By James Rose
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Métis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) plans to coordinate more training opportunities in remote communities. Everything from Class 1 driver’s licenses, esthetician certificates, first-aid., firefighting, accounting and bookkeeping. The number and variety of training opportunities are wide and many. The catch has been that most of these opportunities are located in Kamloops or Vancouver.

MNBC administers the Métis Employment & Training Program (METP) to improve the employment potential, earning capacity and self-sufficiency of Métis people in B.C. The flagship program METP delivers is the Indigenous Skills Employment Training Program (ISETP), funded by the federal government.

It also administers SITÉM. SITÉM is delivered to eligible Métis citizens across the province. SITÉM is a unique program that provides skills training and support programs to Métis citizens located in one of our 38 chartered Métis communities located across the province.

The training is strategically designed to best meet communities’ regional demands and focuses on in-demand jobs.

SITÉM provides employment assistance services and financial support, enabling program participation and direct employment experience.

The strategic objective for MNBC is to democratize across the province where training can happen. “The overall goal is for MNBC to do what it can to ensure its citizens have higher rates of employment, retention on the job, and an up-to-date skillset,” said Columbia Valley Métis Association (CVMA) president Monica Fisher.

As part of this effort, the MNBC conducted an online SITÉM survey last week to gauge what kind of training its citizenry in remote communities wants. “They are surveying communities across the province to find out what our citizens want and need,” Fisher said. “They want to remove barriers and add access to training programs in our region.”

And there is more surveying planned. “We’re going to be doing our local surveying to get a better sense of with more detail about what our citizens want,” said Fisher. The CVMA currently has over two hundred members and is growing.