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Metis Mingle event in Cold Lake strengthens community bonds

The Otipemisiwak Metis Government’s Children and Family Services Department organized a series of Metis mingle events across Alberta to foster connections and celebrate culture. Among these gatherings, on March 23, Cold Lake had the honor of hosting one of these enriching events, which saw families coming together to participate in various activities and workshops.  


Reflecting on the event, Andrea Sandmaier, President of the Otipemisiwak Metis Government of the Metis Nation within Alberta, shared her insights. “When I walked into the event, it was heartwarming to see kids building a community out of Lego, each bringing their unique ideas and working together. It was beautiful,” she remarked.  


Sandmaier articulated the driving force behind hosting the Metis Mingle events, “It’s always about connecting. For Metis families, these events provide an opportunity to learn about culture and strengthen bonds. Connection is crucial for our mental wellness, and these events serve as a platform for families to meet and interact.”  


Workshops during the event catered to parents and caregivers, emphasizing mindfulness and yoga sessions alongside children’s activities. Sandmaier emphasized the significance of these workshops, stating, “It was a lovely day where parents and children alike gained skills and knowledge.”  

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Youth engagement in the workshops was particularly noteworthy, as they interacted with peers and learned about their culture.  


Feedback from attendees highlighted the value of these events in strengthening community bonds. “Parents and families left the event feeling happy and eager to continue interacting with each other,” shared Sandmaier. Such gatherings contribute significantly to building a sense of belonging and unity within the community.  


Looking ahead, the Alberta Metis Fest is scheduled for June 21st and 22nd at Metis Crossing. Sandmaier expressed enthusiasm for the upcoming celebration, noting its significance on Indigenous Peoples Day. “This celebration promises music, cultural performances, jigging artists, and market vendors- a testament to the richness of Metis culture and traditions,” she remarked. 


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