(Fort St. John, BC) BC Métis Federation President Mr. Keith Henry performed the duties of the conference emcee this past Thursday, May 3rd in Fort St. John at the Maximizing Opportunities conference put together by the Northeast Aboriginal Business Center. There was a number of Aboriginal entrepreneurs, Aboriginal leadership from First Nations and Métis communities, and various industry partners who participated..
The highlight was the special guest speaker who is a former professional HHL hockey player and Métis person “Theo” Fleury. Theo provided a motivational presentation about life lessons he has learned and the importance of remembering your culture and community. He proudly spoke about his Métis connections and made many of the Métis people in attendance proud of who they are as a people and Nation.
BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated, “I presented Theo an honorary Métis sash as a gift for his strength to persevere through his personal challenges in recognition of his Métis culture on behalf of the BC Métis Federation and Fort St. John Métis Society. I was joined in the presentation from Fort St. John Métis Society leadership via President Arlene Lylyk, former board member Paulette Flammond, board member Jocelyn Shick, and board member Arlene Laboucan. It was a powerful expression of Métis pride and showcased the strength to Theo that he has a large extended Métis family that will be there for him.”
President Henry added, “Theo was such an inspiration given his story which was a one hour reflection from his autobiography entitled Playing with Fire. His presence was powerful and over 200 people were hanging on his every word, you could have heard a pin drop. He was so genuine and honest about himself, the traumatic experiences he endured, and how he is moving forward today which he credits largely to his connection with his Aboriginal spirituality and Métis family. He made a key point that left me startled; Theo estimated in Canada that there is an estimated 8 million people who have suffered sexual abuse which is about 1 in 4 overall. He described the major contacts he continues to get each day about sexual abuse and this was an incredible stat. This demonstrated to me why we need to support one another and help wherever we can as a Métis community. Given this potential rate of abuse we could have over 15,000 thousand Métis people in BC suffering sexual abuse today.”
President Henry concluded, “It was such an honour to meet Theo and really get to know him. He was such a motivation to all of us to celebrate our Métis community and connection with the Aboriginal community. I am exploring ways to have Theo come back and speak to our community this summer and hope to secure Theo for an event in August. No one will want to miss listening to his story of strength, perseverance, and cultural pride.”
For more information about BC Métis Federation please review the BC Métis Federation website www.bcmetis.com.
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-May-6th-2012-Theo-Fleury.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]
Watch the Theo Fleury CJDC News Coverage Live Here