MNBC Raising Métis Cultural Awareness

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Métis Nation British Columbia’s Ministry of Health brought together Elders, Youth and delegates from all over the province to discuss Cultural Wellness in Richmond on February 17th -19th, 2017.

The 55 participants were welcomed by President Morin Dal Col and MNBC Minister for Health Susie Hooper. The participants were split into two groups and bussed off site for video interviews at Richmond Nature Park.

The Youth were treated to some traditional knowledge and shown various traps and furs by Regional Director and Minister for Natural Resources, Gary Biggar. Concurrently back at the hotel, document reviews were completed on Diabetes, COPD, Elder abuse and an evaluation was completed by Reciprocal Consulting on the Cancer Care booklet. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer led a discussion on Métis priorities for Cancer care through prevention and screening.

Sportmed BC tested a total of forty-three participants on Saturday for Hemoglobin A1C, Cholesterol and Blood pressure testing and the youth created some amazing jumbo sashes, that allowed for some very popular photo opportunities.

Boehringer- Ingleheim sponsored our Saturday night dinner and we had Parliamentary Secretary for Métis Relations Mr. Marc Dalton give a presentation as well as Endocrinologist Dr. Maureen Clemente, who spoke on Type II Diabetes after dinner.

Cultural Wellness was weaved throughout the weekend and all the discussions, and participants shared the need to increase Métis Cultural awareness in BC. Leona Nielson led the group through the Michif Forest and shared medicines and traditional knowledge, while listeners had a chance to paint what Cultural Wellness looked like for them.

We were very pleased to have Director Tara Nault from the Office of Aboriginal Health at the Ministry of Health attend the full weekend with us.

We look forward to compiling all the information and releasing videos in the coming months for the Provincial Health Service Authority’s San’yas training, Northern Health Authority and Fraser Health Authority. Hard copy Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Elder Abuse prevention, and Cancer Care resources will also be made available soon.

A special thanks to all of our participants for sharing their knowledge with us and especially those that contributed to our Veterans fundraising efforts with a total of $707.52 being raised. Special mention to Phil Lavallee for donating his Red River Cart for the draw, and to Gary Biggar who donated his half of the 50/50 at $177.50 dollars! 

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For more information, please contact Tanya Davoren, Director of Health.