MÉTIS FAMILIES IN BC WILL BENEFIT FROM $250,000 INVESTMENT IN NEW EDUCATION PROGRAM

Miyoopimatishihk (Wellbeing) is the first of several early years programs being launched in 2021

Métis Nation BC (MNBC) marked Family Day today with the announcement of a new Miyoopimatishihk (Wellbeing) Program that will focus on the unmet needs of Métis families with children birth to eight years. This is the first of several early years programs funded by MNBC’s Ministry of Education to be unveiled through to this spring. An information package about the program will be sent to families in early April along with details about what kinds of supports will be available and how families can access them.

The Miyoopimatishihk (Wellbeing) Program was inspired through collaboration with Métis families, who have been sharing their stories with the Métis Family Connections program staff in their communities. The MNBC staff link families to local programs and services and connect them to community and culture. Those stories continue to help guide the Ministry of Education as it develops new programs and services for Métis families.

“Unfortunately, many inequities exist for Métis families, such as a lack of access to mental health supports, educational supports, speech therapy, medical equipment and assessments, and these inequities negatively impact childhood development as well as educational outcomes,” said Debra Fisher, Minister of Education, MNBC. “We’re proud to unveil a program that was created by listening to Métis families with young children and putting their words into actions. This is for them.”

Minister Fisher also used Family Day as an occasion to encourage families to enroll their children in the Métis Family Connections Program, which focuses on helping families build a network of support that provides children birth to eight with opportunities for early learning and childhood development.

“Providing quality programs for young Métis children and families is extremely important. It is with deep sense of appreciation we thank MNBC for their attention to these issues. We touch the future through the hearts of children,” said Jean Sulzer, President of the Elk Valley Métis Association.

“Our vision is for all Métis children throughout B.C. to experience a state of well-being that allows them to live healthy and happy lives, and fulfill their full potential as individuals, as members of their family and community, and as citizens of Métis Nation BC and British Columbians,” said Fisher. “Miyoopimatishihk and Métis Family Connections programs will play a vital role in helping us realize that vision. I’m thankful to Senior Director Colleen Hodgson and her entire Ministry of Education team for their efforts in putting this program together.”

To enroll in the Métis Family Connections Program, families can contact the MNBC Ministry of Education at métisearlyyears@mnbc.ca or visit the Program webpage. Funding for the Miyoopimatishihk (Wellbeing) Program is provided by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).