(Vancouver, BC) BC Metis Federation attended the Gathering Our Voices 2014 conference this past week held this year in Vancouver. This latest conference was the largest youth gathering ever with a record 3000 Aboriginal youth gathered from across BC. Once again BC Métis Federation cultural ambassador Beverly Lambert attended to provide motivation workshops celebrating Métis culture.
This year the First Nations Health Authority supported the conference and provided four (4) key wellness streams that represented areas that could greatly improve Aboriginal youth health and wellness; Being Active, Healthy Eating, Nurturing Spirit, and Respecting Tobacco.
The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) did another commendable job organizing the major conference with respect to all participants. The BCAAFA is a provincial association that supports the efforts of approximately twenty five (25) Friendships Centres across BC. While each Friendship Centre is unique as the community it serves, all are united in the effort to improve the quality of life of the Canada`s Aboriginal people and to protect and preserve Aboriginal culture.
BC Métis Federation cultural ambassador Beverly Lambert stated; “To me this is the key to youth happiness and this conference will boost self-esteem enabling them to succeed. So I raise my hands and thank the BCAAFA for giving Aboriginal children these gifts. The recent announcement about cutting funding by the government does not impress me one bit, they are taking away programs like this that heal and prepare Aboriginal youth for future leadership.”
BC Métis Federation Lambert added; “ I say this because what you give to others always comes back to you in unexpected ways. For example, there was a young man who shared his story and how attending these important self – esteem workshops changed his life. Apparently he attended one of my workshops back in 2010 at this very conference and was thinking of leaving us on earth. But after leaving my class it changed his life forever and he did not give up and has made a choice to fill his life with happiness. I am overwhelmed for him to share openly with me his healing journey. But he also gave me hope again and encouraged me to keep my tired old bones going. It humbled me to the core. There is nothing more rewarding when any Aboriginal youth approaches me and says I changed their life by inspiring them to believe in themselves. My Métis culture workshops are just not about jigging .The workshops teach how to create your own happiness every day, make it happen! My Metis Getting Jiggy – Hip Hop Dance was a record with over eighty (80) participants in for two (2) sessions. Special thank you to Rowan Pickering and Susan Flett for your assistance in workshop. It was active workshops with a combination of health and culture to challenge and try a new way of keeping in shape through a variety of different youth music. Most important we practiced laughing, judgement, self- esteem building, respecting one another, games, dressing up, competitions, fear and finally loving and accepting who you are.”
BC Métis Federation Lambert concluded, “I feel blessed to be the BC Métis Federation cultural ambassador for our Métis communities and people to help build us a strong healthy nation. God bless and see you on the Metis Trail. I cannot wait for the Gathering Our Voices conference in 2015 and working closely with our Summer of Culture across the province in 2014 with the BC Métis Federation and many partner communities. Thank you BCAAFA for the invite to help promote Metis culture.”
For more information about the upcoming Métis cultural events go to the BC Métis Federation website @ www.bcmetis.com.
Keith Henry, President
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis
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