Letter to Minister of Education

Wednesday, January 07, 2015 

Honourable Peter Fassbender
Minister of Education

Dear Minister Fassbender:

I want to take this occasion as the Education portfolio holder of the BC Métis Federation to assist you to better understand the education needs for Métis people in BC. The BC Métis Federation represents many Métis people and partner communities across British Columbia.

Given the Supreme Court decisions like Powley (2003), the nationally significant Daniels case recently accepted by the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as the pending Federal human rights case, the national consensus is shifting toward affirmation of historic and contemporary Métis identities across Canada.

It seems to be in the Province of British Columbia’s best interest to prepare the next generation of Canadians for the ‘new relationship’ that is being formed at the federal level. I would like to share a few initiatives that illustrate the direction of the BC Métis Federation with regard to educational needs of our constituent Métis people and communities:

1. Specific revisions to the curriculum that accurately display the role of Métis in the formation and on-going Confederation of Canada;

2. The inclusion of community based Métis history and literature in K-12;

3. Pro-D training and workshops that resource teachers with an appropriate knowledge base in Métis culture;

4. Creation of Métis-specific resources that illustrate the political, economic and social opportunities and possibilities of a partnership model.

5. Creation of financial partnerships between Métis and third parties that commit to explore all possible funding sources for educational initiative funding (grants/designated funds/etc.,)

Education is a powerful tool to equip and assist Métis students to fully participate in their own communities as well as assume greater roles in Canadian society. In our climate of reconciliation, a new direction in educational content and structure is required that addresses the actual scope of the current reconciliation project between Métis peoples and Canada and opens up possibility and opportunity.

We look forward to positive dialogue about the future of education in this province. Please feel free to contact me at 1-604-638-7220 or email j.desjarlais@bcmetis.com to discuss specific ideas and strategies we would like to support your ministry to achieve these priorities.


Joe Desjarlais
Secretary and Education Portfolio holder
BC Métis Federation

cc BC Mètis Federation Board
BC Mètis Federation Members
BC Mètis Federation Partner Communities

[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Letter-to-Minister-Education-January-2015.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download a PDF version of this letter.[/ilink]

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