Surrey, BC (November 5, 2021) – Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) the self-governing Nation for the Métis population in BC has released a new strategic plan that lays the foundation for advancing the Cabinet’s objectives. The plan will see the organization prioritize five key strategic goals.

The first, building a healthy and vibrant MNBC, aims to create a healthy place where people, Métis and allied staff, want to come to work. MNBC’s ‘Employer of Choice’ Program, is already well underway with initiatives aimed at making our Nation the most attractive Indigenous government to work at in Canada. MNBC is focusing not just on physical and mental health, both extremely vital, but also economically healthy, setting the stage for long-term sustainable, and ultimately making sure that our 39 Métis Chartered Communities are strong and vibrant.

The second is simple: bring our Métis children home. The largest single group of Indigenous children in care are those that identify as Métis. MNBC is committed to attaining self-determination over our Métis children that are in the care of the provincial government. Most importantly, we must ensure that Métis children have access to their culture.

Third, MNBC’s Cabinet is committed to supporting a united Métis Nation. From Ontario to BC, all our Métis government must work together for a common purpose. We are stronger together, and it is only to the benefits of those who seek to see the Métis fail that gain from division and disunity. A strong and democratic government that represents the interests of all Métis citizens is the foundation from where a united Métis government will be built upon.

Increasing the cultural visibility of Métis is the fourth strategic aim. The Métis are often referred to as the “forgotten people”, and MNBC is committed to making the Métis forgotten no more. With important initiatives like MéTV already underway, great strides have already been made under the leadership of this administration. But, there is still much work to do to raise the overall Métis profile with all British Columbians, with more strategic initiatives in the works. MNBC is also committed to developing cultural programming for the public and developing representative institutions, so Métis have access to culturally relevant and safe training, education, child care, and more.

Finally, one of the most important goals, and one that remains a challenge for Métis governments across Canada, is the recognition of section 35 rights for Métis people. There is no hierarchy of Indigenous rights in Canada, and we must continue to remind government of this. Métis must be recognized in this province, and equitable funding formulas that look at distinctions-based methods is critically important. MNBC is also committed to increasing our engagement with First Nations governments. Working together for the betterment of all Indigenous peoples is something that is a common purpose.

“I am so proud of the entire Cabinet and our staff at MNBC for all the work that went into producing this new three-year strategic plan,” says Lissa Dawn Smith, Acting MNBC President. “In my 14 years on the Board of Directors, I have never seen so much dedication and passion put into our strategic plan, and the results show. This comprehensive plan is the fruits of hours of discussion, consultation, engagement, and grassroots feedback we have heard from our Citizens and Chartered Communities across the province. Now the hard work of putting into action many of these items begin.”