BC Metis Federation was proud to represent our member communities at the Aboriginal Business Match 2014 conference in Penticton, British Columbia at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. There was a rich diversity of Aboriginal cultures represented at the event. The BC Métis Federation remains committed to economic development with a purpose. Our goal is to equip Métis people, families and communities with the knowledge and capacity to be truly self sustaining, leading to ongoing positive community formation.
As a First Nations leader put it, “we are in a tremendous period of nation building.” For Métis, this means that we are moving away from dependency relationships, economic injustice and piecemeal economic “solutions” toward healthy, self determining, self governing and self sufficient communities and nations in Canada. These overarching holistic themes were made abundantly clear throughout the conference.
The conference represented this paradigm shift because it provides the momentum for Métis people and communities and others who partner with them in creative ventures to build long term sustainable relationships and capacity development that is responsive to community values and historical relationships to the land.
The BC Métis Federation is committed to build the specific linkages to help Métis people establish or increase their businesses, assist Métis community organizations build capacity, and enable the BC Métis Federation to activate joint ventures where possible. Métis people need to create direct business opportunities, joint ventures and other success stories from all possible economic sectors. What is clear is that British Columbia has many opportunities in various economic sectors from oil and gas, tourism, marine, mining, plus many others.
The role of BC Métis Federation has been to define how best to facilitate the opportunities in an efficient manner, lining up necessary partnerships to build success, will recognizing capacity challenges. Today much of the Métis economic development in British Columbia has been limited by access to Aboriginal economic development programming, raising capital, feasibility and business planning expertise, and a small view on labour market strategies. BC Métis Federation recognizes that labour market is important but only addresses one aspect of economic development.
Going forward a number of new strategic partnerships are being created with a goal of supporting self sufficiency and this is the only way forward. British Columbia has many opportunities and it is time for the Métis to become more actively engaged. We cannot and much not wait for government handouts, we must encourage Métis businesses from all sectors to work together to secure new contracts and begin to operate our communities like businesses.
This is the only way forward for Métis communities.
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Letter-to-Metis-People-February-26-2014-Controlling-Our-Future.pdf” style=”download”]BCMF Letter to Metis People February 26, 2014 – Controlling Our Future [/ilink]