Ripple Effect Episode 6: Thames Bluewater Métis Council
This month, Water Rangers’ Ripple Effect spotlights the Thames Bluewater Métis Council (TBWMC) and Margaret Froh, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario. A Rendezvous is a Métis gathering, a traditional gathering that celebrates community connection, builds connection and celebrates Métis culture.
Welcome to the sixth (6th) edition of The Ripple Effect! Each month, we host Water Testing Weekend. On Water Testing Weekend (the last Sunday of every month), we encourage you to get out and test your local waterway. As part of these water testing celebrations, we host water testing and stewardship activities, with interviews with experts and community members. The Ripple Effect will be shared on the Friday of testing weekends.
When it comes to protecting waterways, community-based water monitoring is often just one piece of an incredible ecosystem of actions. So, we’ve recruited experts to help us all deepen our knowledge and bring us new ideas. They’re community champions, data experts, scientists, knowledge holders, and more. Join us as we learn from these experts and deepen our knowledge of the monitoring ecosystem.
Introducing the Thames Bluewater Métis Council
This month, Water Rangers’ Ripple Effect spotlights the Thames Bluewater Métis Council (TBWMC) and Margaret Froh, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario.
There are over 30 Métis community councils in Ontario, including the Thames Bluewater Métis Council. The councils serve the individuals and communities that are a part of the Métis Nation. The Métis Nation of Ontario and its hard working community councils, like Thames Bluewater Métis Council, are supporting Métis citizens on their path toward self-government and self-determination.
Water Rangers joined the TBWMC at the council’s first ever Rendezvous, held on the shores of Lake Huron in June 2022. We celebrated together, and also had the opportunity to chat with President Froh, and council citizens to discuss water.
What is a Rendezvous?
A Rendezvous is a Métis gathering, a traditional gathering that celebrates community connection, builds connection and celebrates Métis culture.
It’s time for a conversation around colonization and the impact that it’s had on Métis access to and celebration of life on the water.
Water Rangers had the honour to sit down with President Froh to discuss the history of the Métis in Ontario. Our conversation also looked at the Métis’ historic and current relationship to water.
President Froh recounted that, in Ontario “Métis communities emerged around the upper Great Lakes, along the South, all wrapped around the fur trade movement; along the waterways. Métis communities emerged in those distinct areas. And in fact, that’s where our communities remain to this day.”
“We [the Métis] continue to have a great interest within our communities, around water, around climate change, around environment.”Margarite Froh, President, Métis Nation of Ontario
The waterways really were the highways ,and the waterways connected Métis communities. There are and continue to remain strong family and strong kinship connections within communities like the Upper Great Lakes community.
“Métis people continue to live very close to the land, and that relationship with water is very important to us.” President Froh explained that “We [the Métis] continue to have a great interest within our communities, around water, around climate change, around environment.”
In fact, just this past year, the Métis Nation of Ontario held its first national Climate Change Forum,with an incredible turnout. With a focus on climate change and its impacts to Métis health many citizens came forward to raise their concerns to talk about what they can do within their communities to address climate related issues.
Community science in Métis communities
Community science as a tool for remediation of both the water’s health, and protecting and preserving the distinct culture and way-of-life of the Métis in Ontario. The TBWMC has incorporated Water Rangers’ tools in their ongoing work to protect and preserve the distinct culture and way-of-life of the Métis in Ontario.
Visit the Métis Nation of Ontario website for more information https://www.metisnation.org/
Ripple Effect series
Access previous episodes of the Ripple Effect here
Episode 1: River Wey Trust
Episode 2: Annie Michaud (Niagara)
Episode 3: Lawrence Gunther and Blue Fish Canada (St. Lawrence River)
Episode 4: Les Scientifines
Episode 5: Hamilton Harbour