Elders

Defining the Role of Elders Today – In the Family and Community

  • Pass on the languages (Michif, Cree, Dene, Saulteaux, French, etc.);
  • Show respect to other elders in the community;
  • Bridge the gap between Elders and Youth;
  • Provide a sense of pride in the Métis heritage and traditions;
  • Tell stories and legends;
  • Offer guidance (not lectures);
  • Hold/lead/support summer cultural camps;
  • Tutor students to help them cope with life;
  • Talk to young people about traditions, customs, languages;
  • Act as counselors in school;
  • Teach parenting programs;
  • Teach children in schools about culture, history, the present, and the initiatives that Elders have taken;
  • Form partnerships with Youth to solve problems;
  • Age does not have very much to do with becoming an Elder – you have to earn the respect of the Community to become an Elder;
  • Elders need to earn the respect of the community if they want to be involved;
  • Should have the knowledge of history and traditions;
  • Person must be honest, spiritual, holistic, and be able to offer guidance and spiritual healing;
  • Elders should have time and respect for others;
  • Elders should be good role models to others;
  • Elders should take time to help others.

Elder Development should include:

  • More Elders conferences with young people involved;
  • Advertise conferences, reach out to the community;
  • Keep Elders conferences non-political, politicians can speak but should have no control over the conference;
  • Arrange transportation and accommodations;
  • More Elders in the community;
  • More Cultural gatherings;
  • Help for Elders to heal from residential school experiences;
  • Elders have knowledge and cultural understanding that needs preserving;
  • Teach Youth that Elders are always willing to give advice;
  • Change education systems to include more Michif language;
  • To preserver our culture we must use education (Elders teach Youth);
  • Children need to be taught to be thankful for parents and grandparents;
  • Recognize that television is a bad influence;
  • Recognize that children are stuck between the Métis and White people;
  • Teach children that when they are in trouble that the Elders want to hear it from them first, not the police or a friend;
  • Children need to learn to work because this forces you to put limits on yourself by being accountable; and
  • Sit down and discuss things with children and grandchildren.