By Haley Grinder

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The winners for the Nakaatchihtow (the Michif word for ‘skill’, pronounced na-katch-i-tow) Arts and Culture Project were announced earlier this month on Friday, Nov. 12. The contest was piloted by Métis Nation B.C. (MNBC) in an effort to strengthen Métis cultural visibility within B.C. communities.

MNBC announced the contest on Aug. 3, investing $175,000 to support Métis artists within the province. The grants range from $5000 to $30,000 to eligible applicants. The recipients are to complete two reports detailing budget expenses, invoices, and project plans.

Successful grant recipients are Kaija Heitland, Savanna Todd, John Bell, Earlene Bitterman, Lisa Shepard, Nevada Christianson, Erin Stagg, and Mia Yule and showcase projects such as a ribbon skirt teaching circle, a Métis fiddle making mentorship, a Métis themed podcast, and artistic murals, to name a few.

“Ensuring our Métis artists have the opportunity to create unique art, and new ways to express our culture, is a focus of Métis Nation BC moving forward,” says Minister of Culture, Heritage and Language Patrick Harriott in an MNBC press release. “Projects like the Naakatchihtow Arts and Culture Project Grant will help produce our next generation of knowledge keepers, which is important to the ongoing vitality of our Métis culture.”