In support of a record annual budget that includes nearly $1 million in direct funding to Métis communities, Métis Nation BC (MNBC) will undertake consultation with community Presidents in March to get their feedback on how the proposed 2021/22 budget addresses their communities’ priorities. This historic initiative marks the first time the Nation’s budget has been shared with Métis citizens prior to being approved by Cabinet.

Among the highlights of the proposed budget is a new Community Capacity and Cultural Access Grant (CCCAG) that Métis Chartered Communities can use to serve the needs of their residents and support cultural activities. It includes $227,000 for cultural activities and $390,000 for capacity building. Thanks to three waves of COVID-19 relief funding provided by Indigenous Services Canada and $570,000 in Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples (UPIP) funding, also provided by Indigenous Services Canada, a record amount of financial support will have flowed to Métis Chartered Communities over the past 18 months.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Métis communities that were already being underserved by provincial ministries and programs,” said Patrick Harriott, MNBC Treasurer and Chair of its Finance and Audit Committee. “Just as the effects of the pandemic are felt most deeply at the community and family level, it’s appropriate that we direct funding to those communities that know their needs best. These investments to increase community capacity, and support our culture, reflect the critical role our communities play in the life of our Nation.”

Subject to approval by the Cabinet, each Chartered Community will be eligible for a minimum of $34,700 in funding, including $15,000 from UPIP, $12,500‐$20,000 from the CCCAG and $7,200‐$13,200 in COVID‐Wave 3 funding. Alternatively, Chartered Communities can choose to pool their CCCAG grants by region.

 “If we want to strengthen our Nation and build toward self-government, it is critical we make new investments in our Chartered Communities,” said Darcie Petuh, President of Northwest Métis in Terrace. “I’m pleased to see new funds included in Budget 2021/22 that will increase our ability to cope with COVID and help us to meet the unique cultural and community needs of our citizens.” 

To ensure the 2021/22 budget aligns with community priorities, MNBC senior staff and ministers will meet virtually with Chartered Community Presidents in March to present the budget and outline key projects and priorities for each ministry over the coming fiscal year. Over the coming year, MNBC will also work with communities to develop a robust consultation process that provides communities with more input into future annual budgets and multi-year strategic plans, starting with the 2022/23 operating budget starting next fall.

“As our Nation evolves and matures, so must our institutions and processes,” said Acting President Lissa Smith. “To reach our full potential as a Nation, we must harness the full capacity and creativity of our people. Increasing the capacity of our communities and providing them with more opportunities to influence and support MNBC policy is an important part of that process.”

“Chartered Communities are the foundation upon which Métis Nation British Columbia is built,” said Joy Sundin, President of the Prince Rupert & District Metis Society. “This new funding will help us address some of the important needs we have as a community, as well as many of the challenges we face as Indigenous people struggling through a pandemic over the next year.” 

The view the draft MNBC 2021/22 budget, please visit the budget page on the MNBC website.