As part of the national Da-giiwewaat campaign, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Grand River Métis Council (GRMC) recently hosted a Baby Moccasins Workshop by Nancy Rowe and Colinda Clyne. Rowe is a member of the Mississaugas of the Credit River First Nation and is one of the founders of the Da-giiwewaat and Clyne is with the Upper Grand District School Board. They provided the workshop at the MNO office in Kitchener. The purpose of Da-giiwewaat, which means “so they can go home” is to raise awareness about the large number of Indigenous children who are put in care by child protection agencies.
One element of the campaign is to encourage communities and individuals to produce baby moccasins.The baby moccasins are produced to give to Indigenous children who have been placed in care as a way of connecting to their Indigenous heritage and communities.The moccasins are a cultural link for each baby – a gift of love and caring and resistance. Making the moccasins also raises awareness of the issue and creates links between Indigenous communities.
The MNO GRMC committed to making 150 moccasins to deliver to babies being taken into care. The Council invited members of the community and its allies to participate in the workshop and were delighted to welcome about two dozen participants of all ages. Together they learned and shared as they made moccasins. The evening was a good start and the Council easily met its target.