MFS hosted an Aging-Out Ceremony in June of 2007. The following article, from Power Pages FBCYICN, is an account by Nathan Parnell who attended.
By Nathan Parnell
The aging-out ceremony (June 8th, 2007) with Metis Family Services (Surrey) was amazing! We (Nicole and I) arrived at the ceremony at around 4-ish. We were greeted by a young Sheriff who was very serious. There was some live music by Wayne Lavallee who is a former youth in care. We also had some drumming which was after dinner. The dinner we ate was blessed by an Elder who sang the prayer song in the Coast Salish language. We then began the ceremony after dinner. The ceremony was very special but only three youth managed to attend. The youth had 8 witnesses share some very heart-felt words. They then took the letters they were asked to write about their experiences with being in care and threw them into the fire that was made. Everyone who was able to attend was given 2 balloons. One of the Elders had asked all of us to think of a couple of youth or former youth and pray for them. We were told that as we let go of the balloons, our prayers were lifted to the Creator.
This was an amazing experience for everyone who attended. All the words that were shared as well as all the experiences that were shared are both why I was glad I was able to experience and witness. It’s always nice to see a community bring back their people and hold theses kinds of ceremonies letting them know there are people around them if they need them. I really enjoyed the experience and I’m serious when I say I would love to go to another!
For more information about aging-out ceremonies, contact an Aboriginal agency in your community.
For more information about Wayne Lavallee, go to his website at www.waynelavallee.com