Canada's plan

NWMO lunch and learn provides opportunity for staff to share Métis history and traditions

The sash is one of the most recognized garments worn by the Métis and was used by the Métis as a practical item of clothing.

The sash is one of the most recognized garments worn by the Métis and was used by the Métis as a practical item of clothing.

July 4, 2019

Toronto

By the NWMO

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The sash is one of the most recognized garments worn by the Métis and was used by the Métis as a practical item of clothing.

The sash is one of the most recognized garments worn by the Métis and was used by the Métis as a practical item of clothing.

As part of many activities the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has planned throughout the month of June to celebrate National Indigenous History Month, employees took part in a lunch and learn on Métis history and traditions.

 

“It means a lot to me to be able to share about my proud Métis heritage because unlike my ancestors, I am able to share it without facing scrutiny. It is great to see my colleagues eager to learn and understand more about why it means so much to me,” said Rebekah Wilson, Indigenous Relations Associate at the NWMO.

 

Ms. Wilson and James Wagar, both NWMO employees, provided a personal account of their journey of self-discovery, as well as shared the history of the Métis people, and the distinct culture, collective consciousness and communities that developed along the fur trade routes. 

 

Ms. Wilson’s Métis roots originate in the Georgian Bay region of Ontario with connections to Quebec City (New France). She began her learning journey into her family’s Métis heritage at 16 years old. She recalls, “my grandfather singing to me as a child in a language I had not heard. Now, after discovering my Métis background, I realize the cultural significance, and it means so much more. My grandfather was 80 years old before he started to open up about his Métis roots, and I love being able to carry on his legacy.” 

 

Mr. Wagar, Senior Indigenous Engagement Advisor at the NWMO, was 25 years old before he found out about his Métis heritage. He described it as an “enlightening moment of self-realization of who I was and why my heritage was hidden from me for all these years.” He credits “the Georgian Bay Métis Council for playing a vital role in helping me understand my culture.” For years, his ancestors “hid who they were just so they could feed their family.”

 

The learning opportunity is one of many activities the NWMO has planned throughout the month of June to celebrate National Indigenous History Month. Other planned activities include the launch of an eight-part video series, titled “Voices of Reconciliation.”

 

The NWMO is committed to working with the Métis to learn more about how they can effectively participate in Canada’s plan for used nuclear fuel.

 

 About the NWMO

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.

Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.
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the NWMO

The NWMO is a not-for profit organization established in 2002 by Canada's nuclear electricity producers in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA).

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