Departments, Portfolios and Affiliates

Heritage, Culture Sports and Youth

Minister: Richard Genaille

The Heritage and Sport Portfolio was developed to assist Metis people in Manitoba with the opportunity to participate in sport and learn about their heritage and culture. The main objective of the portfolio is to develop a "plan of action" for this portfolio.

Heritage and Sport Portfolio "Action Plan"

The following is a draft "Action Plan" that outlines the direction and potential of the portfolio.

The goal of the "Action Plan" is to establish a strong foundation that we can build upon by achieving the following key goals:

  1. To increase sport and recreational skills, experiences and opportunities that benefit Metis youth
  2. To increase Metis youth involvement and commitment to a healthy lifestyle through sport, recreation and educational activities
  3. To establish organizational structures and processes that support leadership skill development of Metis youth through sport, recreation and lifelong learning.

This portfolio has a vast potential that can make a positive impact for all Metis people in Manitoba. Some of the areas that the portfolio impacts are: health, education, youth, sport, recreation, heritage, justice and careers.

Another objective of the portfolio is to develop more consistency though the seven MMF Regions, as well as increase youth membership within the MMF. This plan is currently in its second draft and awaiting further input from the MMF membership.

Portfolio Summary

2009 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships [NAHC] - The MMF, along with the Keewatin Tribal Council, the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the Manitoba Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Council, was successful in bringing the 2009 NAHC to Winnipeg in May 2009. The MMF, through the Heritage and Sports Portfolio, became one of the four partners that co-hosted the week-long hockey championship, which ran from May 3, 2009 to May 10, 2009. Twenty male and female teams with players between the ages 15 to 18 from across the country came to compete for the Turtle Island Cup. The games were played at the Max Bell Arena and Dakota Community Centre. The feedback from all who participated was very positive. The heritage and sport coordinator and the Road to Gold coordinator were part of the host organizing committee that assisted with the planning and coordination of the tournament.

Road to Gold Program - Thomas Parenteau was hired in April 2009 to run the Road to Gold program. The program was designed to offer Metis youth opportunities to learn and excel in sport.

  • Golf Clinic - Held June 6, 2009. Over 40 youth participated in the one-day clinic at Shooters Family Golf Centre. The clinic was facilitated by Performance Golf Inc. Dave McMillan, Blake Russell, Mark Anderson and Darren McMillan were the four instructors who conducted the three different stations during the event. The Road to Gold Program is looking into running a second clinic in the fall.
  • Mixed Martial Arts Camp - Held August 4, 2009 to August 31, 2009 at the Freight House Door #3. Youth between the ages 8 to 17 participated in the program. The month-long camp focused on four different disciplines during the week: Monday - Jiu Jitsu (Alex Foster from the Dragon's Den); Tuesday - Karate (Gordon Boyko from the Wellness Institute); Wednesday - Boxing (Kent Brown from the United Boxing Club); and Thursday - Wrestling (Yuri Sudermann from the Freight House C.C.). The camp was a success, with over 40 youth attending daily. The Road to Gold program garnered provincial-wide media exposure through CBC-TV and CBC Radio's coverage of the first day of activity, showing Metis youth participating in the camp.

MMF 40th Annual General Assembly was held from September 11 to 14, 2008 in Brandon. Activities included coordinating cultural music, entertainment and presentations during the event. Displays included Red River carts, furs, commercial fishing, wild berry jams and some plants our ancestors used for medicine.

Louis Riel Commemoration Day was held on November 16, 2008. The event started with a procession from Riel House to St. Boniface Cemetery, followed by a church service and a gravesite ceremony. Greetings, presentations and Metis cultural entertainment were held at the St. Boniface Culture Centre from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Traditional food and drinks were also served.

Christmas Fundraiser - On December 13, 2008, a Christmas fundraiser was organized for the Christmas Cheer Board at Home Office with Metis volunteer entertainment, different draws and food.

Christmas Parade - On December 15, 2008, the MMF entered a float in the Christmas parade. Our float was decorated to celebrate a traditional Metis Christmas, along with lights, fiddling music, young square dancers and a caller.

Riel Day Statutory Holiday - February 16, 2009 was a celebration for all of the Metis Nation and all Nations to enjoy the Metis culture. Poems Louis Riel wrote were available to see all day at the museum. Infinity Flags were displayed all over the city and Manitoba communities. Home Office displayed Metis entertainment and food.

Aboriginal Day - Held in Selkirk on June 21, 2009. There was participation from all Nations enjoying the festivities and food. Metis entertainers provided fiddling, singing, jigging and square dancing. Food and beverages were served to everyone in attendance. In the evening, a fireworks display was conducted to end the day's festivities.

Annual Street Festival - Was held on August 15, 2009. Although it rained most of the day, we still had over 150 community members who attended the event. We would like to thank all of the volunteers and performers who made this year's Street Fest a success.

Cultural Events Coordinator
The coordinator works out of the MMF Home Office. As part of his duties, the Cultural Events Coordinator assists communities and schools organize culture and heritage events. During the year, he performed the opening prayers for activities organized through Home Office programs and local schools, as well as at the University of Winnipeg. The coordinator also participated as a judge for the university students' work project displays.

Heritage and Sport Coordinator
The coordinator works out of the MMF Winnipeg Region. The coordinator has been working with the Minister to create the Action Plan for this portfolio. He has participated in various meetings and activities involved with heritage and sport within the City of Winnipeg and the province. The coordinator has also assisted with all of the events that the Winnipeg Region has hosted.

For more information, contact Thomas Parenteau at the Winnipeg Region office.