By Haley Grinder

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

On Nov. 5, the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) took the final steps in releasing their new, revised strategic plan to lay out the self-governing body’s key objectives for the next three years. The plan has been in the works for the past ten months and specifies five critical goals for MNBC’s continued success in safeguarding the rights for and recognition of the Métis Peoples.

In short, the first goal is to “build a healthy and vibrant Métis Nation B.C.,” which encompasses creating a safe, inclusive, and healthy place of work for both Métis and allied staff. MNBC focuses on a long-term, positive employment atmosphere, which is the basis of their “Employer of Choice” program as well.

Secondly, their goal is to “bring our Métis children home.” As the MNBC highly values their self-determination, they are especially committed to attaining this over the Métis children currently in the care of the B.C. government in order to ensure the kids have access to their culture.

Their third course of action over the coming three years is to “supporting a united Metis nation,” regardless of place of residence. Although based in B.C., the MNBC wants to make sure that Métis-Canadians all are working towards a common purpose, whatever that purpose may be.

Perhaps the most important goal set is number four: “increasing cultural visibility.” The concept, although challenging at first glance, seems to be already gaining popular culture momentum, with many people embracing the ally role as they uncover more about the hidden horrors from our country’s past. Métis people are also traditionally dubbed the “forgotten people,” making this step all the more important. The MNBC’s creation of MéTV, a video segment that highlights traditional Métis culture is already contributing to this. The videos showcase anything from Métis food to beadwork to clothing in an easily accessible format.

Lastly, step five states its desire to “protect, clarify, and acknowledge Section 35 Métis rights.” Increasing engagement with First Nations governments within the province and Canada-wide is prioritized, with a long-term wish for creating equitable funding formulas that are based on distinctions-based methods.

“I am so proud of the entire Cabinet and our staff at MNBC for all the work that went into producing this new three-year strategic plan,” says Lissa Dawn Smith, Acting MNBC President in the official release of the strategic plan. “In my 14 years on the Board of Directors, I have never seen so much dedication and passion put into our strategic plan, and the results show. This comprehensive plan is the fruits of hours of discussion, consultation, engagement, and grassroots feedback we have heard from our Citizens and Chartered Communities across the province. Now the hard work of putting into action many of these items begin.”