Métis Nation BC President Clara Morin-Dal Col signs a letter of understanding with Island Health Chair Leah Collins at the recent Métis Nation BC Governing Assembly. (@metisnationbritishcolumbia / Facebook)

$200K in leadership training will ‘elevate the voices’ of Métis women in B.C.

‘Chronically underfunded, underestimated’ programs supporting women, Indigenous people receive funds

British Columbia’s Métis women are in a better position to grow as community leaders thanks to nearly $200,000 in federal funding.

On Thursday, March 28, the Department for Women and Gender Equality announced that the Métis Women of British Columbia will receive $198,190 for the Métis Women BC Provincial Council. The money is part of Ottawa’s broader investment of $5.3 million for 14 organizations serving women and Indigenous people across the Lower Mainland.

“Women’s organizations provide vital support to our communities, supporting women and girls to be financially secure, free from violence, and able to fully participate in all aspects of our economy and society,” the federal government said in a press release. “Yet for far too long they have been chronically underfunded, underestimated and undermined.”

Colette Trudeau, the director of operations at the Cloverdale-based Métis Nation of British Columbia, told the Reporter the money will go towards “elevating the voices of Métis women” by ensuring that Métis women are included and have their input on policy and governmental changes at the MNBC.

“It really focuses on increasing the knowledge and understanding of governance, their role as leaders and politicians, and what they can do to influence change across British Columbia and then nationally, as well,” Trudeau told the Reporter.

“Quite often, these women are elected into their roles, but they aren’t provided with information around what their roles and responsibilities are, and really what we’re trying to do is provide them with those skills and knowledge, so that across the province we have a number of Métis women leaders who understand their role and can really use their voice.”

Though limited, the funding is a good start for the 39 Métis chartered communities in B.C., she said.

“We never received any funding to really support our Métis women governance in this way, so anything helps,” she added. 

The work on the project has already started, she said, and includes live webinars and workshops, but the organization will also look into staging provincial gatherings to expand the women’s skill sets during the year.

In addition, Trudeau noted it’s especially important to draw attention to the violence that Métis women and girls experience, an aspect that can be overlooked since much of the conversation tends to be First Nations-oriented.

“If we have the ability to build our Métis women leadership capacity, sky’s the limit,” Trudeau added.

“There are so many opportunities to help influence Indigenous women, programs and services, and I think through building the capacity and cultural confidence, and the advocacy of our Métis women, we’re going to see a lot of really great opportunities where Métis women will no longer be hidden or forgotten.”

One project already underway to build the capacity of Metis women and girls is the Sashing Our Warriors campaign organized by the Métis Youth British Columbia and the Métis Women British Columbia Committees, Trudeau said.

According to the campaign overview, sashes are an “integral and highly symbolic aspect of Métis identity” and a tangible means of expressing and preserving it. The colours of the warrior sash — magenta, pink, black and white — stand for, among other things, promising to protect and nurture women and taking a stand to prevent violence.

Though it is unrelated to the federal funding, the project aims to educate and create awareness on the prevention of further violence. As part of the campaign, a survey recorded the stories of almost 400 women who have experienced violence. The final report of the survey will be out soon, Trudeau said.



sasha.lakic@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Drivers injured, children OK after school-bus crash in Surrey

Incident happened near 68th Avenue and King George Boulevard

Police release photos of suspect in attempted gas station robbery in Surrey

Surrey RCMP say suspect took off without taking any money after he bear sprayed employee

Non-Semiahmoo First Nation members opt out of footing connection costs: chief

Long-term resident who can’t pay $50K fee, says he ‘hasn’t a clue’ where to go now

White Rock’s Memorial Park re-opens to the public without fanfare

Formal ceremonies expected to take place in late May or early June

PHOTOS: Fabric-formed concrete strengthens new Surrey gallery show and house under construction

Designer Omer Arbel’s work in ‘Particles for the Built World’ exhibit and at South Surrey home

Eggs in South Surrey bald-eagle preserve hatch

Douglas-area eagle nest livestreamed online

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Man identified in Vancouver’s fourth homicide of the year

30-year-old man was not known to police

RCMP locate missing Colony Farm psychiatric patient

Patient left last week on day pass from the hospital in Coquitlam

600 volunteers sign up to recall Maple Ridge MLAs over housing problems

Organizer urges province to reconsider position on Burnett modulars

Most Read