PORCUPINE PLAIN — An upcoming event in Porcupine Plain will focus on reconciliation, share Métis culture and embrace the diverse cultures within the community.
Representatives of Métis Nation-Saskatchewan Eastern Region II (MN-S ERII) and various diverse local community leaders are in the final planning stages of “Breaking Bread Together In Reconciliation,” which will be held at the Porcupine Plain Community Hall on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Originally Elder Margaret Harrison approached ERII and the local in Porcupine Plain to plan a cultural potluck, which then grew into a mini-folkfest featuring Métis, Norwegian, Filipino and Ukrainian cultures.
Doors will open at 2 p.m. and all the vendors will provide a supper featuring authentic dishes from different cultures. Participants who attend are encouraged to bring a traditional dish to share. There will be cultural food tasting all day and people are welcome to bring something to share if they wish.
Demonstrations of each culture will be happening throughout the day. A Métis jigging workshop will start at 2:30 p.m. At 3:15 p.m. there will be Ukrainian Music and Easter egg painting. At 4 p.m. there will be a Filipino performance and at 4:45 p.m. there will be Norwegian music. The final performance, at 5:30 p.m., features the Creeland Dancers and the Dean Smith Band.
The event is sponsored by BHP Jansen, MN-S ER II & MN-S ER II Elders Branch. Elder Harrison said that traditional foods from each culture will be prepared and showcased to all the participants. Traditional methods of cooking and preparing each food will be used and shown to those in attendance.
MN-S is a government, governed by the Métis Nation Legislative Assembly (MNLA) that represents the political, socioeconomic, cultural and educational interests of approximately 80,000 Métis people in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is divided into 12 regions with an elected regional director representing each. MN-S ER II includes Porcupine Plain, Melfort, Nipawin, Wynyard, Preeceville and Hudson Bay.
Brent Digness is the director for ERII. He is also the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism for the MN-S. He said he is excited for this event and hopes to bring unity in the community and more reconciliatory events to other communities within his region.
In the Porcupine Plain and Chelan Locals, there are approximately 60 Métis Citizens that are members. There are around 350 Métis citizens, who are members of locals, in ERII. These numbers do not include the youth, so they are actually higher when those are factored in.
Since Minister Digness was elected and became Director for ERII, Métis people obtaining citizenship has increased significantly in ERII.