MMF invests millions into healthcare for families

November 2, 2023

Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Today, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), the National Government of the Red River Métis, broke ground on Michif Manor, a culturally focused home away from home for our families traveling to Winnipeg for medical care.

The facility, located near the Health Sciences Centre, will offer 12 private units with their own washrooms, as well as two communal kitchens, a dining room, a workout room, a games room for children, indoor and outdoor seating areas, laundry facilities and a cultural/resource room.

"Michif Manor is another building block of our ongoing approach to supporting our Citizens through facilities that provide wraparound services and holistic support," said Will Goodon, the MMF's Minister of Housing and Property Development. "Whether they need help finding or buying a home, transitioning from the child welfare system into adulthood, or securing a home away from home while undergoing treatment, we're here for them."

Michif Manor will integrate culturally sensitive practices, traditions, and healing modalities that align with the Red River Métis culture and beliefs. By incorporating traditional knowledge into healthcare services, we aim to enhance the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of Métis Citizens traveling from outside Winnipeg. This approach has been proven to lead to better health outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and a stronger sense of cultural identity.

"Coming to the city for medical care carries a lot of worry for our families, particularly if it's for our children," said Frances Chartrand, the MMF's Minister of Health and Wellness. "We know our families will feel a strong sense of relief and comfort knowing they have a place to stay where they can cook the meals that taste like home, while they connect with other families and focus on the healing process. That's the goal of Michif Manor - wrapping our arms around our Citizens when they are most in need of our care and support."

Funding for Michif Manor was provided by IHII (Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative), which aims to find and support First Nation, Inuit and Métis Nation innovators who have housing ideas for rural, urban or remote Indigenous communities. Michif Manor was supported by CANDO, (Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers) a federally registered, non-profit society that is Indigenous controlled, community based, and membership driven.

"It's very fulfilling that Manitoba Métis Federation's Michif Manor project has progressed from just an idea to the construction phase of housing to temporarily accommodate Métis citizens travelling to Winnipeg to access health care," said Ray Wanuch, Executive Director of Cando. "Michif Manor will house several families in private living quarters complemented by shared kitchen and living spaces. This project is another Indigenous housing project supported through the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative (IHII) that provides support for the development, design and financing for Indigenous housing projects throughout Canada. Cando is pleased to be a partner in this initiative recognizing the urgent need for safe and healthy housing for Indigenous people as well as the critical role new housing development can have on community economic development."

"Innovative, Indigenous-led housing solutions are a key element in reversing the impacts of colonialism," said the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services. "Michif Manor is an excellent example, where traditional practices will provide a culturally-safe and inclusive place to stay for those travelling to Winnipeg for medical care. Through the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative, we are proud to support this important project. Congratulations to the Manitoba Métis Federation, CANDO and the Métis leaders who are moving this important project forward."

Expected to be operational in the fall of 2024, Michif Manor will prioritize empowering Red River Métis Citizens and families traveling from outside Winnipeg, by offering support services that address their unique needs. Through educational programs, workshops, and resource centers, we will provide individuals and families with the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate the healthcare system effectively. By fostering a sense of belonging, resilience, and community, we can enhance the overall well-being of Métis Citizens accessing medical care.

"Culturally focused healthcare supports remain a focus of the Red River Métis government," said David Chartrand, President of the MMF. "Our Citizens have told us how difficult it can be, coming to the city for health care, which is why Michif Manor is so important for our families, providing them with a safe and welcoming place to stay, so they can focus on healing. Michif Manor is only the beginning of our distinctions-based healthcare strategy. We will never stop working toward a Canada where we can change our disproportionately poor health outcomes. We're here to support our families and children, helping them receive top quality healthcare, regardless of where they live."


Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratically elected National Government of the Red River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis. The Red River Métis are a distinct Indigenous Nation and People and Canada's Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.

For more information, media may contact:
Kat Patenaude
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Métis Federation


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