KAMLOOPS – Métis families in Kamloops will benefit from dozens of new child care spaces that recognize and honour Métis culture and heritage with support from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund.
Set to open in the spring of 2023, the new child care facility in central Kamloops will add 112 new, licensed child care spaces through a partnership between Métis Nation BC (MNBC) and Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Service (LMO).
“Indigenous families in both urban and rural communities deserve inclusive child care services that can help children connect to their community, culture and heritage,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “We’re proud to support Métis Nation BC in creating culturally relevant, child care spaces that will connect Métis children and their families living in Kamloops to the supports they need.”
Programming at the centre will include Métis and other Indigenous teachings and ceremonies including music, dance, arts, games, and traditional foods through a hot breakfast program.
“We applaud the province in funding more spaces for our Métis families in child care facilities that provide culturally-relevant care,” said Debra Fisher, MNBC Minister of Education. “We know our children can thrive when they are afforded quality care, and look forward to continued partnerships with our Métis service providers that help bolster Métis families in Kamloops. My dream is that all our Métis children will grow up knowing they are Métis because it is no longer has to be hidden like previous generations. They will be the ones to bring our culture back to the forefront for our families.”
LMO established the only Urban Indigenous Youth Centre in Kamloops and has a strong working relationship with Thompson Rivers University. The facility will offer practicum placements for students in the departments of social work and early childhood development.
The Province has funded almost 26,000 new licensed spaces since the launch of Childcare BC, a 10-year plan to deliver universal and inclusive child care to all B.C. families. More than 6,000 of these spaces are now open.