Government of British Columbia renews commitment to Métis Nation Relationship Accord

May 24, 2011

Wednesday 20, 2011 - Abbotsford, BC

Métis Nation British Columbia President Bruce Dumont has held several face-to-face meetings this week with key Government of British Columbia officials to discuss the Métis agenda.

Meetings involved officials with BC Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation (MARR), and with MARR Minister Mary Polak and Health Minister Michael de Jong.

Health Minister de Jong took time to meet with MNBC President Dumont and Health Minister Lissa Smith, to discuss the work that is taking place within the provinces' Health Authorities. Interior Health Authority has taken the lead by financially supporting the continuation of the Regional Health Coordinator position introduced under Aboriginal Health Transition Fund. Vancouver Coastal Health has also approached MNBC with supportive funding options. MNBC's Health Ministry is bridging the relationship gap between Health Authorities and Métis Communities, mutually benefiting both the health authority and the health information shared with Métis people. Also discussed was the Metis Nation British Columbia information sharing agreement, which is ready to launch soon.

The meeting was very positive and constructive. Minister de Jong reiterated his government's commitment to work closely with the Métis Nation British Columbia in moving Métis issues forward as outlined in the Métis Nation Relationship Accord, which includes meeting quarterly to discuss progress on the key areas outlined in the Accord.

In May 2006 Métis Nation British Columbia signed the historic Métis Nation Relationship Accord with the Province of British Columbia which committed both the Métis Nation BC and the Province of BC to close the gap between Métis Citizens in this province and other British Columbians in six key areas:

  • Health (Community, Family, Individual)
  • Housing
  • Education (Lifelong Learning)
  • Economic Opportunities
  • Collaborative Renewal of the Tripartite Processes
  • Métis Identification and Data Collection

President Dumont also had an introductory meeting with the Associate Deputy Minister for MARR, Arlene Patton and the new Executive Director, Ken Armour. They were both very interested in the ongoing and construction restructuring plans underway at the Métis Nation British Columbia.

President Dumont says, "I was pleased to hear the words of support and interest in MNBC's pro-active and detailed Debt Recovery Plan and Economic Development of Métis Skills and Education Centre as well as the For Profit side of MNBC. The MNBC continues to focus our efforts in getting our financial house in order and we are working hard at improving the success of our programs on behalf on our citizens."

President Dumont had the opportunity to meet with Minister Polak where he reiterated the positive discussions he had with Ms. Patton and highlighted the historic Métis Nation Relationship Accord.

President Dumont adds, "Minister Polak showed keen interest in the Accord and went as far as to offer to initiate additional meetings with Minister's responsible for the focus areas. As I understand, she has already taken positive steps to ensure Métis issues do not fall off the government's radar."

President Dumont is also looking forward to having meetings in the near future with the Minister of Education George Abbott as well as other key government officials.

Métis Nation British Columbia's vision is to build a proud, self-governing, sustainable Nation in recognition of Inherent Rights for our Métis citizens.

Métis Nation British Columbia's mandate is to develop and enhance opportunities for our Métis communities by implementing culturally relevant social and economic programs and services through Teamwork, Respect, Dedication, Accountability, Integrity and Professionalism.

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Media contact:
Tracey Thornhill
Executive Assistant
Métis Nation British Columbia
604-557-5851 ext. 231

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