Métis Family Structure

Lii zaafaan pi lii faamii Michif
Métis Children and Families

The turtle is an important symbol of Mother Earth, and according to many creation stories, North America is often called Turtle Island.  In this artwork, the sea turtle carries the vision of the traditional Metis social structure practiced by Metis society, whereby the Elders and Children are at the center of our community circle. 

The two hearts in the heart center of the circle represent the important loving place of our Elders and Children in Metis society.  Our Elders represent the past, and our children are the future ambassadors of Metis culture and identity.  

The second circle represents the gifts of Metis youth. The youth are symbolized by butterflies and plants, which teach how important it is to be supportive of the growth and transformation of our youth.   

The third circle represents the important roles Metis women play in our society. The women ensure the inner circles are supported and functioning.  Metis women ensure the home and community are meeting the needs of the Elders, children, and youth; thus, the three lodges represent nurturing and strength of the women for these groups. 

The last circle is the men's circle, who are protectors of the entire social circle and our men work closely with the women to protect and provide for the greater circle of life and community.

by Leah Marie Dorion

The turtle is an important symbol of Mother Earth
Leah Marie Dorion