Cariboo Chilcotin Métis Association in Williams Lake Joins the Team

(Williams Lake, BC) The BC Métis Federation President Mr. Keith Henry was joined by fellow board members Mr. Rene Therrien and Vice President Mr. Daryl Piper at the Cariboo Chilcotin Métis Association (CCMA) official opening of their family support office yesterday in Williams Lake. A number of Métis community members were in attendance and it was a festive day celebrating the opening if this new office established to support Métis families in Williams Lake.

CCMA President Laura Lee Marshal and the CCMA board members discussed the future of the Métis community in Williams Lake and it was clear CCMA views a new future with the BC Métis Federation. CCMA has about 700 members and has been in existence for several years supporting the needs of Métis people in the Williams Lake area. The CCMA leadership made a decision to sign an agreement entitled the BC Métis Federation Statement of Cooperation and it was executed yesterday during a signing ceremony that included CCMA President Marshall, CCMA Political Advisor Wayne Lucier and BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry.

BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “I am so thankful to the CCMA leaders for taking this brave step forward with our BC Métis Federation team. CCMA now joins a number of other Métis communities who want to move forward in a new way for Métis people in BC, one that puts culture and community needs as the priority above all else. There was considerable frustration about the recent actions by MNBC to rewrite their electoral process without any proper input and for many they are moving on. This agreement signals the growing support for the BC Métis Federation in light of years of empty MNBC promises and no real support for the needs of the Métis community in Williams Lake.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry added, “CCMA has a long history as a functional Métis community-based organization and we will support their needs, not the other way around. Their board knows what they need and what they want, we just need to listen and work together.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “The highlight during the office opening and signing of the Statement of Cooperation was the visit by NDP leader Adrian Dix. CCMA leadership and members were able to speak about issues important to the Métis people and what a future NDP government needs to do to properly support Métis people in BC. NDP leader Dix was open and direct in his views and assured CCMA and BC Métis Federation representatives that he is committed to learning more about the Métis issues and better understands how he can assist. BC Métis Federation continues to build partnerships and relationships and thank you to the CCMA leadership for your trust and support to
work cooperatively for the future!”

Keith Henry
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway, 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

Download the full press release in PDF format

2 Responses to Cariboo Chilcotin Métis Association in Williams Lake Joins the Team

  1. Richard Lucier-larson July 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Tansi All:

    Welcome to the CCMA in joining the BCMF.

    We do hope a few from the CCMA will be joining us at the Kelly Lake Gathering.

    Nice to see more cousins coming out of the dark.

    Proud member of the BCMF
    Richard Lucier-larson

  2. The Bitterman July 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    News Article… Welcome to Williams Lake

    By LeRae Haynes

    The Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association is celebrating an expansion of their services: introducing Colleen D’Orsay as their new Family Support Worker. A ‘meet and greet’ open house yesterday gave community members the opportunity to visit their new location on Oliver Street.

    (At the event yesterday was Marlene Swears, Anita Landry and Alex Norquay from the CC Metis Association, Keith Henry and Daryl Piper from the BC Metis Federation, Family Support Worker Colleen D’Orsay, Terrace fiddler Rene Therrien, and a handful of delightful kids and grandkids.)

    Their new office is at 83 Oliver Street, in the old H&R Block building. Marlene Swears from the Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association said that they were excited that Charlie Wyse and BC NDP leader Adrian Dix stopped in to congratulate them.

    Marlene said that it’s great to have this additional connection to the local community, and that having the Family Support Worker in Williams Lake instead of Kamloops gives them more ‘say’ in what the workers can do and what they can participate in.

    “This really puts us ‘on the map’ in BC,” she said. “We have over 700 members in our area.”

    She explained that the Association gives people with Metis/Cree heritage in Williams Lake and surrounding areas a way to re-discover their heritage. “They have a sense of identity and a sense of belonging,” she continued. “We’re also exploring ways to bring Metis in from the province to gather heer and celebrate our music, food, art and ceremonies.”

    (Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association president Laura Lee Marshall greeted visitors at the meet and greet yesterday.)

    The Metis Association has been busy preparing for their annual ‘Funday’ weekend event at the Legion Felker Lake campground starting tonight and going through the weekend. There will be fiddlers from places like Terrace and Chetwynd, games all weekend, potluck supper, kayaking, canoeing, concession, kids activities, tournaments, jam sessions, auctions and live music. There are Metis families coming to Williams Lake from all over the province for this event.

    New Family Support Worker Colleen D’Orsay said that she started her new job on Monday, July 16, and explained that she supports people of Metis descent, whether or not they have status. “I respond to the needs of the Metis community and the community at large—offering advocacy and connecting them with other agencies as needed,” she said.

    She said that she is also pursuing her education goals—taking courses to complete her social work degree.

    One of the special guests at the event yesterday was Keith Henry, President of the new BC Metis Federation. With an emphasis on accountability to communities, the group completed a community-based, province-wide process under the tag line ‘Regional Gatherings—a New Way Forward’ as part of their belief in transparency, open governance and commitment to Metis communities and culture.

    “We believe that the best way for us to show our support is to be here today,” Keith stated. “Children and families are the most important things we can do right now, and we’ve seen the cause and effect of not taking care and not providing supportive services.

    “I’m so happy for the Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association, and we want them to know we support what they’re doing and we’ll do anything we can to help,” he continued. “This is what it’s all about.”

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