As a First Nations, Métis or Inuit (FNMI) student, you are never alone. You can overcome trials and succeed in life by leaning on the support of family and the wider native community. That was the message given to about 40 FNMI students Monday attending the Upper Canada District School Board Native Student Leadership event, held at the North Grenville Municipal Centre.
Presenters Maheengun Shawanda and Bernadette Shawanda led students through a role-playing exercise modelled after the traditional native Welcoming Ceremony, and discussed how the ceremony and other native traditions stressed the importance of family and community connections to help students navigate challenging times and remain successful.
Bernadette and Maheengun also spoke about the need for native youth to have a dual pathway, to be prepared not only through the traditions of their people but also in the ways that modern society requires – such as the importance of obtaining a post-secondary education.