MNBC Ministry for Children and Family hosts meeting with Metis Commission and Metis Service Providers

C&F pic

Pictured above from left Metis Commission E.D. Eva Coles, Richard Nault E.D. Kikino , Colleen Spiers E.D. Island Metis Family & Community Services, Colleen Lucier E.D. LMO, Dale Drown CEO MNBC, Daniel Pitman, Minister MNBC, Cole McGillivary Director for Ministry, Judy Smith E.D. Metis Family Services and Kelly L’Hirondelle E.D. MCSSBC

Meeting on June 24, 2015 held at MNBC to form a collaborative working group to better outcomes of Metis children, youth and families in British Columbia.

June 21, 2015 – 2:30 PM

KAMLOOPS – The president of the B.C. Métis Federation is calling a decision by two native groups in Kamloops to pull out of an Aboriginal Day event planned for today unethical.

The conflict was created by a newspaper ad for the celebration paid for by the Métis Federation on which the group’s logo appears, according to president Keith Henry.

Henry says the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society and Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services pulled their financial support for the June 21 celebration late Friday afternoon and cancelled the event.

“I’m at a loss as to how an event can be cancelled on a whim,” he says. “This is nothing but personal politics.”

Henry says the actions by the two agencies in Kamloops are very disturbing and accuses the leadership of using their programs to manipulate and politicize cultural events.

The federation paid for a newspaper ad to help promote today’s event in McDonald Park and the other agencies were invited to contribute but declined, he says. The ad included Métis Federation branding in exchange for covering the cost.

Henry says he was told the two agencies considered the Métis branding in the ad a sign of disrespect. He calls their actions unethical.

“At a time of truth and reconciliation I cannot understand how any efforts to increase public awareness for National Aboriginal Day could be so distorted by agencies playing politics,” he says.

Henry says the decision to pull it’s support calls into question an agreement the federation has with the Lii Michif Otipemisiwak to support Métis culture and provide services to their members.

Henry says a Métis event planned by the White Buffalo Aboriginal and Métis Health Society for Monday will go ahead as planned.

Calls to Lii Michif Otipemisiwak executive director Collen Lucier and Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society executive director Christopher Phillips have not yet been returned.

Representative for Children and Youth

VICTORIA – Vulnerable children in British Columbia start their lives behind their well-off peers and stay there, a joint report from the provincial health officer and children’s representative has concluded.
The provincial government’s lack of an overall child-focused plan also has the report’s authors largely pessimistic about the prospect for improved lives among the vulnerable children and youth in B.C.

“Some people refer to that as a poverty plan, I call it a children’s plan, but it’s overdue,” Children and Youth Representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond said Thursday at a news conference at a Victoria middle school gymnasium.

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond pauses during a news conference after releasing her report on children with special needs in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday June 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck Turpel-Lafond and Provincial Health Officer Perry Kendall released Growing Up in B.C., a 108-page report that asked, “How are your children doing right now?”

The report considered six areas of well-being for children and youth, including child physical and mental health and family economic well-being.The report is a follow-up to a similar study conducted in 2010.

“What this report points to is that we need to close the gaps in British Columbia between children with generally good outcomes across the board and vulnerable children whose outcomes are not very good,” Turpel-Lafond said.

The report concluded that one-third of B.C.’s children aren’t ready for school when they start kindergarten, almost 60 per cent of youth in care do not graduate from high school and children in government care are five times more likely to need special education.
On the positive side, the report found, teen pregnancy rates are dropping, more aboriginal students are graduating from high school, 80 per cent of youth say they feel good about themselves and there are declines in serious crimes. Turpel-Lafond expressed deep concerns about aboriginal youth and the poor commitment on behalf of the B.C. and federal governments towards generating and providing reliable data about children. Aboriginal children comprise eight per cent of children and youth in B.C., but 50 per cent of the children in care are aboriginal, Turpel-Lafond said. She predicted that number will rise to 60 per cent in the next five years.

Kendall said early intervention programs produce positive results for vulnerable children.
“We know that parenting support to young, single mothers, from the time they are pregnant through to the first 18 months of life makes a huge difference to what happens to those kids 15 or 20 years down the road.” Kendall said children are more likely to graduate and go on to post-secondary school as opposed to ending up in jail if their parents receive early help.
More than 200 youth from across B.C. were consulted for the report. B.C.’s Health Ministry said in a statement that it was pleased teen pregnancy rates have dropped, but is concerned about the findings with regard to aboriginal children in care.

B.C. Aboriginal Youth Invited to Apply for Unique Sport Leadership Opportunity (Deadline June 23)

B.C. Aboriginal Youth Invited to Apply for Unique Sport Leadership Opportunity (Deadline June 23)


Vancouver (BC) – June 10, 2015

The ACTIVATE BC project will bring together 50 youth from across the province to participate in a 3-day forum style workshop. Developed by youth for youth, ACTIVATE BC will be held at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver Campus from July 10th-13th. The “ACTIVATE BC” initiative – a collaboration between Motivate Canada, the BC Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council, the Ray-Cam Co-Operative Centre and More Sports.

Aboriginal Youth from across the province are encouraged to apply.

The workshop, a compilation of best practices from Motivate Canada’s ACTIVATE and GEN7 programs, will focus on community based physical activity, leadership, celebrating diverse cultures within Canada and celebrating the legacy of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to our country. Feature sessions include Life and Community Mapping, Physical Literacy, Sport for Social Change and Action Planning to name a few. Youth can expect to get active during this event, putting new skills into action through sports and physical activities while meeting special guests from the Native Indian Football Association, Fit Nation (a program of the BC Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council) and Motivate Canada’s Elite Athlete Ambassadors.

Youth can apply now to attend ACTIVATE BC! Youth living in British Columbia, who are between the ages of 16-25, are invited to apply to attend ACTIVATE BC by completing the on-line application form by June 18th, 2015 11:59 PST.

“ACTIVATE provides youth with the experience to network, to learn, to engage and to grow. Through the program, youth are able to find their voice and experience a variety of interactive workshops. ACTIVATE derives from youth-driven development; the power of sport and youth leading youth is what makes it so meaningful. ACTIVATE came into my life at just the right time and opened my eyes to new opportunities and provided new perspectives on how to make a difference through sport. ACTIVATE is what you need it to be. It doesn’t matter what age you are,” said Sara McKinnon, ACTIVATE BC Volunteer Youth Leader.

The five trained youth volunteers with guidance from Motivate Canada staff will be responsible for developing and delivering workshop content and will support youth delegates in completing an ACTIVATE in Action project back in their respective communities following their participation in the ACTIVATE BC workshop.

This project has been made possible by the Vancouver Community Foundation, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Victoria Community Foundation, the City of Vancouver, Twentieth Century FoxFilm Corporation, and the Government of Canada.

About Motivate Canada:
For more information please visit:

For more information contact:

Dan Dubeau
ACTIVATE Program Manager
Motivate Canada
613-789-3333 ext 227
Cell: 613-355-0735

3rd Annual Interior Region Hockey Camp

3rd Annual Interior Region Hockey Camp

August 17 – 21, 2015

Brock Arena, 2470 Fleetwood Ave, Kamloops BC

Open for all Aboriginal youth ages 6 – 16

Registration Fee is $50.00 per camp participant.

Registration fee will include:

1 ice time per day, off-ice activities that feature team building exercises, swimming at Brock Pool and a player jersey.

Full Equipment Required – Players and Goalies

Coached by Kamloops Blazers Alumni Brett Draney

Registration Deadline is 4PM Friday August 7, 2015

Please bring a lunch and water bottle each day.

For more details, please see the attached poster or contact

Bernard Manuel at PH: 250-350-3370 Ext. 109 or E:

Metis Health Press Release

For Immediate Release | May 27, 2015

New strategy supports Aboriginal health and wellness

Improved mental wellness, better access, increased collaboration, and building cultural competence are goals outlined in the new Aboriginal Health and Wellness Strategy, approved yesterday by Interior Health’s Board of Directors.

“We’ve seen great progress in our work to support innovative, culturally appropriate patient-centered care that meets the needs of First Nations and Aboriginal peoples across the province,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Interior Health’s strategy is an example of this collaborative work and will help set a path to further enhance the health and wellness of Aboriginal people in this region.”

The document sets the path for Interior Health to work with First Nations and Métis partners on improving health outcomes for the approximately 50,000 Aboriginal people living within the Interior Health region.

“Everyone has unique health needs but, as this document points out, the needs of the Aboriginal population within Interior Health are markedly different than the rest of our population,” said Interior Health Board Chair Erwin Malzer. “We have a responsibility to ensure equal access and appropriate health services.”

For example, individuals of Aboriginal ancestry have higher rates of mental illness than the general population (approximately 16 per cent compared to eight per cent) while they have lower rates of cardiovascular disease (approximately six per cent compared to 13 per cent).

The document follows the principle that health care touches people at all stages of life including: staying healthy, getting better, living with illness and coping with end of life. Services provided at these various stages must all meet Aboriginal people’s needs. The four priority areas identified in the strategy are: advancement of cultural competency within Interior Health; ensuring meaningful participation of the Aboriginal population in health care planning and decision making; improving health equity; and improving mental wellness for Aboriginal people.

“In order to safely and effectively provide patient care and preserve patient dignity, health-care professionals should be aware and respectful of the cultural differences they have with their patients, and have a willingness to learn more about cultural beliefs and values of their patients to achieve this,” said Franny Alec, Health Manager, Xaxli’p (Fountain) First Nation (Lillooet area).

“The disparities we see in health and wellness and in access and service exist for many reasons. Some are historical, some are geographical, and some are cultural,” said Aboriginal Health Program Director Bradley Anderson, who presented the strategy to Interior Health’s Board of Directors. “The good news is that Interior Health and other organizations recognize these challenges and are proactively reaching out to communities and Aboriginal leaders, working together towards a truly equitable system.”

The Aboriginal Health and Wellness Strategy was developed in partnership with First Nations, Métis, Urban service providers, the First Nations Health Authority, the Interior Health Aboriginal Health team, and others within Interior Health. The document is now posted on Interior Health’s web site under Aboriginal Health at
Aboriginal Health – Highlights

Letters of Understanding, the most recent and final of which was approved by Interior Health’s Board in March, are considered an essential first step in engaging First Nations and Métis communities and building effective partnerships to work together to address health disparities.

The practice of including welcoming spaces and traditional ceremonies at health-care sites allows individuals and their families to stay connected with their culture when they are sick or injured, which can be important for their healing. It also demonstrates recognition and respect for First Nations people and their culture, which helps build trust and confidence.

Eight Aboriginal patient navigators work in both acute and community settings to support Aboriginal patients, caregivers, and their families while in the health-care system.

A plan to add mental health clinicians and social workers who work with Aboriginal communities has been developed in collaboration with the First Nations Health Authority.

The Aboriginal Self-Identification Initiative (ASI) began in 2011. Patients, clients and staff members are asked whether they self-identify as Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal. Identification is completely voluntary. To date nearly 1,000 employees have self-identified as being of Aboriginal, Métis or Inuit descent at Interior Health.

Each year Interior Health offers Indigenous Core Competency education through the Provincial Health Services Authority. Since 2009, more than 2,000 employees have completed this online program, which is designed to increase Aboriginal-specific knowledge, enhance individual self-awareness and strengthen skills for professionals working directly or indirectly with Indigenous people.

Six nurse practitioners (NPs) have been hired or are in the process of being hired across Interior Health through the NP4BC initiative to work specifically with Aboriginal populations. They join six other NPs currently supporting Aboriginal clients in the region.

Interior Health is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and providing a wide range of quality health-care services to more than 742,000 people living across B.C.’s vast interior. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @Interior_Health, or like us on Facebook at

MNC Press Release

Métis National Council
#4-340 MacLaren St.,
Ottawa, ON K2P 0M6

Media Contributes to Cone of Silence Surrounding Métis
Residential Schools
JUNE 2, 2015 OTTAWA, ON: Sadly, the Canadian media has become part of the cone of silence
surrounding the exclusion of Métis residential schools from the reconciliation ceremonies and recommendations in
Ottawa over the past four days.
While extending a lot of coverage, and rightly so, to the closing ceremony of the TRC and its recommendations
released yesterday, the media has totally ignored the plight of the Métis who attended residential or boarding
schools where similar abuses were inflcited upon Métis children by religious orders operating under the sanction
of the Canadian State.
CBC TV was the only media to reach out to the Métis Nation on Monday night seeking an interview on Tuesday
morning but then informed the MNC that there was no time for the interview. At least they made contact!
“It’s extremely disappointing that the Canadian media would totally ignore the two press statements issued by the
Métis Nation on Monday and Tuesday respectively, even more so APTN which was approached on Monday by
MNC communications as well as being sent the press release directly,” stated Métis Nation President Clément
Chartier, a former student of the Ile a la Crosse boarding school in northwest Saskatchewan where former students
suffered the same form of abuse as those attending Indian residential schools.
“For the Métis Nation and the former Métis residential schools students to be treated in such a shameless manner
where our voices are not heard does not bode well for reconciliation between the Métis Nation and the rest of
Canada” stated Chartier, concluding that “it is extremely disappointing to have the media treat us in such an
egregious and disrespectful manner”.

For more information please contact:

Ke Ning
Métis National Council
c: (613) 297-5193