The next chapter of Debra Fisher’s life as the Kootenay regional director at the Métis Nation of B.C. (MNBC) has begun with the end of a different path in her community.

Effective Oct. 12, Fisher has effectively resigned from the president’s position at the Columbia Valley Métis Association (CVMA).

“It’s an emotional one,” said Fisher. “It’s been 40 years of trying to build a community and community pride. Not only just as a personal drive, but also a professional one and I never ever dreamed that I would run in a provincial election that’s for sure, so I guess it is a very emotional one because I’m the founding president here and it’s like I’m leaving my baby.”

However, Fisher remains confident that the CVMA board of directors will be successful after her resignation.

In fact, Fisher plans to continue to help the chartered community association through volunteerism.

Going forward, Fisher will be acting as the Minister of Post-Secondary Education for Métis citizens in her new role with the province.

“I’ve been told that I’ll have the portfolio of post-secondary, and I’m not worried about that,” said Fisher. “I’m really looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m looking forward to, somehow, making contact with each of the communities because I really firmly believe our community presidents and our citizens need to be engaged. We need to get community engagement up.”

During the Oct. 7 regularly scheduled CVMA board of directors meeting, the CVMA will assign an interim president until the annual general meeting can be safely held for a community vote in November.

Fisher anticipates that her daughter, Monica, who currently serves the CVMA as vice-president, will take the reigns. However, the Pioneer went to press before the Oct. 7 meeting was held.

In light of the provincial election that’s taken place at MNBC, former candidate Braydi Rice has indicated that she plans to let her name stand for the president’s position in the future. In fact, Fisher recommended that Rice should consider the community role in her absence.

“Moving forward, if I do end up in this president position, what I would look for and would want to pursue, because I was running for youth chair, it’s still a big interest of mine to see what kind of youth programming that we can run for youth in the Columbia Valley and in our nearby communities,” said Rice. “A lot of the kids in the East Kootenay know each other and played sports together growing up, so it would be nice to see more events to get more youth together to be involved. Youth is going to be one of the priorities for me.”

She remains optimistic about listening and learning about the chartered community presidential role from Fisher if elected at the AGM.

“For me, I think it will be a big learning opportunity to see what Deb and the board have already put into effect,” Rice said. “Being someone new and young, I’ll look at what I can improve but Deb has been in the role from the beginning, and there’s so much I’m looking forward to learning from her. I’m very fortunate to have a great relationship with her and the opportunity to learn.”

Rice believes that studying at university, while living in eastern Canada, the United Kingdom and in B.C. could benefit the resources being made available to community members.

“It’s kind of important to see other cultures and experience other places,” said Rice. “It gave me a huge appreciation for home.”