Métis Nation British Columbia Launches Citizen-Based Funding Initiative

Surrey, BC (October 29, 2021) – After consultation with Chartered Communities and Citizens, Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) is pleased to announce that effective immediately, any applicant to an MNBC-funded program must be either an MNBC Citizen or have an active application with the MNBC Central Registry.  

“Over the last 12 months, MNBC’s Cabinet has received feedback from Métis Chartered Communities and Citizens that the current process is not meeting the needs of our communities,” says Lissa Dawn Smith, MNBC Acting President. “Allowing those who have an active application with the Registry is the right balance to ensure we are not disenfranchising those who have to wait long to receive approval.” 

Unless a funding agreement states that MNBC must fund self-identifying Métis individuals, the Citizen-based funding initiative, which takes effect immediately, impacts all MNBC Ministry programs and services. Current MNBC clients who are not MNBC Citizens, and have not submitted an active and bona fide application to the MNBC Central Registry will have until midnight April 1, 2022, to submit an application for citizenship registration consideration.  

“We have heard loud and clear that MNBC needs to prioritize those applications that are from MNBC Citizens and incentivize those that are self-identified to come home to their Nation,” says Patrick Harriott, MNBC Minister of Citizenship and Community Services. “We still have much more to do to ensure that our Registry is processing new applications in a speedy and timely manner, and I’m proud of the over $1-million investment our Cabinet has made to ensure that this occurs.”  

In January of this year, MNBC launched a $1.1-million Wahkohtowin, MNBC Registry’s Renewal Project. As part of the project, MNBC recently launched two programs, the Kinship Application Pilot Program (KAPP) which introduced a new queue for applicants who are related to a MNBC Citizen through their immediately family or grandparent.  The program will allow for a faster approval processing time as genealogy will already have been verified for the family.  MNBC also launched the Virtual Intake Pilot Program (VIPP), will see MNBC host virtual intake sessions via Zoom videoconferencing, providing accessibility for and allowing applicants to receive personal assistance. Both programs have had early success with VIPP being fully subscribed at launch. Other components of the project include: replacing the current registry database with up-to-date technology; digitization of over 30,000 central registry citizenship and harvesting files; additional staffing levels for improved customer service and processing times; online citizen address updating; newly design and enhanced citizenship cards; and a chance to be the first Indigenous government to go paperless within five years.