MNO part of a Canoe Pilgrimage inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report – MNO

by ahnationtalk on September 13, 201747 Views

Submitted by MNO citizen Bridget Brown. Opinions expressed in this article reflect those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the Métis Nation of Ontario.

A group of Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) staff and citizens participated in events around a Canoe Pilgrimage when the paddlers from this group reached Sault Ste. Marie this summer. The Canoe Pilgrimage was part of reconciliation efforts by Jesuits, an order of Roman Catholic priests, who once operated a residential school.

In 1967, in honour of Canada’s one hundredth anniversary and with the intention of promoting ecumenical dialogue among all faiths, 24 Jesuits and other priests completed a canoe pilgrimage following the historic fur trading route that starts in Midland and ends in Montreal. This route had been in use since the 1600’s; around the time of the first contact between Europeans and Indigenous people began. People like St. Jean de Brebouf, a Jesuit priest, and others like Samuel de Champlain began to travel an already established trading route from Montreal to Midland with Indigenous guides leading the way. This passage has historical significance as one of the main trading routes connecting the St. Lawrence River to Lake Huron before colonization.

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