Toronto and York Region Métis Community

Geographic Boundaries

The Community represented by the Toronto and York Region Metis Council is described geographically as follows: 

  • Western boundaries of Toronto and York Region
  • Northern boundaries of York Region and the shores of Lake Simcoe
  • Eastern boundary from Franklin Beach at Lake Simcoe South along Highway 48 to Lake Ontario
  • Southern boundary is Lake Ontario
Photo credit:
@magnesonstudios

What does TYRMC Do?

Our Mission

As part of the Métis Nation, we represent Métis people in Toronto and York Regions. We aspire to provide cultural events, education and build healthy and reciprocal relationships in the spirit of reconciliation. 

Our Vision

As part of the Métis Nation, we represent Métis people in Toronto and York Regions. We aspire to provide cultural events, education and build healthy and reciprocal relationships in the spirit of reconciliation. 

TYRMC Leadership

Shirley Debassige (née Dusome) (she/her)

President

Derek Johnstone (he/him)

Chair

Suzanne Brunelle (she/her)

Senator

Lisa Shales (she/her)

Secretary

Luanne Joy Cunningham (she/her)

Women’s Representative

Marissa Magneson (she/her)

Youth Representative

Nicole Skura (she/they)

2SLGBTQ+ Councilor

Coreen Cain (she/her)

Councilor

Kate Stewart-McNeal

Councilor

Steven Smith

Councilor

Métis History

The Métis are a distinct Indigenous people with a unique history, culture, language, and territory.

TYRMC History

  • 1996 – Toronto Metis Council established
  • 2009 – Community expanded beyond metropolitan core to include York Region, with new charter issued by the MNO for the Toronto and York Region Métis Council.

The Métis Nation stems from the rich influences of our European forefathers and First Nations foremothers whose unions resulted in generations of mixed blooded people. Such mixed-blood people, over time, settled in areas concentrated with other folks of mixed ancestry and influence, often centered around the waterways and portage routes of the fur trade. It is from these vibrant historic communities that Métis culture and way of life continue to flow and adapt. It is the Métis descendants of these historic communities, situated across the Homelands (from the coast of British Columbia to the shores of the Great Lakes) who continue to ensure Métis voices are heard and celebrated as we thrive in the 21st century.

The sash is a well-known symbol representing the history of the Métis Nation, including its mixed origins. Influenced by First Nations fingerweaving techniques and European design and raw materials, the sash was originally produced by Métis women and girls and worn by Metis voyageurs during the fur trade period. It served as an incredibly useful tool while spending long days traveling through the bush and traversing the waters. Primarily, the sash could be used as a protective belt to prevent hernias from occurring or worsening; this speaks well to the physical demands of the voyageur lifestyle. To briefly touch on a very long list: the sash could also be used as a tumpline, a tourniquet, a bridle, a saddle blanket, a washcloth, a source for emergency thread, etc. While the sash is not exclusive to the Métis people, no other nation has adopted it as a symbol of pride, and identity quite as the Métis have. Today, you can see sashes that have been fingerwoven, loom woven, or mass-produced.

– written by TYRMC citizen Megan Southwell

The Colours of Our Sash

Green runs through the sash and represents the gardens, ravines, and forests throughout Toronto and York Region. It also represents the future through Métis youth.

Purple honours the 2SLGBTQ+ Métis community.

Grey honours the concrete and the urban communities we call home.

Blue represents the sky, the water, and the Métis flag. The three blue stripes represent the three rivers that connect Toronto and York Region – the Humber, the Don, and the Rouge.

White honours the wisdom of Métis Elders, Senators, and Knowledge Keepers, and exemplifies the infinity symbol and that our culture will live on.

Red represents our heritage and our blood. It also honours Métis veterans.

Yellow honours Métis women and honours those committed to ending violence and abuse.

Yellow, Red, Black, and White represent the four directions, the diversity of the region, and the acknowledgement that we are on the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples.

Contact Us

Get in touch with us!

75 Sherbourne St, Unit 311, Toronto ON, M5A 2P9

416-977-9881 ext. 124

© 2022 Toronto York Region Métis Community