BC Hydro Engagement with BC Metis Federation

(Hudson Hope, BC) BC Metis Federation and partner community Kelly Lake Métis Settlement Society were recently invited to sit on a BC Hydro WAC Bennett Dam Visitors Centre aboriginal advisory committee. The initial meeting was held at the WAC Bennett Dam to discuss the WAC visitor centre redesign to incorporate first nation and Métis history and culture. Input was welcomed by BC Hydro representative Mr. Ron Hill, and their design team to incorporate the advisory committee’s suggestions into an Aboriginal inclusive design.

Attendees included the Doig River First Nation, Kwadacha (Fort Ware) First Nation, BC Metis Federation representatives Earlene Bitterman and Val Paice, and Lyle Letendre and Sandra Belcourt of the Kelly Lake Metis Settlement. The dialogue was respectfully facilitated and presented by Dan George Four Directions management services.

A tour of the WAC visitor’s center, powerhouse, and Site one dam, committee’s suggestions were given to incorporate audio and visual information of the collective Métis and First Nations history in the Peace River Country. On the second day a thematic review and preliminary design was presented at the Dunne-za lodge, positive dialogue from the committee brought about fresh ideas to incorporate into the new design of the WAC visitors centre.

BC Métis Federation board member Mrs. Earlene Bitterman stated, “First Nations and Métis are connected by a collective experience and within the historic peace treaty we all share common history in the “Peace River” country.

Hudson's Hope Fur Trade HistoryBC Métis Federation member Mrs. Earlene further stated, “Defining community was a challenge as we are just not a point on a map, historic community relationships for many Métis families are interwoven by stories between First nations, Metis and settlers. Bringing these conversations forward to the planning process was an honour for our Metis community to be historically showcased to thousands of visitors every year. This meaningful participation will give our communities a sense of place, with respect being paid to the First Nations and Metis people in the Peace River Country. “

BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry concluded; “This is what the BC Métis Federation stands for, direct community involvement in any project that affects their community. In this case we ensured the Métis people in Hudson Hope were involved as well as the Kelly Lake Métis Settlement Society, one of our partner communities, who have had a long a rich history using this area of land. Finally I am also very pleased with the respect shown by our representatives for the First Nations and collaborative work together. This is another key to our future together in BC.”

If you have historical information you wish to put forward to the aboriginal advisory committee members you can contact the committee member via email. e.bitterman@bcmetis.com

For more information about BC Métis Federation please review the website at www.bcmetis.com.

Media Inquiries:
Keith Henry
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
Office 1-604-638-7220
Cell 1-778-388-5013
Email k.henry@bcmetis.com
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis

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