MYBC Embracing Our Culture

Posted by on

The MNBC Ministry of Youth and Métis Youth British Columbia (MYBC) are proud to announce the successful completion of the Embracing Our Future– A Métis Youth Forum, which took place from November 18th-21st, 2016 in West Kelowna, BC.  The Forum brought together 35 Métis Youth delegates, chaperones, Elders and various facilitators for an exciting and jam-packed weekend at the Cove Lakeside Resort.

Embracing Our Future provided opportunities for Métis Youth to network with other Youth from across the province while learning more about their Métis culture and engaging in various workshops. The overall goal of the Forum aimed to enhance each attendee’s leadership and employment skills and offered Youth delegates the opportunity to learn more about themselves and their culture. The workshops included: Managing Conflict, First Aid CPR Level C, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Miyo Machihowin: Good Health, Healthy Eating 101, and Power Yoga. There was also an opportunity for Youth to learn about the role of an Elder from Elders Philip Gladue, Betty Gladue and Stella Johnson, through an Ask an Elder workshop.  

Youth were welcomed on the first night by Elaine Alec, who gave a powerful motivational speech and did some exercises which allowed the youth to get to know one another more. On the second night everyone participated in creating a cedar star blanket which represents the gifts that each attendee brings to the Métis  Nation. The 128 pieces of painted wood were pieced together to create the star and the 4 Ft by 4 Ft mural will now be placed at the Métis  Nation BC provincial head office as a legacy piece from the Youth Forum.  The last night of the Forum, Métis  Artisan Lisa Shepherd taught a fun and upbeat Métis  jigging workshop! On the final day of the Forum, all the youth participated in a formal research project with Royal Roads Master student, Jo Dumont, who led an open space workshop to discuss opportunities for further Métis  Youth engagement.

The feedback from Métis Youth delegates, Elders, Chaperones and facilitators was incredibly positive.  Many of the Youth told us they learned valuable life skills and made lifelong friendships. Many of them expressed their gratitude to be able to participate in a Forum like this and felt this opportunity allowed them to really engage in their culture and meet other Métis youth. One of the Youth shared positive feedback which accurately reflects the attitude of many of the Youth in attendance - “I will be leaving this Forum feeling more connected than ever to my Métis culture. I am inspired to start my journey of cultural learning and personal growth.”

MNBC would like to thank our wonderful funder, the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, for acknowledging the importance of a Métis -specific Youth Forum and making it possible for us to host this incredible Forum.

MYBC looks forward to hosting more Métis Youth Forums and events in the future and encourages Youth who are interested in getting involved, to join the Métis Youth British Columbia Facebook page.

Embracing Our Future Group Photo- November 21st 2016, Cove Lakeside Resort, West Kelowna, BC

Star Blanket Medicine Mural- The Gifts we Collectively Bring to the Métis  Nation