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Kids’ camp in Abbotsford teaches Metis traditions

Program includes ‘jigging,’ traditional foods and crafts
Fergus Dalton teaches some traditional Metis jigging during a camp on Wednesday in Abbotsford, while Sianna Reynolds (middle) and Jessica Micheals look on. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

A summer day camp was held this week in Abbotsford for kids of Metis heritage.

The camp was co-hosted all week by University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) and the Fraser Valley Metis Association at the Mamele’awt Community Aboriginal Centre on Gladwin Road.

Participants ages eight to 12 learned to jig to traditional Metis fiddle music, learned about their culture, and made traditional foods.

They also did painting, made jam and learned about the mind-body-spirit connection.

The camp was run by Dr. Cindy Jardine and Dr. Elizabeth Cooper, a UFV researcher who was recently awarded funding from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research to lead projects examining Indigenous health and community well-being.

Some kids at the camp have volunteered to participate in a survey exploring how Metis youth perceive health.

This information will inform future development of health resources.

Cooper’s research examines the connection between historical trauma and the mental health experience of First Nations and Metis parents and youth.

(From left) Lucas Morin, Jessica Micheals, Sianna Reynolds and Linden Hale participate on Wednesday in a traditional Metis dance during a camp held in Abbotsford for Metis kids. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)