

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Tape
  • Straw
  • stick

There are three main groups of Indigenous Peoples in Canada: First Nations, Metis and Inuit. Did you know that each of these broad groups of peoples have their own flag? The Metis flag has a blue background and a white infinity symbol. This symbolizes the joining of two cultures, and the existence of a people forever (http://www.mmf.mb.ca/history_of_the_metis_flag.php).

To create your own flag:

  1. Draw a symbol or a design and color it creatively.
  2. Think of something that represents you and your family.
  3. Glue one side of the piece of paper to a long straw.
  4. Show your flag to your friends and tell them why it’s important to you!

Dot Painting

Supplies:

  • Q-tips
  • Paint
  • Paper plates

The Metis are known for their elaborate beadwork on clothing and materials. “Dot Art” mimics beads! Watch a video and learn more about Metis art.

  • Using a q-tip, dip the tip into paint and dot the paper plate.
  • Create a pattern of things that are meaningful to you.
  • Use a different q-tip for each color to make sure your colours don’t mix together.

Metis Music and a Homemade Fiddle

Listen to the following artist to learn how the Metis People liked to play the fiddle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8-Ca51RLZo&list=PLG-h3ul6bd4HyX2FZdGkXtpO0K5WFnZu0

Supplies:

  • Cardboard
  • String
  • Glue
  • String

Directions:

  1. Cut out the following shapes out of cardboard and glue them together to make the shape of a fiddle.
  2. Use string and secure it to the front and back of the fiddle.
  3. You can use a chop stick as your fiddle’s bow.
  4. Play along to the Rabbit Song and dance!

Review Questions

Ask your child:

  • How did it make you feel listening to fiddle music? (Feel)
  • Why do you think having their own flag would be important to the Metis people? (Think)
  • What are some other ways you can celebrate the Metis people? (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: True

Homemade fiddle

Grades 4-6

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia question: What does Métis mean?

Mindfulness activity:

  • Sit in a comfortable spot.
  • Take a deep breath in and bring your hands together.
  • Start rubbing your hands together slowly.
  • Now a little bit faster.
  • Count down from 10.
  • When you get to zero stop your rubbing your hands together but keep them pressed together.
  • Notice how your hands feel and notice the warmth you created with a bit of movement.

Metis Culture

Supplies:

  • Coloured pencils, markers or crayons
  • Paper

The Metis culture is a combination of two worlds, Indigenous and European.

How can you relate to that experience?  Think about all the things that influence people like where you grow up, your family’s tradition, culture, religion, etc. 

  • Select a few words of influential things and create an abstract piece of art.
  • Grab some markers write the words/ letters randomly all over a piece of paper.
  • Then, use colour to fill in the rest of the page.

Metis Music and Dancing

Metis culture blends elements from two traditions (European and Indigenous) but is different from both. This fusion is apparent in Metis music and dance.

The Red River Jig is a popular song in traditional Metis music, and most fiddlers have a version of it that they play, usually for. You can watch a video of a Red River Jig.

Music and dance is part of every culture in the world. What kind of music do you listen to? What is your favorite dance move? Plan a dance party, dress up, decorate the room and have fun with your family.

Source: https://jsis.washington.edu/canada/resources/instructional-resources/

Flower Painting

The Métis are famous for their floral beadwork and are sometimes called the ‘Flower Beadwork People’. The symmetric floral beadwork, often set against a black or dark blue background, was inspired by European floral designs, and traditionally use seed beads.

Supplies:

  • Black paint
  • Paper or canvas
  • Coloured paint
  • Thin paint brush

For activity you will be creating your own flower painting.

  • Paint a canvas or paper sheet in black and let it dry.
  • Next, using different paint colours and a paint brush, make small dots to create shapes that are meaningful to you.

Review Questions

Ask your child:

  • How do you feel when you listen to music? (Feel)
  • Why do you think music and art are important as a form of expression? (Think)
  • What can you do in the future to support local artists? (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: The word Métis is French, and is related to the Spanish word mestizo. It means the same thing: "mixed blood"; both names come from the Latin word mixtus, "mixed".

Grades 7+

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia question: What goes up and down but never moves?

Mindfulness activity:

  • Act out what it looks like to eat too fast.
  • How about eating too slow?
  • Now try eating just right.
  • How do you choose the right amount of energy?

Jigging

Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers are three siblings from Winnipeg, Manitoba who share a passion for jigging! Michael, Jacob and Cieanna Harris began dancing at five years old. Michael, being the oldest, started performing solo shows, then Jacob followed in his brother’s footsteps and they became a duo. Cieanna enjoyed watching her brothers perform, so she learned too and they became a trio.

They perform traditional dances of the Red River Jig mixed with modern dancing known as the hip hop jig. Their main focus is to attract youth through the rhythm and style of the hip hop jig. They hope to motivate and inspire people of all ages, and bring awareness that their culture is going strong. Watch them dance!

Supplies:

  • Camera

Create a dance with your siblings or friends that includes your culture and a mix of modern dancing such as pop, hip-hop, or anything traditional to your roots.

Take the time to practice and use a phone camera to capture your dance. Share this with your family and friends on social media to inspire others as well.

Metis Flag

The Métis flag is a white infinity sign on a blue background. The infinity symbol represents the mixing of two cultures to create a unique and distinct culture. Research the Métis flag to understand its meaning and create your own flag that can represent your family, culture and even your community.

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Markers
  • Pencil

Directions:

  • Think of a symbol you can use that can represent you flag and think of colors that are meaningful to you.
  • Share your flag and explain why you chose the symbol and colors.
  • Post your flag in your room or home so everyone can see your proud flag.

Map Game

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Object of your choice to hide

The map game develops youth ability to give and follow directions and promoted interaction between males and females. This game can be played with your sibling or another friend.

  • One of you will start as the captain and hide an object of your choice in your house.
  • The captain will draw a map for the opposing player, detailing the position of the hidden object.
  • The map could be made very difficult, as long as it is readable.
  • The opposing players would have to find the hidden object using this map.
  • Once the object is found, the opposing player will bring the item back.
  • Switch roles and see who can find the object the fastest.

Review Questions

  • How did you feel about creating your own dance that related to your culture? (Feel)
  • What does your flag represent? (Think)
  • What were places you found to be difficult to find the object? (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: The temperature.

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