The recently released report called “Sharing their stories” includes narratives by Young Metis Parents on Parenting. According to their culture, your parents are your first teachers. These stories are based on deliberations by eighteen Metis parents.
Being a Metis is not merely being of European heritage. Metis is a unique community which dates back to the 18th Century. Over the years, they have become unforgotten, reduced to an irrelevant position in Canadian society. They have had to fight for their rights tirelessly, and, today, they represent a fast-growing Canada population.
In the Metis culture, children and families are considered as the center of the community. Children were historically raised by their parents, extended family, and the community as a whole. Everyone felt they had a role to play and a sense of responsibility to look after the young ones in the community.
Learning how to care for children was a valuable lesson. Each child was seen as possessing a unique ability, and it was the role of the parents and elders to help these children discover or explore their talents.
From the stories shared by the eighteen respondents, four themes stood out:
- Education and Learning– the respondents highlighted their experience in residential schools and contemporary educational setting.
- Family and Parenting– participants strongly reflected on childhood experiences and the decisive role played by the extended family.
- Culture and Identity– they were focused on connecting to their land, arts, and symbols.
- Health and General Wellbeing– the participants were passionate about general health and wellbeing.
Metis narratives on parenting show their unique experiences and the need for policy recommendations to support this community, their families, and children.