For hundreds of years and continuing today, Métis women have been the caretakers of Mother Earth, the keepers of Métis culture, and the respected and beloved Knowledge Keepers of their communities across the Motherland.
Métis women’s traditional harvesting practices are inextricably connected to the establishment, resilience, and continued vitality of the Métis culture in Canada.
Harvesting berries, picking medicines, hunting small game, net fishing, drying meats, and expressing Métis female identity through social, ceremonial and cultural practices, provide a continuity of culture and belonging that is essential to the physical, social and spiritual health of the Women of the Métis Nation.
Being on the land, connecting with the land, and protecting the land, water and skies in their traditional roles as the protectors of Mother Earth, are culturally grounding ways to support Métis women in connecting with their ancestors, their children, their families, their communities, and themselves.
Mothers of the Land, Water and Skies explores the impacts of climate change on Métis women, including increased food insecurity, erosion of traditional knowledge and land use, and related mental and physical health impacts, including negative effects on Métis women’s maternal, sexual and reproductive health. The project focuses on options for returning to traditional, land-based cultural and harvesting practices to fight climate change and contribute to improved mental, physical and spiritual health of Métis women, their children, families and communities.
As part of the Mothers of the Land, Water and Skies project, LFMO will host an annual engagement session to gather and build upon feedback we receive from Métis women about the impacts of climate change on their physical, mental, and cultural health. We will also have dedicated components about Métis Women and Climate Change at our Annual Women’s Fora and Annual General Meetings to share project updates and continue the engagement process.
Going forward, areas of engagement and community consultation on Métis Women and Climate Change will focus on:
- Supporting the ongoing work of Amnesty Canada to document and end the harmful impacts of energy development and resource extraction across the Métis Motherland;
- Supporting the development of educational resources to assist Métis women to become active participants in developing safe, reliable, affordable clean energy, while conserving and protecting our natural land and water resources;
- Supporting resource-sharing initiatives to create self-reliant, resilient Métis communities;
- Promoting the use and benefits of clean energy initiatives and actions; and
- Supporting the integration of our Métis ancestors’ traditional knowledge and wisdom with western science, and training our young Métis women, men, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Métis to become knowledgeable protectors of the lands and waters.
Stay tuned for our engagement sessions!