Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) reached a significant milestone in the $1.1-million Wahkohtowin Project, with the selection of Know History to develop MNBC’s new central registry database.  

MNBC secured funds from the Government of Canada for Phase 1 of the project, which will include the implementation of a new database. This new system will be more applicant friendly and support online access for application status updates, with the goal of significantly reducing registry processing time for both new applications and renewals. Know History’s staff are currently leveraging findings from the recent registry review to conduct a needs assessment and align their developments with MNBC standards. 

“I am excited to see this long overdue investment in our central registry database and system,” says Patrick Harriot, MNBC Minister of Citizenship and Community Services. “We have heard from our community that the current processing times for new citizens and renewals needs improvement, and the MNBC Board of Directors and MNBC staff are working diligently to enhance our capacity.”  

Know History, established in 2011, is one of Canada’s leading historical services firms, specializing in researching, documenting and presenting the past. They have received multiple awards for their work, including the National Council of Public History’s Excellence in Consulting Award and the Canadian Historical Association’s Public History Prize. The company specializes in Métis history, having worked with the Métis Nation of Ontario, Métis Nation of Alberta, and the Manitoba Metis Federation. Their team has completed over 300 projects and worked with organizations such as the Government of Canada, Parks Canada, Royal Alberta Museum, Government of Alberta, Whitecap Dakota First Nation and many others.  

“The Wahkohtowin project marks a huge milestone for the Nation. The citizenship application process will be more accessible for Metis peoples awaiting citizenship to navigate,” says Briana Greer, Youth Representative for Region 6 and Vice-President of MYBC. “With an easier system, hopefully we can bridge the gap between the approximate 90,000 self-declared Metis in the province with the approximate 22,000 Metis Citizens” 

Know History has partnered with Hatfield Consultants to collaboratively develop RootsForward™, a fully customizable and extremely secure software and research system that creates a customized registry of a nation’s members and their ancestors. Hatfield is a Vancouver-based technology and environmental services firm that employs a business unit dedicated to developing electronic information systems that support Indigenous self governance. The RootsFoward™ system serves as the base software and is customized to meet each client’s unique needs. The system features: 

  • Efficient procedures for processing citizenship applications and tracking data. 
  • Administrative functions to manage membership lists and mail-outs, issue citizenship and harvester cards and run advanced reports that provide insight into membership demographics and history. 
  • A digital historical library that organizes and securely holds thousands of archival documents, maps and other historical documents. 
  • Standard workflows and quality control measures that eliminate duplication and reduce the possibility of human error. 

The Wahkohtowin Project includes new registry equipment and database software, office supply support for communities, and new, full-time staff positions, with the ultimate goal of improving customer service for all MNBC Citizens.