(Winnipeg, MB) Representatives from the BC Métis Federation had the opportunity of attending a national meeting in Winnipeg, Manitoba this last week with Federal and Provincial representatives from the Ministry of Children and Social Development to discuss issues of poverty for Métis Children and Families.
Topics brought forward concerns what success would look like in a poverty reduction strategy for all Métis. The discussion included address issues such as how poverty affects Métis families in their ability to manage their home and work lives. and what are the biggest challenges that are faced by the Métis people and where efforts should be focused.
BC Metis Federation brought forward many of the issues that concern our members such as the need for education, emergency relief, affordable housing, funding for medical and mental health initiatives, and the importance of self governance. BC Métis Federation representatives identified concerns over accountability of those involved with carrying out programs on a provincial level and the lack of “on the ground” follow through with policies and funding that directly effects the Métis people in our community. BC Métis Federation representatives also spoke of our concerns regarding Métis children in government care.
This appears to have been a productive meeting and that there was genuine interest on the part of the Federal Ministry representative, Adam Vaughn, to carefully listen with he intent to understand and consider how best to address the situation.
Although there were differences jurisdictionally, there was general consensus around the table that multi year block funding was the format that would best transfer federal funds to the Métis organizations. However, it was noted that concerns were expressed that provincial withdrawal may occur with the granting of federal funding.
BC Métis Federation is still working to be recognized through these processes with Federal Government departments and this meeting continued to build the representative voice.
Keith Henry, President
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
Office 1-604-638-7220 Cell 1-778-388-5013
You can follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @KeithHenryMetis
You can follow BC Métis Federation on twitter @BCMetis