February 28, 2023 – Victoria, B.C. – Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) acknowledges Budget 2023’s commitment to tangible reconciliation through the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan, and looks forward to a continued shift towards a distinctions-based approach to supporting B.C.’s Indigenous Peoples.
“We are ready to be full partners in the Province’s reconciliation journey,” said Lissa Dawn Smith, MNBC President. “By working together in a good way, we can build a more inclusive province together.”
Budget 2023 provides much-needed funding for programs and initiatives that will address Indigenous priorities including cultural workplace training to fight discrimination, recruitment and retention of Indigenous health-care employees, Indigenous treatment and recovery services and centres, Indigenous-led Peer Assisted Care Teams, supports to reduce homelessness, food security initiatives, expansion of school food programs, and more financial supports for income and disability assistance.
MNBC applauds the Budget 2023 plan to expand Indigenous Justice Centres throughout the province. A total of 15 centres will provide culturally-safe supports to address the over-representation of Indigenous people in the justice system.
“We are eager to finalize the Métis Nation Justice Strategy with the Ministry of the Attorney General,” said President Smith. “Métis people comprise a large portion of B.C.’s urban Indigenous population.”
MNBC submitted a formal budget submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. The submission requested $82.4 million to support Métis-specific programs and services. The Committee made the recommendation to “provide funding to Métis Nation BC for governance, and to ensure that Métis culture is recognized, respected, and protected in a distinctions-based approach.” MNBC was hopeful Budget 2023 would include distinctions-based funding for the Métis Nation.
Since signing the first bilateral accord with the Government of British Columbia nearly two decades ago, MNBC has been working in close partnership with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and other ministries in a whole-of-government approach to create a reconciliation agreement that reflects the distinctions-based commitments in the DRIPA Action Plan.
MNBC is the government of Métis people in British Columbia, advocating for more than 98,000 self-identified Métis people. Directly supporting 39 chartered communities in the province, our mandate is to develop and implement culturally-relevant social and economic programs. We also seek to continue working collaboratively with First Nations to uplift all Indigenous Peoples in B.C. by advancing shared priorities and common concerns.
“We look forward to a continued shift towards a distinctions-based approach in the Province’s reconciliation journey with Indigenous Peoples, added Smith.”
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