Métis Council Presents RVH With Symbolic Sash

Members of the Barrie South Simcoe Métis Council (BSSMC) present RVH with a Métis Sash in honour of the relationship between the two organizations. l to r: Arlene Merkley, Women’s Representative, BSSMC; Karen Muscat, Senator, BSSMC; Gail Hunt, RVH President and CEO; Jeremy Scot, Councillor, BSSMC; Doug Frost, Chair, RVH Board of Directors; Tony Muscat, Chair, BSSMC; and Samantha Loney, Councillor, BSSMC

Members of the Barrie South Simcoe Métis Council (BSSMC) visited Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) today to present a Métis Sash in honour of the relationship between the two organizations and the efforts made by RVH on behalf of the Métis community.

The Métis Sash is one of the most prominent symbols of the Métis Nation of Ontario. Dating back to the days of the voyageurs, the sash was originally a colourful item of clothing worn by the hardy tradesmen that also served many other uses, like a first aid kit, towel, saddle blanket or emergency bridle. In the 20th century, the sash acquired new significance, now symbolizing pride and identification for Métis people.

“The sash is bestowed upon community partners who have made cultural, political or social contributions to our people. In this ceremony, the Métis sash will act as a symbol that all Métis are welcome and supported at RVH,” says Arlene Merkley, Women’s Representative, BSSMC.

RVH is committed to creating and sustaining an environment in which patients of Indigenous heritage feel safe, supported, and respected. RVH currently shares a formal Letter of Relationship with the regional Indigenous Health Circle and is a Downie-Wenjack Fund (DWF) Legacy Space partner. RVH’s Indigenous Patient Services team provides culturally relevant support and advocacy for patients and families across the health centre, as well as assistance with discharge and community resources.

“I’m humbled and honoured to have received this Métis Sash on behalf of RVH, and I pledge to continue the work we have started to create a culturally safe and equitable place for Indigenous patients to heal and thrive,” says Gail Hunt, RVH President and CEO. “We know this is possible when we collaborate with Indigenous organizations in our community, like the BSSMC, and follow their wisdom and guidance.”

The Métis Sash will soon be on display in a special glass case in the Simcoe Entrance.


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