Kamloops, BC (September 24, 2021) – Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) is proud to announce the acquisition of land in Kamloops which will see the construction of below-market rate rental housing for Métis families, a Métis childcare centre, and office space for a child protection and support services office, Lii Michif Otipemisiwak (LMO) Family and Community Services, and the Two Rivers Métis Society. The purchase, totaling $3,800,000, is the first of MNBC’s ambitious goal of creating Métis centres across the province in all seven regions. The funding, provided under the Canada-Métis Nation Housing Sub-Accord, gives the governing members of the Métis Nation control over the design, delivery and administration of housing services. The federal government’s 2018 budget outlined a $500 million investment over 10 years to support the Métis Nation’s housing strategy.
MNBC is partnering with LMO to build the housing and the childcare centre. M’akola Development Services, an Indigenous based, socially conscious professional development services organization, has been engaged to lead the development of the project. M’akola has 31 years of experience in housing research, planning, and development for Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients.
“I am so honoured and proud that MNBC’s Cabinet has made Kamloops the first stop in our visionary journey of creating Métis homes, childcare centres, and spaces for our Chartered Communities around BC,” says Dean Gladue, MNBC Minister of Housing and Homelessness and Director for Region 3. “I am excited that we are partnerning with LMO and their proven track record of providing culturally-appropriate housing and childcare for Métis people. If you are Métis, this will be your home.”
Since 1998, LMO has been providing a variety of Métis-specific support services to the Métis population in Kamloops and surrounding area. In 2017, LMO became the second delegated Métis child and family services agency in the province of BC. As such, the responsibility for all child protection services was transferred from the provincial government to the full responsibility of LMO.
“This is a vision that our Elders and Community have long for. A place where our Métis children, families and Community can gather and experience a sense a belonging,” says Colleen Lucier, Executive Director, LMO. “As a Métis child and family service provider, our Michif Team is very much aware of the importance of a strong sense of belonging is to a child’s safety and wellbeing. Through this development, we, together, as Métis People are developing something amazing for our People. I would like to acknowledge and offer our gratitude to the Secwepemc People for sharing their land on which this place of belonging and wellness will be built.”
“Two Rivers Métis Society is excited to be provided with an office within the new Kamloops Métis center, which will benefit the Community greatly,” says Trish Plant, President of the Two River Métis Society. “I know I can speak for our community members when I say that Métis center will be our place of belonging, a place where we can gather and support one another through our shared culture.”
Providing affordable housing, delivering Métis childcare centres, and creating space for our Métis Chartered Communities is a key strategic goal of MNBC’s Cabinet and senior leadership team. Over the coming months, MNBC will continue on its progressive agenda with more announcements to come.