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Métis Professional Development

By Lisa Bird-Wilson

Oct 3, 2019

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You won’t want to miss the opportunity to attend a once-in-a-decade Métis cultural experience—the Gabriel Dumont Institute Culture Conference! For two-days in February, we will be bringing some of the best, brightest, and most-talented Métis in Canada to host workshops, discussions, and keynote addresses. You will be able to take part in small interactive workshops on Métis embroidery, jigging, Métis beadwork, sash finger-weaving, Métis ribbon skirts, genealogy, square dance, song writing, fiddling, memoir writing, and Indigenous plants. You can also sign up to hear the latest from pre-eminent Métis researchers and scholars, learn about homelessness from a Métis perspective, access new Michif resources, or make a model Red River cart. There are so many cultural sessions to choose from you’ll wish you could participate in all of them.

Keynote addresses include renowned Métis author, playwright, and Elder, Maria Campbell who will share her inspiring message with attendees, as well as Jesse Thistle, author of the national bestselling book From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way (published by Simon & Schuster Canada, 2019), who will share his incredible story of overcoming homelessness and finding his way back to his Métis culture through education.

The Gabriel Dumont Institute Culture Conference will take place on February 7 & 8, 2020 in Saskatoon and will include a celebration of the Institute’s 40th Anniversary (1980-2020). A gala evening complete with banquet and entertainment will pay homage to those who have made outstanding contributions to the Métis with the Order of Gabriel Dumont silver and gold medal awards. A special student banquet will be held on February 6th to honour Gabriel Dumont Institute students – who have distinguished themselves through their perseverance, community involvement, and overall student performance – with the Order of Gabriel Dumont bronze medals. (Note that deadline for nominating a deserving person for the Order of Gabriel Dumont is October 31, 2019. For more information, including application form, please visit: https://gdins.org/metis-culture/the-order-of-gabriel-dumont-call-for-nominations/).

Gabriel Dumont Institute staff have the privilege of access to a full conference pass at no charge (a $450 value) and the chance to sign up early for conference sessions (keep an eye on your email), thereby ensuring your spot in what will be a sold-out event. It is our hope that as many staff as possible will register to attend, in the spirit not only of celebrating Métis culture and heritage, as well as the Institute’s accomplishments over the past four decades, but also as an estimable professional development opportunity.

As already stated, there will be a broad variety of professional development sessions to choose from. Get ready to learn, reconnect with some cultural activities, and have fun.

Blocks of rooms have been reserved for out of town staff at the Saskatoon Inn and at the Travelodge. The 40thAnniversary is a time to celebrate Métis culture, our accomplishments, and our future successes. The support and attendance of the staff shows the strength and pride we have for Gabriel Dumont Institute and our Métis heritage.

Here is some trivia. In 1980, the Gabriel Dumont Institute had total revenue of $690,692 (including $1,875 in staff parking). The Institute expenditures were $631,577. In 2017-2018, the Institute’s total revenue was over $31.7 million (a 4497% increase from 1980) while the expenditures increased by 5045% to $32.5 million.

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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