I was asked to sit on the delegates forum ZOOM Town Hall Meeting Friday August 7, 2020. For those that missed the meeting I am providing you with the questions asked of each Region Director Candidate. Below are the questions and the responses I provided. There was not enough time to ask all the questions in the template but I am giving them to you as given to me.
PRESENT BIO AND PLATFORM:
Tansi kiya’wow, Daniel Pitman dishinikashoon, miyooakishkatoohk and Maarsii pour toon ton. I am six generation Red River Métis. My pedigree last name is Hodgson. I have lived in the Okanagan Valley for 65 years. I sat on the Kelowna Métis Association as a Board Member 1997-1998, I was President of SOSMA from 2006 to 2012. I became a MNBC Board of Director in 2012 to present. I have been the Treasurer for 8 years and MNBC Minister for Children and Family for 8 years. I have over 35 years’ education and work experience in Social Services and Counselling. I received my Post-Secondary Education OUC/UBC, Douglas College, and Langara College. I am a Certified Instructor Master Level Crisis Prevention Institute of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention. I have been a Member of Canadian Alliance of Life Skills Coaches and Associations 22 years
I firmly believe in family values as they relate to culture, tradition and character. I believe Métis culture and pride are vital to our children as they are the most valuable asset we have for now and the future. I believe in ensuring our MNBC Governance allows for communication, connection and collaboration to build strong Métis Communities. I believe in working relationships between Métis Communities to build strength through networking and event sharing to promote Métis Pride. I believe in supporting our Veterans, Elders, Women and Youth to ensure their rights are adhered to, stimulate health services, build education financial assistance and recognize their contributions to our Nation. I believe we need to focus on self-governance to truly identify ourselves as a Government and build relationships on a government to government and nation to nation basis. Our Self-governance will also allow us to have our Section 35 Rights adhered to by not only the federal government but also by the provincial government which at this time is not fully honoring Metis as a unique indigenous entity of Canada. In June of 2018 MNBC and MCFD signed a letter of commitment to start the jurisdiction transfer of children and youth in care back to the Metis Nation and this work needs to continue to completion. We need to support our seniors with Health Care to ensure they kept well. We need to build strong economic development and support Metis businesses and Metis entrepreneurs. We need to support our youth with their education and provide financial support for their post-secondary education without limitations. We also need to ensure we support Metis Early Learning so families have a head start to their education and Childcare so mothers and fathers can have their children cared for while they are working to earn a living. In conclusion, we have come a long ways in BC as a Metis Nation and as an elected Board of Director my focus will also be engaging the Region 3 Governance Council Presidents on all matters pertaining to their individual communities and their identified needs.
- Region 3 most important issues
- Help communities be visible and financially supported.
- How, by focusing on our Self-Government negotiations with the Federal Government to ensure we can open an office in each community and to offer financial support to their Board of Directors.
- Help with securing our Section 35 Rights
- How, to focus on the negotiations that our lawyer Tom Isaac is doing for our Self-Governance Agreement and therefore, help seniors and low income families with Healthcare, build early learning centers, provide child care resources, economic development for our Metis businesses, and full financial support for students going into Post-Secondary Education. Open community offices to increase our Citizenship Registry.
- Help our unhealthy families that are not safe and secure.
- How, continuing the work we started with MCFD to complete the jurisdiction transition of children and youth in care back to their communities. Provide a focus on Child Protection Prevention to build a strong support system for families at risk.
- How do I see myself in the role of Community Support?
- As the current Region 3 Director I see my role as helping communities with their governance, understanding the role between MNBC and the Chartered Community.
- Assisting communities in identifying cultural resources i.e. artists, musicians, jiggers and knowledge keepers (Elders).
- Every community has strengths, needs, abilities and preferences. As the Region Director I must continue to get to know each and every community individually to listen to their strengths, needs, abilities and preferences.
What positions have I held?
- Board of Director Kelowna Metis Association 1998-99
- President of South Okanagan and Similkameen Metis Association 2006-12
- Region Director for Thompson Okanagan 2012-Present
- MNBC Minister for Children and Family 2012-Present
- MNBC Treasurer 2012-Present
What have I done to personally assist Presidents /Communities in Region 3?
- In 2014-15 I assisted in the creation of a new Chartered Community in Merritt BC, the Nicola Valley and District Metis Association formerly accepted at the 2015 MNGA.
- In 2017-18 I assisted in the creation of a new Chartered Community in Princeton BC, the Vermillion Forks Metis Association formally accepted by the MNGA in 2018.
- Earlier this year I chaired a Special General Meeting in Kamloops to help resolve a Board of Directors complaint.
- In the last 8 years I have attended many Region 3 Community AGM’s and chaired many of them.
- I ensured I connected with my communities weekly during the most difficult months of the COVID Virus ensuring their needs were being met by MNBC.
- I am currently helping SOSMA restructure their Board of Directors leadership.
How will I connect with them?
- I have developed a respectful relationship with each of our 8 Community Presidents. I am a good listener and will be open to the needs, concerns and preferences of each community as identified by their leadership through face to face meetings, teleconference call and of course HOLD REGIONAL GOVERNANCE COUNCIL MEETINGS AS OUTLINED IN THE MNGA ACT.
Our strength is in our numbers many Metis are not registered. How/what can be done to help with the citizenship registry?
- We need to have visibility in each community by having an open office for people to come and register. To find out about community cultural events and activities. To be a resource center on matters of health, education, employment, business development and family support.
- We need to continue to work in partnership with Federal and Provincial Governments to secure financial support for Economic Development, Childcare, Family Support Programs, Education, Health Benefits, Metis Business Financial Support, Justice Support for Women in Need and for our youth at risk.
- We need to somehow shorten the Community Acceptance process. Sometimes the process is no long people give up. In Region 3 we have not had that issue but it has come up many times at a MNGA or AGM.
- From 2008-2010 I personally participated in the MNBC Adoption Resolution Committee that enhanced the MNBC Citizenship Registry to include many previously unrecognized Métis Citizens.
- I have organized and held regular Regional Governance Council meetings.
- Signed MOU with Representative for Children and Youth October 2013
- Signed MOU with Lii Michif Otipemisiwak January 2015
- Signed MOU with Adoptive Families Association of BC February 2016
- Signed MOU with the Federation of Community Social Services BC 2017
- Signed Letter of Commitment with MCFD to begin Jurisdiction of Metis Children and Youth in Care June 2018
- Signed new Letter of Commitment with the Representative for Children and Youth BC June 2020
- As MNBC Executive Committee Treasurer 2012-2020 the long term debt balance at March 31, 2012 was $7,039,580 and the long term debt balance as of March 31, 2019 was approximately just over $2,000,000