Page 1

Kiwetin Marketing & Publishing Ltd. presents

...the voice of the MĂŠtis Community in British Columbia

Winter 2007/08, Volume 4, Issue 2

Printed In Canada

%POµUKVTUCMFOEJO 4UBOEPVUJOUIFDSPXE 1306%13*/5&340'8)*41&3*/(8*/%4

Message from the Publishers Happy Holidays to you and your families!


Noel Mineault & Diane Ellis P.O. Box 1266 Vernon, BC V1T 6N6 Telephone: 250.558.7997 Toll Free: 1.866.558.7997 Fax: 250.558.4178 Email: Web site: Web site: (for large files):

Christmas is a time for relaxing by the fire, listening to the children and visiting relatives and friends. It is our hope that you take the time to do all of these things and enjoy the season. A special thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition. There are times when we wonder if it will ever get pieced together and then suddenly it happens! All of you make it happen, Thank you! Our next edition, which comes out in March, will be a very large publication. Featuring Economic Development, Tourism, and Health, the Spring 2008 Whispering Winds will be the largest so far. We will feature industry in the north (British Columbia, Alberta and North West Territories) as well as Aboriginal health issues, training and culture. Be sure to order your subscription and don’t forget that Whispering Winds makes a great Christmas gift that just keeps on giving! All our relations! Noel & Diane. Subscribe to Whispering Winds Subscriptions are available @ $32 per year. Send your cheque or money order (payable to Kiwetin Marketing & Publishing Ltd.) to P.O. Box 1266, Vernon, BC V1T 6N6. Telephone: 250.558.7997 Fax: 250.558.4178 Toll Free: 1.866.558.7997 Email:

Deadline for material for the Spring 2008 issue of Whispering Winds: January 29, 2008. Publishers reserve the right to edit all material and to refuse controversial articles that may affect our Métis people. Electronic images must be supplied in a high resolution format or risk not being published due to poor output quality.

Inside this issue of Whispering Winds MNGA Agenda - December 2007 ..............4 Métis Nation BC - AGM ........................10 Education ..................................................15 Children’s Christmas Story .......................31 At Home with David Bouchard ................35 Regional News ..........................................46 Women’s News .........................................55 A Canadian Legend ..................................72 Recipes......................................................74 Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


MNGA Meeting


Métis Nation Governing Assembly MEETING INFORMATION: Dates:

Official Start to MNGA – Saturday/Sunday 1)

Opening Prayer


Special Guests and Dignitary Greetings to MNGA Members i)


Guests To Be Announced

Welcoming Comments MNBC President & Vice President i)

Welcoming Comments from Speaker and Deputy Speaker


Roll Call


Acceptance of MNGA Draft Agenda


Review MNGA Draft Minutes March 8th- 11th, 2007


2007 Annual General Meeting a)

AGM Video Presentation


Review updated MNBC Constitution and Legislation


Resolution Submissions (presented to the Clerk as per the MNGA Act)


MNBC 2008 Election a)

Set the date for the 2008 MNBC General Election


Review Chief Electoral Officer Request for Proposal Submissions

10) Executive Updates; a)







Delta Vancouver Airport



3500 Cessna Drive


Regional Director Updates;

Richmond, BC


Métis Women’s Secretariat – British Columbia Update;


Ministerial Updates for 2007-2008, including, where applicable, program reports and audits;


Senate Update;


British Columbia United Métis Youth Circle Update;


Métis Veterans Association-British Columbia, and


Any other reports required by the Constitution or Legislation.

December 14th – 16th, 2007

Room: Sea Island Ballroom Please note that Friday is being organized for training and a tour of the MNBC Vancouver Office. Schedule for Friday: 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM Tour of MNBC Vancouver Office

11) Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Association (ASRA) of British Columbia proposed Memorandum of Understanding 12) Métis Charter Community Update a)

Kelly Lake Métis Settlement Society


Frazer Valley Métis Association

13) Métis National Council Update 14) Adjournment – Closing Prayer


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Lest we forget...

Vernon and District MétisVeterans attend Remembrance Day Ceremony in Vernon, BC


mokey Trumbley was born in Findlator Sask. on Dec. 30, 1922. He enlisted in 1939 with the South Saskatchewan Regiment, he said he was 18 but was 17 at the time, his mom contacted the military and told them, they allowed him to stay in the army as kitchen help until his 18 birthday. He then served for 7 1/2 years in Regina, Weyburn, Dundurin, Vernon, Calgary and Chilliwack as an Infantry Instructor. He left the army with the rank of Sergeant in 1947 and has lived in Vernon ever since. Ernie Parteneau, Thompson / Okanagan Métis Veteran representative lays wreath on behalf of MNBC Veterans. Ernie enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces 1969 in Sydney Nova Scotia. Following basic training and combat arms school was stationed

Royal Canadian Legion member, Richard Hovan, Smokey Trumbley and his son, Bob salute after the laying of the Vernon & District Métis Community wreath.

in Headquarters in Ottawa, CFB Rockcliff. He served under Canadian Peacekeepers and NATO, trained in Chemical, Biological, Nuclear, and Arctic Warfare, Bug Out for Martial law in Quebec, Search and Recover Mission and UN Peacekeeping Forces-Cyprus Contingent.

REMEMBRANCE As I sit with the flag over me REMEMBERING, that is the key Thinking of all those people acting like shields As they run across the field, Their wives will never see the gore This is why I am writing this lore. I would like to say thank you To all those soldiers, Who may have died in sorrow And would never see the light of tomorow. By Wade Laustrup Age 12

RCMP Cst Boeglin Vernon, Tanya Davoren (Smokey’s granddaughter), RCMP Cst Rutten, Vernon. Métis Veteran Smokey Trumbley, Robert Hovan, Métis Veteran Ernst Parenteau (MNBC rep), Richard Hovan (far back); RCMP Gardner - Vernon, Bob Trumbley, (Smokey’s son) Shaughan Davoren, (Smokey’s great grandson)

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Message from President Dumont Bruce Dumont

Taanshi kiya’wow / Bonjour Ta’wow / Bienvenue

I am proud to address Métis citizens in British Columbia for this important edition of the Whispering Winds magazine. We are entering the winter season and for many of us our thoughts turn to Christmas celebrations and family gatherings to bring in the new year. For others the Christmas season can be a painful reminder of the struggles our Métis families face and the shortfalls they may have. For myself, I can only encourage all of the Métis communities to remember that as a community we can stand proud together, shoulder to shoulder, and support one another. I believe that as a Nation we must continue to find ways to support all of our families, this is a foundation that I will never forget. The past few months have been busy for the MNBC leaders. As many of you are aware Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) leaders held another successful Annual General Meeting (AGM) September 21st – 23rd, 2007 in Kelowna, BC. There was a real sense of Métis Nationhood and the webcast had roughly 700 viewers tuned in. Shortly after the AGM MNBC leaders continued support for the Métis Chartered Communities as MNBC Regional Governance Training Sessions were held in each of the regions throughout British Columbia. The attendance was impressive and the overall support and commitment to work consistently at the commu-

nity and provincial level was truly inspiring. MNBC leaders continue to review a number of recommendations from the sessions and will continue to develop training opportunities for the Métis Chartered Communities. MNBC leaders have held a number of key meetings. MNBC leaders and staff have met with the Provincial Health Authority and continue to implement a new provincial ActNow Health Program. MNBC leaders are pursing new initiatives utilizing the Urban Aboriginal Strategy that may support Métis citizens in Prince George and Vancouver. MNBC participated in a Tripartite Self Government Negotiation (TSN) meeting and held meetings with the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Métis in Ottawa. MNBC leaders also participated in the Métis Rights conference in Vancouver. The Métis Rights conference brought together a number of Federal/Provincial Government officials, Métis organizations, and key stakeholders from across Canada to review current Métis rights cases. MNBC was showcased as part of the conference and presented the MNBC Citizenship process MNBC has established. The conference response was positive and MNBC leaders were pleased with the outcome. Finally MNBC launched a new public relations campaign by airing the first ever MNBC Citizenship commercial

on Global in BC. The public relations campaign ran from October 1st – 21st, 2007 and the commercial was aired during peak viewer times. The public response was extremely good as MNBC staff were inundated with calls throughout the three-week period. Based on this success MNBC will continue to explore and seek further opportunities to develop similar media campaigns. MNBC leaders worked to prepare for the upcoming Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) in Richmond on December 14th – 16th, 2007. The MNGA will be very important, as 2008 will require an MNBC General Election and our citizens will go to the polls to elect their provincial leaders for the next four years. Therefore MNGA members will decide on the date of the next MNBC General Election and approve the Chief Electoral Officer. MNBC leaders posted a Request for Proposal for the position of Chief Electoral Officer in October. These items will be the major objectives for this MNGA. MNGA members will also address a number of proposed resolutions and the MNBC Governance Committee completed work in October to identify a number of these key resolutions. In closing I want to comment that I believe this is a time for Métis Nation unity for a number of reasons.


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

As many of you know the Métis National Council continues to struggle. There are issues that the MNC Board of Governors must address and I remain committed to this important task. Regardless of the challenges we must not forgot who we are as Métis people and why we have worked hard over the past number of years to develop Métis Nation governance. Furthermore, we must remember these

Message from the CEO

principles here in British Columbia. During the AGM delegates achieved historic success with the passing of our final piece of legislation, the Electoral Act. The Electoral Act was the final piece of legislation required to fulfill the MNBC Constitution. I am very proud to have been your leader who could accomplish this. Remember that this marks the beginning of Métis Nation self-governance and all of us

must continue to work to ensure our self-governance model is credible and functional. This is my commitment and I ask each one of you to remain steadfast in yours. From my family to yours, best wishes for the upcoming Christmas Season. Marsay, Kinass Koumitin Bruce Dumont, President

Message from the Chief Executive Officer, Keith Henry


he administrative operations for the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) continue to be extremely busy. MNBC management completed implementing the approved resolutions from the AGM delegates in Kelowna, BC September 21st – 23rd, 2007. There was eighteen (18) resolutions passed that affected all of the MNBC governance documents. Consequently MNBC staff has since completed the required changes and the updated MNBC Governance documents have been posted on the MNBC website. MNBC management completed all midterm reporting required in October for each of the Contribution Agreements. MNBC is forecasted to deliver approximately thirty (30) Contribution Agreements and the management team has restructured MNBC reporting templates to align with the objectives and targets MNBC leadership approved within the Five Year

Forecast. This new reporting process has required significant restructuring and new templates have been designed to expedite the internal reporting. MNBC midterm reporting was the first complete restructuring of the standardized templates and management feels this process will be beneficial for governments and our leadership to further understand daily operations. MNBC continues to maintain two administrative offices located in Vancouver and Victoria. I had reported in September that MNBC was seeking to relocate the Victoria office. At this time the decision has been put on hold until further notice. There is about twelve (12) months remaining on the existing Victoria office lease and MNBC leaders have decided not to address until the current lease is almost completed. Therefore the Victoria office lease will be reviewed in September 2008.

Presently MNBC staff is busy preparing for the Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) in December 2007. The staff has completed preparation for the MNGA kits and travel arrangements have been completed. MNBC staff is also preparing to provide a Vancouver office tour for all MNGA members during the December Assembly. MNBC staff is excited to meet all of the MNGA members and get better acquainted. Please accept the MNBC staff’s best wishes for a festive and safe holiday season. Thank you, Keith Henry, CEO

BRITISH COLUMBIA Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Hot off the Press! Aboriginal Cultural Tourism to Strengthen BC Tourism Industry


étis leaders and youth joined government representatives and other Aboriginal leaders recently to explore opportunities for increasing Aboriginal cultural tourism. “It was a positive sign to see the Métis Nation British Columbia truly recognized as a key partner in a number of provincial Aboriginal cultural tourism initiatives,” said MNBC president Bruce Dumont. “MNBC leaders continue to push for Métis Nation recognition and meaningful participation in coming events such as the North American Indigenous Games, 2010 Olympics/Paralympics, and others. We will ensure the Métis Nation is represented and work with our Métis communities and artists throughout British Columbia.” The announcement of a new $5 million investment in Aboriginal Tourism British Columbia (by BC’s Ministry of Tourism, Sports and the Arts) preceded the fifth annual First Citizens Forum, held in Kamloops. Honorable Stan Hagen, minister of Tourism, Sports and the Arts, and Honorable Michael de Jong, minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, co-chaired the one-day forum on Aboriginal cultural tourism where key areas of development and marketing, education and training, and culture and tourism were discussed.


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

“Our Métis culture is an important fabric within British Columbia and I am committed to ensuring that the Métis culture is celebrated and understood,” said René Therrien, MNBC minister responsible for Culture, Language and Heritage. “There is such a need to provide further education about the Métis Nation within British Columbia and MNBC continues to address our five year objectives into this work.” “Aboriginal cultural tourism can be a major economic driver for Métis business owners,” added Dumont. “I believe that we must expand our efforts to include supporting and promoting Métis cultural tourism companies who may be able to provide such services.” Dumont and Therrien were joined at the forum by Keith Henry, MNBC chief executive officer and Métis youth representatives Jennifer Coverdale (Vancouver Island) and Chelsea Mitchell (Kootenay). The First Citizens Forum has been implemented by the provincial government as a way to provide Aboriginal leaders an opportunity to address specific agenda items on an annual basis. “Aboriginal Cultural Tourism: Strengthening BC’s Tourism Industry” was the topic of this year’s forum.

One office, two desks, three staff. Submitted by Brian Mairs, Area Coordinator

One office, two desks, three staff. This was the situation facing the Okanagan MĂŠtis Children and Family Services (OKMCFS). We were on the outlook for larger premises, even considering going deeply into debt to purchase a building large enough to house our staff which has grown from two, to 15 in 36 months. As fate would have it, the office directly adjacent to ours was vacated by the tenants so we were able to secure a lease with our landlord. It did not take us long to get started on leasehold improvements, which included knocking out a wall, ripping up carpets, painting walls, and replacing the floors with laminate and linoleum. An area that provided us with a challenge: we had a VERY limited budget. Approaching local construction and flooring companies with little more than a smile and a charitable receipt book paid off. RONA discounted the

cost of the paint by 20%, Home Depot provided the laminate for 40% off retail, and the King Of Floors gave us a whopping 67% discount on the linoleum. The Executive Director pulled carpets while the Area Coordinator took the refuse to a haul-away bin, family members of staff were recruited into painting the walls, and the Executive Director laid the floors after hours with the assistance of anybody he knew that had some construction knowledge (including management staff at Interior Health). Staff worked the weekend of Louis Riel Day to move furniture and touch-up paint. When the smoke, dust, and sawdust

settled, we had retrofitted 1700 square feet of office space, initially housing four staff, allowing room for a board room, storage area, group room and even more room for expansion of staff. We are very proud of our Child and Family Centre, and invite you to see for yourself at our grand opening, 10th of December 2007. If you are unable to visit Kelowna in December, come by any time thereafter to see what a motivated (and frugal) staff and community can accomplish.

RBC proudly supports

the MĂŠtis Nation BC. GAIL MURRAY Manager, Aboriginal Markets BC Region

205 Commercial Street Nanaimo, BC V9R 5G8 ph 250 741 3020 cell 250 616 0947

TOLL FREE 1 866 899 1004 fax 250 741 3021 email Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


MNBC AGM Highlights


elebrating the 10th anniversary of Métis Nation British Columbia, the 2007 annual general meeting provided a focus on the past, a chance learn more about some major initiatives and an opportunity for members to conduct the business of the growing organization. Several significant announcements marked the historic meeting titled “Guiding our Proud Métis Nation”, which was held in Kelowna Sept. 21-23, 2007. The Métis ActNow program, a three-year, $600,000 community-based health initiative designed to encourage healthier lifestyles for the province’s Métis citizens, was announced by the Hon. Mike de Jong, British Columbia’s Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. Nine projects will be funded through the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH) including those promoting wellness and chronic disease prevention strategies.

“The Métis population has significantly higher rates of arthritis, heart disease and diabetes than other British Columbians,” said de Jong. “These projects will start to pave the road to healthier populations Hon. Mike de Jong across B.C.” Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation A second initiative reflected an agreement by the provincial government to work with MNBC to better serve Métis children and families.

lffqjoh TRADITION ALIVE SFHJOBÖT!DIBOUFMMF!DIFFLJOFX-!XJOOFS!PG!UIF!! EPNJOJPO!JOTUJUVUFÖT!BCPSJHJOBM!XSJUJOH!DIBMMFOHF Although fictional, Chantelle Cheekinew’s story “My Brother Lonnie” tackles real subject matter, continuing an important storytelling tradition. The tale, which demonstrates the strong binds of family through tough times, was recognized by the Dominion Institute’s Aboriginal Writing Challenge, one of the many Aboriginal initiatives Enbridge is proud to support. It’s the kind of thinking that makes us one of only five Canadian companies ranked in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. Enbridge is a Canadian leader in energy transportation and distribution. For our complete Corporate Social Responsibility Report visit


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

MNBC AGM Highlights Hon. Tom Christensen and MNBC Minister Responsible for Child and Family, Dave Hodgson signs MOU in front of AGM delegates.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was formally signed by Tom Christensen,) British Columbia’s Minister of Children and Family Development and Dave Hodgson, MNBC Minister Responsible for Child and Family, which outlines the roles and responsibilities of the government and the MNBC, provides clarification of community involvement in service delivery, and ensures culturally appropriate services. The third highlight of the weekend was the presentation of the $50,000 Enbridge Gateway Pipeline grant by Art Meyer, senior vice president, major projects. The money is designated for training programs and employment opportunities for the Métis as part of a Labour Market Initiative agreement between Enbridge and MNBC.

BC Aboriginal Workplace Strategy (BCAWS) - Karen White BCAWS’ purpose is to form partnerships with employers and create a custom Aboriginal Workplace Strategy to facilitate the effective recruitment and retention of Aboriginal peoples. The first employer partner to reach strategy completion was the RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) with the Construction Association advocacy agreements wrapping up as well. The other 11 partners moved forward considerably, with a number nearing completion. Notable outcomes were seen from many of the strategies. For example, The City of Vancouver worked with their unions to eliminate the requirement to work on-call or part-time to qualify for Encana VP Aboriginal Affairs Andy Popko brings greetings and discusses new economic opportunities for our Métis citizens.

The final highlight was unanimous passage of the MNBC Electoral Act thereby completing Self Governance, into infinity (see separate story).



At the end of the weekend, MNBC President Bruce Dumont said, “I cannot express enough the sincere appreciation I have for all Métis citizens who have sacrificed their time to support the growth of our proud nation. We have accomplished so much together this weekend. Please be assured that your MNBC leaders will continue their pursuit of building our proud nation.”

In January of 2005, the City of Dawson Creek initiated a Community Energy Plan that looked at how the City used energy. Ultimately, we are doing this for our children and for our grandchildren, so that generations to come will be able to live and work and play in this place that we call home.

The next MNBC annual meeting will take place in Kelowna from Sept. 26-28, 2008.

MNBC 2007 AGM Highlights A big part of the AGM was the reports from various portfolios since it provided an overview of the work of a vast number of volunteers. The significance of the written reports, numbering many thousands of words, is not just in their informative content but also in the historic perspective they will provide many years hence when people look back to the early days of this organization. Following are some highlights from those reports. They are available in their entirety on the MNBC website at


People The City of Dawson Creek’s goal is to be a visionary community that works together for innovative social, cultural, economic and environmental vitality. F o r m o re i n f o r m a t i o n o n h o w y o u t o o c a n f i g h t g l o b a l w a r m i n g v i s i t : w w w . p l a n n i n g f o r p e o p l e . c a

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


MNBC AGM Highlights

were developed to outline the roles and responsibilities of the service agencies. Of the five service agencies only the Métis Interior Community Helping Its Families (or MICHIF) and the Okanagan Métis Child and Family Services (OKMCFS) have signed the MoU. Métis Family Services of Surrey, Métis Community Services in Victoria and Interior Métis Child and Family Services have not signed, a concern I will be addressing in the new year. CEO Keith Henry and director of Métis Children and Family Services Glenn Parker have been developing and negotiating a five year strategic plan for child and family services. Both federal and provincial governments are very impressed with our plan and are supporting MNBC in its development of a service delivery structure.

Métis youth Maddie McCallum performs traditional dance:

permanent positions. Vancouver Police Department work has already resulted in doubling the number of successful Aboriginal police recruits. In addition, extensive Aboriginal Awareness Training was completed with four partners, including work on an on-line training program with London Drugs. BCAWS will be finished this month but it’s important to celebrate completion of strategies with the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Police Department, London Drugs, Thrifty Foods, the City of Dawson Creek, the City of Fort St. John and Spectra Energy (formerly Duke Energy). Métis Children and Families Minister Dave Hodgson This weekend the MNBC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the B.C. Ministry of Child and Family Development, which outlines both our responsibility as a governing body and the ministry’s responsibility in delivering culturally appropriate services to our families in B.C. Work began after the March 2006 MNGA unanimously voted to bring all child and family services under the auspices of MNBC. As a result I engaged the Métis Commission for Children and Families in BC, to negotiate a process to allow the commission to become a support to MNBC. After months of negotiations, the commission decided to go their separate way. As a result I have been working to develop a service delivery system. To ensure that services to Métis children and families are consistent and meet the standards set out by MNBC, MoUs 12

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Economic Development Minister Dan Pope The Economic Development ministry’s mission is to create self-sufficiency for MNBC through development of revenue generating companies managed through an MNBC Economic Development Corporation; provide assistance and consolidate information sharing between Métis communities to ultimately allow them to become self-sufficient and provide guidance and assistance to Métis citizens to allow them to maximize their individual working career potential. During the past year economic development strategies were presented during regional consultations and began specific initiatives — Red River Ranger Forest firefighting crews and the labour market partnerships with Enbridge Gateway Pipeline, Encana Corporation and Trinidad Drilling. MNBC also continues to pursue new opportunities in the energy, oil and gas, and Olympics sectors. An MNBC business directory has been developed on the website and a workshop was scheduled during the AGM regarding tendering opportunities with the federal government.

Rocky Damingo, Public Works & Government Services Canada

MNBC AGM Highlights

Education Minister Lorne LaFleur There are thousands of Métis students enrolled in the public school system today; they have no access to their culture, heritage and language. They are assimilated into mainstream education or First Nations studies. The MNBC provincial survey indicated that almost 60 per cent of all Métis in Kindergarten to Grade 12 have no access to Métis culture and history education. This is a priority for MNBC’s Ministry of Education. The ministry is also focused on eliminating the disparity between Métis learners and other Canadians in attaining secondary and post-secondary education. The ministry intends to build on the self-esteem Marching on of the colours for Opening Ceremony for Métis and focus on education that includes all Advanced Education. The provincial government launched of the historical contributions that Métis people a new $65 million Aboriginal post-secondary educahave made to the building of our great nation and our tion strategy, in April, to improve Aboriginal access and province. achievement and help Aboriginal students to start, stay in One of the initiatives is to increase Métis community and succeed in post secondary education and training. involvement in each Enhancement Agreement throughout The ministry is working with each post secondary instituB.C. The agreement is a commitment between the provintion that is developing an Aboriginal Service Plan. It is cial Ministry of Education, Aboriginal communities and critical that every institution in B.C. (there are 52) include school district staff. It is through these agreements that Métis culture, heritage and language in their service plans. Métis culture, heritage and language are integrated into the school system. The ministry is working with Métis Elders and historians to deliver culture and heritage workshops which will be integrated into all schools to increase awareness of who the Métis are. The ministry is also building a strong relationship with the provincial Ministry of

A successful day at work involves getting home safely. At BP Canada, we believe safety standards are essential to the health and well being of employees, contractors and communities.

For more information visit,

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


MNBC AGM Highlights designation. MSEC will be registering the full carpentry apprenticeship as well as other trades once these steps are complete. Through the Métis Roughneck program, 51 individuals have been trained to work in the oil and gas industry — 46 are currently employed in this field. An agreement signed in the fourth quarter with ACCESS (Vancouver Urban AHRDA) will lead to two intakes of the Blade Runners program in Prince George in 2007-08. Governance Committee Chairperson Lorne LaFleur Numerous musical entertainers from the province entertained throught the 2007 Annual Genral meeting

The service plans are being developed as part of a $14.9 million investment by the province to create three year service plans between public post-secondary institutions and Aboriginal communities that identify interests and educational needs of Aboriginal students and create programs to meet those needs. Métis Human Resources Development Agreement (MHRDA) Minister Dave Hodgson MNBC Employment & Training staff from across the province have been actively meeting the demanding labour market needs in B.C. with new innovative programs and opportunities. MHRDA maintained nine offices (including schools) throughout B.C. Approximately 1,100 students were assisted through our program provincially, thus creating 740 jobs or returned to school with an overall success rate of 81 per cent. Targeted sectors included construction, oil and gas, as well as a large focus on health related careers and tourism. As a natural extension of the MHRDA with Service Canada the Métis Skills Employment Centre (MSEC) has evolved to respond to the ever-changing labour market. To date, the Construction Orientation and Retention for Employment Program (CORE) has trained 43 students for entry into trades careers. This program was developed to ensure entrants into the trade’s labour jobs would be safer and better equipped with basic trades knowledge. The school recently obtained conditional acceptance from the Industry Trade Authority and once the first class has graduated it can expect full 14

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

The major MNBC governance achievement was signing of the historic Métis Nation Relationship Accord with the province. The accord identifies six objectives and requires that MNBC narrow the social and economic gaps facing the Métis people in B.C. MNBC, through regional support, identified a nine stage implementation process to meet this goal. The result was unanimous acceptance of a five year forecast by all Métis community leaders and the provincial leadership at the MGNA in March. The past year the organization formally established the Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) that enables the MNBC to be truly self-governing and includes 100 per cent participation of the Métis chartered communities. The first ever draft MNBC Elections Act was passed, at the MNGA, which entrenches the election process in the MNBC governance structure. It received final approval at the AGM. (AGM Highlights continued on page 65)

An Annual General such as MNBC AGM 2007 cannot be held without Corporate Sponsors. (l. to r.) Top Row: Bruce Dumont, Rick Allen, Andy Popko, Milt Wright, Gerry Lagare, Frazer MacDonald, Lorne Lafleur, Keith Henry, Art Meyer; Middle Row: Helen Boyce, Dan Pope, Audrey Poitras, Alison Olney, René Therrien; Bottom Row: Claire Marshall , Tresley Tourond, Lori Campbell, Carolyn Greatbanks.

MNBC Ministry of Education Update Submitted by Colleen Hodgson, Director of Education, MNBC Creating an awareness of who the Métis are is important in all levels of learning. Developing agreements with school districts requires months and sometimes years of technical work and relationship building. The Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement process provides an opportunity to engage with the communities, school district staff and the educators who are working with Métis students. Sharing our Métis heritage, culture and language reinforces Métis as a unique Aboriginal people who have defined the history of Canada as a nation. The Director of Education, Colleen Hodgson and Métis dance instructor,

meeting including Revelstoke Superintendent Ann Cooper and First Nations representatives. Provincial Enhancement Agreement Coordinators Eric Mahon and Victor Jim represented the province and offered guidance and support for developing an Enhancement Agreement that will represent all Aboriginal people.

Bev Lambert recently shared a Métis Awareness workshop at Pitt Meadows Secondary School. The workshop consisted of an overview of MNBC Ministry of Education and showcased Métis culture. Bev Lambert engaged participants in music and dance and, with her amazing enthusiasm and energy, had everyone smiling and dancing and wanting to learn more about Métis culture. Bev also performed at Northwest Community College in Terrace during an education conference. The MNBC Ministry of Education is continuing to work on Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements with the province. On September 22nd and 23rd Director of Thompson-Okanagan Region, David Hodgson and I met with Revelstoke school district. The Revelstoke school district is in the preliminary stages of developing an Enhancement Agreement. There were several interested stakeholders at the

The Director of Education and the Director of Youth are working with the Irving Barber Foundation to secure funding for scholarships for Métis students. The Irving Barber Foundation received $10 million from the province as part of the post-secondary education strategy. Métis Nation BC is working with the foundation to develop the scholarship guidelines and to ensure that Métis students throughout the province have an opportunity to access the funding for scholarships, bursaries, housing and childcare.


Aboriginal Finance Manager Diploma About the Program Interested in a career in finance within Aboriginal organizations or communities? This program is for you! The diploma program -- part of COTR’s Business Administration program -combines coursework in finance, business law, math and computers, economics, cost accounting, and English, with Aboriginal leadership, strategic planning, and human resource and fiscal management. All courses are offered at the Cranbrook campus, or by videoconference; most are also available online for added flexibility. This program is offered in partnership with the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada (AFOA).

Program Design Students who successfully complete the AFM diploma at COTR will be ready to take intermediate financial positions in Aboriginal organizations. Educational options for diploma holders include the Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) designation, which is certified by the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada (AFOA). This diploma satisfies all the course requirements of the CAFM.

For Information on all COTR’s Aboriginal Programs & Services Robyn Beattie-Laine Coordinator of Aboriginal Education College of the Rockies Phone: (250) 489-8209 Toll Free: 1-877-489-2687 ext. 8209 Fax: (250) 489-1790 email: Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Métis Nation British Columbia EA Background British Columbia schools have not been successful in ensuring that Aboriginal students receive a quality education, one that allows these students to succeed in the larger provincial economy while maintaining ties to their culture. Growing recognition of this problem led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 1999: “We the undersigned, acknowledge that Aboriginal learners are not experiencing school success in British Columbia. We state our intention to work together within the mandates of our respective organizations to improve school success for Aboriginal learners in British Columbia.”

(l. to r.)Victor Jim, Enhancement Agreements Coordinator; Eric McMahon, Enhancement Agreements Coordinator; Dave Hodgson, MNBC Director Thompson-Okanagan Region; Colleen Hodgson, MNBC Director of Education; Lynne Barisoff, Supervisor Aboriginal Student Support Services.

Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements What is an Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (EA)? An EA is a working agreement between a school district, all local Aboriginal communities and the Ministry of Education. EAs are designed to increase the education achievement of Aboriginal students. The EA establishes a collaborative partnership between Aboriginal communities and school districts that involves shared decision –making and specific goal setting to meet the educational needs of Aboriginal students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. EAs highlight the importance of academic performance and more importantly, stress the integral nature of Aboriginal traditional culture and languages to Aboriginal student development and success. Fundamental to EAs is the requirement that school districts provide strong programs on the culture of local Aboriginal peoples on whose traditional territories the district is located. 16

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Memorandum Signatories include: •

the Chiefs Action Committee,

the provincial Minister of Education,

the Federal Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, and

the President of the BC Teacher’s Federation.

Ministry of Education cont.

Outdoor Education

The Memorandum of Understanding led to a framework for the creation of Enhancement Agreements. Through these agreements, new relationships and commitments were made to improve the educational success of Aboriginal students.

The Memorandum of Understanding does not include a signatory representing Métis students in British Columbia. Although the intent of the MOU is to represent all Aboriginal students in BC, Métis people are not identified as a distinct Aboriginal people. Recognizing the local Aboriginal peoples and their culture is fundamental to requiring the school districts to provide strong programs that reflect that culture. The MOU makes reference to Aboriginal people on whose traditional territory the district is located. There are Métis communities within all school districts throughout British Columbia, and although they are not recognized as “traditional territories”, Métis people live and learn in these communities. Creating an awareness of Métis culture, heritage and language is crucial to having strong programs in all school districts for Métis students. It is important that future policy development includes Métis people on all memorandums and that Métis people are identified as distinct from First Nations. The term “Aboriginal” too often is interpreted as “First Nations” and Métis people are lost in the language. What seems like an innocuous statement becomes a blanket that covers the uniqueness and richness of Métis culture.

EA. The committees normally consist of school district staff, Trustees, Principals and or Superintendents as well as representatives from the provincial Enhancements Agreements Branch. Aboriginal organizations have a representative from each Nation within the school district. A Métis representative can be a parent, student, and or a teacher from the community. It is important to have the same representative at every meeting if possible. This gives the representative the ability to make decisions that will benefit Métis students. The EA process can be long and arduous and requires commitment from all representatives. The Métis Nation BC Ministry of Education has been working with school districts that are developing EAs. The goal for MNBC is to provide support and information for the Métis communities within these school districts so that they can participate in developing an EA that includes Métis culture. There are 60 school districts in the province and 35 have EAs while several others are in various stages of development. If you would like more information on Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements please contact MNBC Director of Education, Colleen Hodgson or visit the Métis Nation BC website and click on the “Education” link. You can also visit the Ministry of Education Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements Branch website at www. to find out if your school district has an Enhancement Agreement. You can download all EAs for viewing and find the Aboriginal Education contact information for your school district. Proud to be Métis Kishchee Tey Mo’ yawn Aen Li Michif Wi’yawn Colleen Hodgson Métis Nation BC Director of Education Email: Telephone: 604.329.1109

Participating in the development of Enhancement Agreements within all Métis communities ensures that Métis students are included and programs reflect Métis culture. An Enhancement Agreement expires after five years and is reviewed annually to determine if the goals are being met. It is important to participate throughout the development process, which can be months of collaborating and decision- making. Some school districts engage in the EA process through their Aboriginal Advisory Committees or Education Councils while others set up a committee that works only on the

Lloyd Hodgson – our children - our future.

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Tiffany Lobo


Medical Transcription/ Self-Employed Sprott-Shaw

self-employed was just a pipe dream. I was able to earn a double diploma at Sprott-Shaw Community College, in Office Administrative Assistance and Medical Office Assistance. I have been able to start my own company called, Adminplus, where I am a Virtual Assistant. My main focus is Medical Transcription, however I also caption for the deaf/hearing impaired (keyboarding), as well as contracts from other business sectors. My education gave me possibilities that I never imagined. I am able to work for myself or for someone else and that is the best gift of my education. I now have choices. There are no words to describe those feelings for the assistance I received through Vancouver Island Métis Employment and Training.

Laura McGuire Cinematography, Capilano College

Tiffany is from Vancouver Island. Without the funding from the Métis for schooling, the prospect of being

I successfully completed my full time program as of June 2006. I made the Deans list with a 3.67 GPA. I want to take this opportunity to thank MNBC for all the support. Without the gracious help of the Métis, I would have never been able to afford my schooling. I have gained much knowledge in the industry and have already acquired a few jobs in my selected field. Currently I am a camera operator on a feature film titled, “That One Night”. I really appreciate all the support in allowing me to go after my passion.


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

A C HIEV EMEN TS Valerie Kloberdanz

Horticultural, Thompson Rivers/ Kwantlen College In 2003 my goal was to pursuer a career in horticulture. I chose this industry as there is no foreseeable shortage of work and demand for skilled technicians is high. I began at Thompson Rivers in Kamloops for my 1st year and completed 2nd year studies specializing in greenhouse and nursery production at Kwantlen College in Langley. I was able to maintain a 4.08 GPA. On graduation I began working for the BC Landscape and Nursery Association and Canadian Food Inspection agency. My job samples concerning Sudden Oak Death and its impact on nurseries. I am extremely grateful to MNBC and those who lobbied for the renewal of the AHRDA agreement. I would never have been able to afford the high tuition and living expenses I incurred during my studies. I would also like to thank Eldon and Shirley Clairmont of the Salmon Arm Local for helping me find my ancestry leads, Joyce Roselle and Al Hodgson of Vernon MĂŠtis Association for approving my citizenship, my grandmother Emma Coleman and her cousin John Ibbotson for researching my ancestors so that I could learn of my heritage and lastly, Peggy Myhre for processing my funding and assisting me with all my questions. Thank you all.

Rachel Leidl

program was working at the A & W and going nowhere. My father told me about the MĂŠtis Employment and Training program and I figured it would be the only way to achieve my goals. I pursued my career goal of becoming a hairdresser and took training at the Kootenay School of Hairdressing in Cranbrook, B.C. and graduated. I was employed within two days of my graduation with a rewarding career in my chosen field, and I developed skills in customer relations and hairdressing.

Cecil Henry Office Assistant Best Centre It was not to long ago following a back injury that I thought that this is it, I would be on disability forever. W.C.B. sponsored some computer courses to retrain me for employment, but I just couldn’t grasp the computer as it was foreign to me. A few months later, I was involved with the MÊtis Elders, volunteering

Thinking About

Your Future?

Hairdresser, Kootenay School of Hairdressing My life before accessing the Employment and Training

If you’re thinking about your future, consider a career in nursing. The University of Lethbridge offers an exciting program that will educate the next generation of Aboriginal registered nurses.

Support Program for Aboriginal Nursing Students t-BVODIFEJOGBMM UIJTQSPHSBNQSPWJEFTBOBDBEFNJDTVQQPSUOFUXPSL that incorporates existing nursing education with science education that is respectful of Aboriginal traditions. t5IFQSPHSBNJODMVEFTBPOFZFBSQSFOVSTJOHQSPHSBNQSPWJEJOHBDBEFNJD support for students to prepare them for entry into the Nursing Education in Southwestern Alberta baccalaureate degree program, offered collaboratively by Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge. For more information, contact the School of Health Sciences: or (403) 329-2699. w w w. u l e t h b r i d g e. c a

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


ST U D EN T A C H E IE VE ME N T S C ONT. Cecil Henry cont. wherever the need was and someone suggested to me that I should take the office training through the Best Center. So I went to the Employment and Training office and applied. I followed through and today, I am working for the MNBC North Central Office as their Office Assistant. Thank you to the people involved, I now have a productive life style again.

Barry Wolfenden Researcher, Northwest Community College & University of Northern British Columbia

of Northern British Columbia Sciences Program with a psychology major and a B.SC in May 2006. Besides being a student, he was involved within the campus community, worked on the campus paper, and his local - Tri-River Métis Association. He has acted as a Métis youth representative for the region and local at various conferences and venues. He has an independent research in cognition, supervised Dr. W. Own, and it is with hope it is published this year. He is currently working as a researcher on the Northwest Region Data collection Project. “Thanks to the MHRDA program for the support over the last two years of his schooling. I could not have graduated at the level he achieved without the program’s assistance.” “I am enjoying my work experience program and find that the reward of doing something to forward Métis employment more than offset the challenges. My future plans and goals are to hopefully work for the MNBC on a province wide initiative.”

Daniel J. Cox Welding, UA Local 170 Piping Industry Training Centre

From Terrace, BC and went for his first two years of university on the scholarships and bursaries he was awarded. He earned his Associate Art Degree in the University

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the MNBC for their assistance with course fees for the Welding certification from June to October 2006. Prior to this I was frequently unemployed or working for low paying jobs. This has allowed me to pursue employment in the oil industry and paved the way for a prosperous future.

Did you know? The Métis adventurous spirit led to the exploration of North America. Without a doubt, there was certainly a Métis guide or adventurer on every exploratory expedition, surveyor team, or settlement thrust into the new world. 20

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

BladeRunners Program Designed for youth at risk and trains them in positive life skills and construction safety.

BladeRunners Hold Grand Opening

The BladeRunners program in Prince George held its Open House on November 2, 2007. The BladeRunners program is designed for youth at risk and trains them in positive life skills and construction safety. It incorporates job placement with 24/ 7 support as a large part of the staffs’ responsibility. In attendance at the opening were MNBC President Bruce Dumont, MNBC Directors Dave Hodgson and Rose Bortolon, Chief Dominic Fredrick of the Lheidli T’enneh Band, Provincial Director of BladeRunners, Darcy Castaneda, several regional and Provincial MNBC staff members, and many Elders, youth and members of the Prince George community.

BladeRunners began as a pilot project in Vancouver in 1994. Program participants have been involved in the construction of GM Place, the Ford Theatre and the Collingwood Village project. In addition to Prince George, BladeRunners operates in Vancouver, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo and Victoria. More than 1000 youth have participated in the program and many BladeRunners have successfully completed on-the-job training and apprenticeships resulting in trades certification. It was also announced that ACCESS and MNBC would be expanding our partnership with the BladeRunners program to include a program based in Abbotsford in the near future.

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


12 Days of Métis Christmas By: Malonie Langthorne


the first day of Christmas my Kookum gave to me a sash that was finger weaved.

On the second day of Christmas my Kookum gave to me – two pieces of elk jerky and a sash that was finger weaved.

On the third day of Christmas my Kookum gave to me three Hudson Bay Blankets, two pieces of elk jerky, and one sash that was finger weaved.

On the fourth day Christmas my Kookum gave to me, 4 songs to jig to, three Hudson Bay blankets, two pieces of elk jerky, and one sash that was finger weaved.

On the fifth day of Christmas my Kookum gave to me 5 Moose Hide Vests, 4 songs to jig to, three Hudson Bay blankets, two pieces of elk jerky, and one sash that was finger Weaved.

On the sixth day of Christmas my Kookum Season’s Greetings! “Whishing you a safe and happy 2007 Holiday Season” Hon. Gerry St. Germain, P.C. Senator, British Columbia -ChairSenate Aboriginal Peoples Committee


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

gave to 6 pairs of beaded Moccasins, 5 Moose Hide Vests, 4 songs to jig to, three Hudson Bay Blankets, two pieces of elk jerky, and one sash that was finger weaved.

Onn the seventh day of Christmas my Kookum gave to me, seven loaves of baked bannock, 6 pairs of beaded Moccasins, 5 Moose Hide Vests, 4 songs to jig to, three Hudson Bay blankets, two pieces of elk jerky, and one sash that was finger weaved.

On the eighth day of Christmas my Kookum gave to me, eight drops of Brandy, seven loaves of baked bannock, 6 pairs of beaded Moccasins, 5 Moose Hide Vests, 4 songs to jig to, three Hudson Bay blankets, two pieces of elk jerky, and one sash that was finger weaved.

On the ninth day of Christmas my Kookum gave to me, nine trade guns shooting, eight drops of Brandy, seven loaves of baked bannock, 6 pairs of beaded Moccasins, 5 Moose Hide Vests, 4 songs to jig to, three Hudson Bay blankets, two pieces of elk jerky, and one sash that was finger weaved.

On the tenth day of Christmas my Kookum gave to me, ten carts a squeakin, nine trade guns shooting, eight drops of Brandy, seven loaves of baked bannock, 6 pairs of beaded Moccasins, 5 Moose Hide Vests, 4 songs to jig to, three Hudson Bay blankets, two pieces of elk jerky, and one sash that was finger weaved.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my Kookum gave to me, eleven fiddles playing, ten carts a squeakin, nine trade guns shooting, eight drops of Brandy, seven loaves of baked bannock, 6 pairs of beaded Moccasins, 5 Moose Hide Vests, 4 songs to jig to, three Hudson Bay blankets, two pieces of elk jerky, and one sash that was finger weaved.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my Kookum gave to me, twelve bullets to go a hunting, eleven fiddles playing, ten carts a squeakin, nine trade guns shooting, eight drops of Brandy, seven loaves of baked bannock, 6 pairs of beaded Moccasins, 5 Moose Hide Vests, 4 songs to jig to, three Hudson Bay blankets, two pieces of elk jerky, and one sash that was finger weaved.

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


&44&/5*""#03*(*/"- '6563&4 4,*--4 GPS "#03*(*/"-'6563&4 &44&/5*"-4,*--4

12-week Training & Employment Program 0OHPJOH *OUBLFT • •







Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

MNBC Ministry of Education Submitted by Colleen Hodgson, Director of Education, MNBC

‘Return to the North’

I recently had the opportunity to travel to the North for the Northeast Regional Governance Session. Minister Dan Pope had invited me to talk about education and share information about some of the projects MNBC is working on. Minister Pope had also contacted individuals in the community involved in education (including his lovely wife, a teacher) to meet and discuss Métis communities and their students.

people from the community reinforced my belief that progress and change are made at the community level. MNBC Executive Assistant Brittney Katernick provided some entertainment during supper including jumping up and Jigging! Karen Andrews took some quick lessons from President Dumont and soon joined in. We even had a cameo performance by our own Noel Mineault. While in Fort St. John, Minister Dan Pope, CEO Keith Henry and myself met with the school district Aboriginal Advisory Committee. The Fort St. John school district is developing their Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (EA) Our meeting with the committee was to offer assistance and clarity on Métis Nation BC and the community’s role in the EA process and confirm the importance of the EA reflecting Métis heritage , culture and language. On Monday we traveled to Fort Nelson for the Northern Rockies Métis Association’s Annual General Meeting. The community had invited us to dinner (food is always a good way to get people to come as you know) and to give an update on MNBC operations. I was able to give a short presentation on education and some of things we

I travel to Chetywnd and Fort St. John yearly for the August moose -hunting season and was looking forward to returning. I was prepared for some cold weather and packed my toque and mitts. Our first day was spent in Prince George at the opening ceremonies for the new Bladerunners program. I had the fortune to meet some of people involved in the program and was so impressed by their dedication and commitment to the clients and each other. We were fed a great lunch before we packed up and headed for Fort St. John. It had started snowing shortly before we left so our trip over the Pine Pass was exciting! We arrived by early evening in Fort St. John and immediately fired up the laptops and went to work (we worked on them all the way up as well, work never stops!). The next day, Saturday was the first day of the Regional Governance Session. There was a great turnout and meeting so many Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Photo Credit: Maureen Shaughnessy. See Maureen’s bio on Page 54.

are working on. CEO Keith Henry answered some great questions from community members. Two wonderful cooks from Fort Nelson prepared the supper. They have recently started their own cleaning business. The Fort Nelson school district has a large population of Métis students and Minister Pope and myself had the op-

portunity to meet with the district Superintendent, Diana Samchuck. Diana is a great supporter of Métis people and has been a part of the community for 27 years. We discussed the Métis community and how we can both ensure that the school reflect Métis culture and are welcoming to Métis students. I will be continuing my work with Diana and the Métis community with Minister Pope’s assistance. During our conversation, one of Diana’s colleagues commented on my last name when I gave her my business card. She asked me if that was the correct spelling for Hodgson. I said yes that my family is from Hodgson Manitoba. She informed me that Hodgson is also her family name and after figuring things out, we discovered that are families had trekked across the Rockies together and settled in the north. I have plans to return to the north (and further) and be involved in all the communities. Living in the North has given me an insight into some of the challenges that northern communities face. It also reminded me of how beautiful the North is. There is something about standing under the stars and feeling the cold wind on your face.


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Meet the MNBC Regional Registry Clerks The Métis Nation British Columbia offers assistance to individuals interested in applying for their Provincial Métis Nation British Columbia citizenship card. The centralized citizenship registry has ensured that BC residents throughout various regions of the province have easy access to application packages and qualified staff members to direct them and answer questions. The six regional registry clerks are available during their respective office hours, and additionally attend local community meetings and events, often during evening hours, to help promote the registry and engage the community in the on-going registration process. Please view the MNBC website at for upcoming events and citizenship workshops in your area. Please contact the Regional Registry Clerk in your area if you have any questions regarding the citizenship process. For additional information in the Vancouver Lower Mainland, please call 1-800-940-1150 or (604) 678-6977.

Vancouver Island Region Leona Mason 156 D Government St Duncan, BC V9R 2N2 (250) 710-3400

Thompson/Okanagan Region Wendy Chernivchan 301 Evans Ave Kamloops, BC V2B 1J8 (250) 320-7055

Kootenay Region Carmelle Laroche Suite 2 – 131 7th Ave South Cranbrook, BC V1C 2J3 (250) 919-1119 North Central Region Audrey Prevost #202 – 513 Ahbau St. Prince George, BC V2M 3R8 (250) 961-1181 North West Region Leanne Ballinger #306 – 4546 Park Ave Terrace, BC V8G 1V4 (250) 615-9700 North East Region Annette Fellers Box 2605 Dawson Creek, BC V1G 5A2 (250) 261-4998 Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


WANTED: Qualified students for our 6-Week Carpentry Apprenticeship Level 1. The MĂŠtis Skills Employment Centre will be running two Level 1 Carpentry courses in the winter of 2008. The start dates are January 7th and February 25th. If you would like to register in one of these courses you should contact your regional Employment and Training Program Coordinator today. The process for prospective students requires several steps including two assessment tests and funding processing at the regional level. Each applicant must also register both at the Centre and as an indentured apprentice. All students will be required to complete a TOWES Assessment which the MNBC relies upon as an essential step in assisting clients in their career preparation. The next Trades Entry or CORE Program start dates will be in April and June. For more information you can find your regional office at on the employment and training page or contact the Centre at or call 1-888-850-0832

Carpentry Course Dates: Jan. 7, 2008 – Feb. 4, 2008 & Feb. 25, 2008 – April 4, 2008

CORE Training April 14, 2008 – May 23, 2008 & June 2, 2008 – July 11, 2008 Contact one of our regional offices today! MÊtis Skills and Employment Centre 2020 Abbotsford Way, Abbotsford BC V2S 8G3 Phone: 604-850-0832 / Toll Free: 1-888-850-0832 Email: Vancouver Island Trish Parent-Program Coordinator - Toll Free: 1-888- 632-9450 / Phone: 250-746-6271 Lower Mainland Gayle Sayese – Program Coordinator - Phone: 604-395-4100 Thompson/ Okanagan Peggy Myhre - Program Coordinator - Toll Free: 1-888-823-9263 /Phone: 250-851-9263

Save with Canada’s Best Long Distance Rate



'SFFĂ?Ă?T */$0.*/('30."/:8)&3&*/$"/"%"035)&64"

Kootenay Bev Middlebrook - Program Coordinator Toll Free: 1-888-417-3306 / Phone: 250-417-3305 North Central Doreen Spence - Program Coordinator - Toll Free: 1-877-561-2754 / Phone: 250-561-2754


For details on how to enrol, call SelectCom at:

1-877-567-3300 QUOTE PLAN 102

North West Kelley Wolfenden - Program Coordinator / Toll Free: 1-877-638-4776 Phone: 1-250-615-0035 North East Carol Paynter – Interim Program Coordinator Toll Free: 1-888-700-1957 / Phone: 250-787-1957


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Nurses Influencing Change By Diana Skoglund

Implementing an Aboriginal nurse mentorship program and providing a comprehensive list of mental health agencies for Aboriginal health-care workers are just two of the ways Thompson Rivers University Aboriginal nursing students have influenced change in their communities. The fourth-year courses NURS 430/431, Nurses Influencing Change, are all about exploring ways nurses can influence and create change for the promotion of society’s health. Aboriginal nurses had the opportunity to display their projects during a Celebration of Aboriginal Nursing at the university in Kamloops. Irene Howe (BSN 2006) became interested in developing a mentoring program for TRU’s Aboriginal nursing students after working with First Nation nurse, Charlene Yow at the Native Friendship Centre. “Once I worked with her I could actually see my future and “As an aboriginal nurse, she has the benefit of coming from the culture,” Mahara said. “She understands people’s experiences and issues at a level that non-aboriginal nurses do not.” for the first time realized my goal of becoming a nurse was possible,” said Howe, who now works as a full-time RN in Revelstoke. The experience led to the collaborative mentorship project with fellow student Kim Klynsoon. Star Mahara, coordinator of Aboriginal Nursing and Joanne Brown, TRU’s Aboriginal student coordinator, acted as their field guides.

Irene Howe and Gwen Campbell-McCarthur

Because it was also part of Howe and Klynsoon’s clinical work, they had access to fourth-year nursing faculty who are experts in community development and influencing change. During their research they were able to evaluate successful initiatives and provide recommendations to the Aboriginal Nursing Project on the importance of mentoring, what should be included, and how to organize it. “We recommended building the mentorship programs into the pre-health program—before the full course load of the BSN begins,” Howe said. “Building the relationships between Aboriginal students earlier would help improve retention. “A second recommendation was to continue introducing students to Aboriginal role models in the community; nurses or social workers, people who we as Aboriginals can relate to culturally and who can understand the challenges we face.” “To sustain the mentorship program, we need partnerships with Aboriginal nurses to act as mentors. We have connections with several right now — the Williams Lake campus has several mentors that their faculty has been working with over the years that the nursing program has been operating there,” Mahara said. “As more students graduate, we’ll build this pool. For instance, Irene is now an important mentor for upcoming students.” At 35, when Howe returned to school for her degree, she was the first person in her family to do so. “My mentors understood the challenges of that, and gave me the confidence to keep going. I know how important it is for me to mentor student nurses whenever I can.” Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Get your own copy of Dances with Dependency now! Written by Calvin Helin Order through Kiwetin Marketing & Publishing Ltd. 1.866.558.7997 or

Klynsoon and Howe’s research also determined that an effective mentorship program requires other resources — time for coordination, funding for honoraria (for nurse mentors and elders) and funding for food for gatherings. When Gwen Campbell-McCarthur, about to complete her Certificate in Mental Health, talks about her research project for NURS 430/431 she is frank and sincere about the crises she saw working for Interior Health as the Aboriginal liaison worker and working nights and weekends as the on-call emergency mental health worker. These practical, applicable work experiences gave her the insight to compile the information for the Aboriginal Resource Manual. “When my co-workers in Vernon learned that I was returning to school they asked me to put together this manual,” said Campbell-McCarthur. “There are so many times in an emergency-room situation when information is needed quickly—for treatment centres or for drug and alcohol counselors and for suicide prevention.” The Interior Health Authority has been in discussion with Campbell-McCarthur about publishing the Aboriginal Resource Manual and distributing it throughout health region’s agencies, hospitals and healthcare centres. “As an aboriginal nurse, she has the benefit of coming from the culture,” Mahara said. “She understands people’s experiences and issues at a level that non-aboriginal nurses do not.


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

“However, we must stress that there is a need for all nurses to understand Aboriginal people’s health and that all nurses can have a place in Aboriginal health nursing.” As Nathan Matthew, special advisor on First Nation education to TRU’s President Roger Barnsley said at the celebration, “It goes beyond saying that there are some serious challenges in First Nation communities around health. It is a First Nation priority.” The celebration acknowledged the 19 Aboriginal students currently enrolled in the nursing program and the new recruiting DVD featuring several successful TRU students.

A Children’s Christmas Story

The First Christmas Gift

By Leanne Laberge (taken -with permission-from an old folk tale by storyteller Chuck Larkin) Now, you children may have heard how Joseph and Mary were riding a little donkey into Bethlehem. The way I’ve been told, the donkey was blind as a bat - I mean, he couldn’t see anything, but Joseph knew that donkey was blind. However, since the land was mostly flat and sandy, and Joseph was there to lead him, that ol’ donkey did just fine. Well they got to Bethlehem, and you’ve probably heard how they ended having to stay in a barn. And that’s where Mary gave birth to the baby Jesus. Well, right then the angels appeared in the sky, singing what would later become known as the first Christmas carols. Now there was this group of shepherds herding their sheep on the side of a hill. Well when those shepherds heard the angels singing I bet they were surprised and maybe a little scared. I know I would be. Wouldn’t you? But the angel choir called out, “Hey, it’s all right, don’t be afraid.” They told the shepherds about how baby Jesus had been born in a barn in a little town called Bethlehem. The angels said that if the shepherds wanted to go and visit the Christ child, they could find him under the new star they had set up in the sky to point out Bethlehem and the barn.

never been to town! Of course, he wanted to go! Not only would he get to go to town for the first time, but he’d be able to see the Christ child, too! He was really excited! Let me tell you something about George first though. When he was a tiny his Granny had made him a baby lamb doll out of wool. And for as long as he could remember, George had slept, eaten, played and shepherded with that baby lamb doll. He loved it dearly had named her Little Lambie. As George grew older his love for Little Lambie had become a problem. The older shepherds teased him and recently, he had taken to hiding Lambie under his shepherd’s clothes. Now he decided if he was old enough to go to town and see baby Jesus, he was old enough to leave his lamb doll home. He hugged it and hid it under his bed covers. He then stood up straight, puffed out his chest, put on his new shepherd’s cloak and strutted out the cabin door with his family heading for Bethlehem. They had not gone down the road a hundred yards when he stopped and said, “Dad I left something at home I need. I’m going to run back and fetch it, I’ll catch up with you.” Can guess what he went back for? You’re right. He picked up Lambie and hid that doll under his cloak, then ran to catch up with his family. But he wasn’t strutting anymore.

The next morning, Mortimer, the chief of all the shepherds, called his young son, George. “Hey, Georgie,” he said, “Your uncle and I are going into Bethlehem to see the new baby the angels were singing about. Do you want to go with us?” Did he want to go? George was nine years old and had Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


the sheep, just like baby Jesus! What an exciting day! My first time in town and I’m seeing the Son of God. Wow!�

They finally reached Bethlehem. George had never seen so many people. The barn was filled with wellwishers and gift givers and a long line of folk outside waiting to get in. He didn’t see how they would ever get in to see baby Jesus. He had forgotten that his dad was the chief of all the shepherds. When the folks saw him, they all called out, “Come in Mort! And bring your boy in with you�. Once inside the barn, Georgie climbed up on a high pile of hay so he could see over everybody. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. There was baby Jesus, sleeping peacefully in a horse’s feeding trough, with some fresh hay under him for a mattress. “Oh, wow!� he thought. “ Mama said that when I was a baby I slept in a wooden box that was used to feed

Then he noticed that the whole barn had gotten quiet. He looked toward the door. People were moving aside, and in walked three men in beautiful, flowing robes. Georgie looked at their clothes. “I may not be from town,� he thought, “but I know Kings clothes when I see them. What a day, first time to go to town, first time to see so many people and a chance to see baby Jesus and now three kings.� Georgie watched as the Kings went to baby Jesus. The first King, whose voice was commanding and deep said, “I bring a gift of gold to the Christ child, the symbol of a King.� “Now hold on there, King, ‘ thought Georgie, “ That’s a silly gift to give a little baby. What’s a tiny baby going to do with gold?� The second King stepped up and with that same kind of King voice said, “I bring the gift of Myrrh, the symbol of the healer, for the Christ child.� George thought, “What the heck? That king’s not so smart either. Mama cooks with Myrrh sometimes.

JETispicture taking aroundnts and )FZLe, pare t’s turn th our grand

amera! ictures of a Digital C and take p  / * to 8 rs e Eld




Second Ken Davies Photo Contest 32

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

The First Christmas Gift What does that King think a baby is going to do with spices? He’s too little to cook!”

Georgie gave Lambie a final hug and started to put her into the manger. It was then that baby Jesus woke up, saw the baby lamb doll up in the air above him and started giggling. Baby Jesus reached his little hands into the air, grabbed and hugged Lambie to his chest. Then baby Jesus, snuggled up next to her, closed his eyes and went back to sleep with a smile on his little face.

Then the third King said, “I bring the gift of Frankincense, symbol of the priest, to the Christ child.”

Now it not a well-known fact but when baby Jesus saw Willie and laughed for the first time, that’s when the first of the three Christmas miracles happened.

“Frankincense?” Goergie almost cried out loud. “They burn that stuff at funerals! That is a terrible gift to give a new born baby!” Kings may dress fancy, but they sure don’t how to pick a gift. He sadly shook his head and thought how silly Kings were, and as he watched the other gifts being given he noticed that there was not one thing for a baby. Then he saw his daddy stand up, walk over to where baby Jesus was. “There may be hope yet,” he brightened. Then Mortimer lay down his huge shepherd’s staff as a gift to baby Jesus. That’s when Georgie realized that sometimes grown ups do really silly things. Did you ever notice that? As Georgie thought about all the foolish baby gifts, he suddenly realized that, under his cloak, he had the perfect gift for a newborn baby. But No! He wasn’t ready to give up Lambie! He even looked out of the barn window and watched a small flock of birds, trying to erase the thought from his mind. It did no good. All he could think about was how baby Jesus was born in this old barn, dug into the side of the hill, dirty and smelly and everybody giving him gifts that he couldn’t use. And suddenly he knew that if baby Jesus was going to receive a gift that a baby could use, he was going to have to be the one to give it. So Georgie climbed down off the pile of hay. He squeezed between the big people until he reached the manger. He looked down at baby Jesus sound asleep. He reached under his cloak and pulled out Lambie. He held her up and whispered how much he loved her and how baby Jesus would love her too, and how much he would miss her. But now Lambie must take care of a new baby, like she had taken care of him when he was a baby.

The blind old donkey that had carried Mary and to Bethlehem suddenly could see! He looked all around the barn in surprised. You should have seen the big grin on his face! The second miracle happened to this old ragweed that used to grow wild around Bethlehem. Well when Georgie gave his precious doll to baby Jesus, it suddenly bloomed a pretty red flower. Every year after that, the old weed blossomed the same red flower during the Christmas season. People started calling it the “Christmas Flower,” we now call it the “Poinsettia” But it’s the third miracle that I like the best. That’s when the animals get the gift of speech. There is a moment on the night before the 6th of January, Old Christmas Eve, when this does indeed happen - if you got pets at home, you watch them. Right around dusk, they’ll do something that looks like they’re saying a little prayer. First, they bow down on their knees and say a quiet prayer, then they tell these old stories. Just after they bow their heads to say their Christmas prayers, they will have the gift of speech, and they love to tell these old stories. My old dog told me this story when I was about five years old!

Merry Christmas Old & New! Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


An Aboriginal Carol by David Bouchard New Re-

An Aboriginal Carol by Award Winning David Bouchard

David has written a stunning new children’s book! He and his team, Moses (Amik) Beaver, Artist and Susan Aglukark Singer/Songwriter have produced a wonderful version of The Huron Carol. The Huron Carol is Canada’s oldest and most beloved Christmas Carol. It has been interpreted by many artists over the past 400 years. This, however, is possibly the first collaboration between three groups that comprise Canada’s Aboriginal peoples: First Nations, Métis and Inuit. “The pictures, the words and the music are incredible!” stated one person who was reviewing this new book while waiting to say hello to Susan Aglukark as she signed autographs in Vernon, November 19, 2007. Best selling, award winning Métis poet David Bouchard reworks the Carol’s lyrics. David, a Métis from Saskatchewan, resides in Victoria with his wife, Vicki and their child, Victoria. First Nation artist Moses Beaver’s paintings resonate and awaken an awareness that is at once exciting and empowering so that people all over this planet will understand the birth of Christ from an Aboriginal worldview. Aboriginal artist, Moses Beaver, is from an isolated fly-in community of Nibinamik, Ontario. His artwork is an expression of traditional bold woodlands, meshed with embedded images of spirits, human faces and animal forms back dropped against the natural splendor of his homeland.


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Susan Aglukark, pride of Canada’s north, provides a musical interpretation of this long revered carol, for the first time in Inuktitut. Singer/ Songwriter Susan Aglukark is one of Canada’s most unique artists. She blends the Inuktitut and English languages with contemporary pop music arrangements to tell stories of her people, the Inuit of Artic Canada. Susan’s voice is crystal clear as she sings the Huron Carol on the CD provided in this unique book.

w w w. d a v i d b o u c h a r d . c o m

Christmas at Home with David Bouchard

Home reflects family, offers refuge for relaxation as well as work. Most everyone has heard the phrase ‘a man’s home is his castle’.

The medieval phase can be interpreted many ways. A quiet place to curl up and relax or a structured area to generate ideas and create - A place to enjoy family while discussing the complexities of life — remembering the past, expounding on the present and dreaming of the future. Such is the case of one of Canada’s finest storytellers, David Bouchard, whose home is on a quiet tree lined street in Oak Bay. Situated on almost an acre, the three-storey stone house reflects the old English charm of earlier times, with leaded windows exposing sunlight on an interior steeped in history.

The house David, his wife Vicki, and their nine year old daughter Victoria call home is also a refuge that welcomes the well-traveled Bouchard after every trip. Added to the ambiance are four big cats, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and their new pride and joy — Louis Riel, a Miniature Bull Terrier.

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

A Man’s Home is His Castle

Described as one of British Columbia’s most sought after public speaker, Bouchard champions children and literacy and works to spark the magic of reading. As with every home, the interior reflects the residents. In Bouchard’s home high ceilings and beautifully carved woodwork are reflective of the era in which it was built. Added to this are things which reflect the Bouchard’s passions — collecting antiques, art and old books. David also collects and plays the Native American flute. Vicki, a master gardener, is teaching him to love and care for their garden.

Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with an eclectic collection that features a wide variety of contemporary and classic tomes compliment Bouchard’s passion for reading, a passion he didn’t embrace until he was 27. The former teacher and school principal, began writing ten years after he discovered the joys of reading. Since then he’s amassed a collection of more than 30 books. Most are beautifully illustrated by artists and friends while others are written with collaborators,


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

A Man’s Home is His Castle as with his two titles on reading and literacy — The Gift of Reading and For the Love of Reading. The bulk of his work is inspired by his Kokums (grandmothers). “My Kokums inspire and direct my writing and most of my personal life,” he writes on his website. “I am grateful to have them in my life and equally as grateful to recognize the role they play. My Kokums are the source of much of what I write, how I think and what happens to me. At times, they are exhausting.” Christmas is the Bouchards’ favourite season and their house reflects this. Vicki is the decorator but David and Victoria participate in the atmosphere of wonder. And sometime through the season, they’ll take time to sit and read their favourite Christmas book, The Legend of Holly Claus, by Brittney Ryan, or perhaps Bouchard’s newest

book — the just released An Aboriginal Carol. A French speaking Métis, Bouchard was born in northern Saskatchewan. His parents, a barber and hairdresser, later moved to Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan so that their son might attend College Mathieu, a private French school run by Oblate priests.

David with his father, Bert Bouchard, Age 90

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


A Man’s Home is His Castle Like many Métis, Bouchard’s life has been a journey of discovery as he searches for his past. He uses his unique skills to chronicle stories about some of North America’s many Aboriginal people through their painters and musicians. Some of his books are presented in various native languages, and some contain CDs which bring together music and spoken words. Often writing two or three books at the same time as balancing a gruelling schedule of speaking engagements, his home remains his refuge, a familiar place where he can relax and regenerate his enthusiasm for life. Bouchard’s website, perhaps also reflects his home and himself. “This rustic looking journal best represents who I am — one whose passions are children, reading and writing, art and music and dance, Aboriginal people and culture … in fact just about everything and everyone I discover on my journey through life.”


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

A Métis Poem... Mixed Blood Submitted by Brenda Menard

Shadows cross the centuries grandmothers beat the drum grandfathers beat the path to buffalo and chokecherries Mingle, jingle dress vision come take my traders hand show me places never seen by white eyes, this pristine land Warm me by your fires

Forgotten we shall never be

mixed blood true

too strong is our demand

indian nation

determined for our place to be

eyes of blue

recognized upon this land

Unique we are

Kohkum, Mooshoom

bois-brules the name

with you I pray

the buffalo hunt

it’s in your footsteps

became our fame

I walk today

Of craft and cart

Our grandmothers songs we sing

we shaped the land

our grandfathers ways we bring

and with our relations

and trust in our Creator’s hands

we made a stand

to guide us strong within this land.

“Oh, My Métis Nation”, he cried

keep me in your heart raise the children of our union for soon I may depart

Country born

children of this land sons and daughters, mothers, fathers for us, is there a plan?


Handcrafted Silver,

Infinity Collection

Gold & Copper Jewelery Each piece handcrafted

“Wishing you all the best in the coming year!” Thank you for your support.

Sterling Silver or 14K Gold

Available for the Holiday Season

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Ministry of Children Family Development


Optimism Continues to Grow for the Métis Children and by MNBC Minister Family Services Dave Hodgson and Family Services. Their comments were very positive and provided clarity as to the Nation’s role in Métis child and family services. Glenn Parker and I will be attending the MCFD North Regional Management Team Meeting on November 22 to discuss how the new MOU will be realized in the North and how we can work together to meet the needs of the Métis communities in the north. This was an invitation from the Regional Executive Director and we are excited about planning in partnership with the Ministry. With the signing of the MOU between the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), and the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC), I am cautiously optimistic that the goals and objectives of the Ministry for Métis Children and Family Services fiveyear plan may be in reach. Already we have had significant results with Regional Management Teams wanting to work with the Métis Nation in developing plans for Métis children and families in their respective regions. My staff has already met with the Okanagan Regional Management Team to discuss the Delegation of Okanagan Métis Child and Family Services. The meeting was a great success and provided an opportunity for the MNBC to showcase our strategic plan as well as our organizational chart of the Ministry for Métis Children


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

The MNBC still has some major obstacles to overcome. I am arranging meetings with Deputy Minister du Toit to outline our strategic plan and to describe how the MNBC can provide governance while avoiding any interference with case practice. Let us all join in supporting the Métis Nation going forward to take responsibility of our children and families. Remember strong Nations are a result of strong families. Our children and families are the cornerstone of our Nation.

A Perspective on Language & Culture by René Therrien Minister of Language and Culture During my various discussions and consultations with the citizens of our chartered communities I was told many times of the deep concern that Métis people, and especially our Elders, have regarding the fate of the Michif language and the Métis culture. Many people expressed frustration that neglect over past generations by governments of all levels, and the inability of Métis organizations to act, has presented the very real risk that our Michif language may decline past the point of return and, with it, a crucial part of our wonderful culture. This would be tragic for our nation and the Métis Nation British Columbia intends to continue to do everything in our power to prevent such an outcome.

for passing on to the next the unique and irreplaceable, perspectives, social values and spiritual beliefs that are embodied in our beautiful language and traditions. Michif is central to our identity. Unfortunately, Michif is still an endangered language and, like many other Aboriginal languages, it is at risk of disappearing altogether. Yet its revival is central to the genuine recognition of the Métis Nation by all Canadians. The Increasing Recognition of the Métis Nation It is the distinctions among Canadians across the country – foremost among which are the unique aspects of the Métis, First Nations and Inuit peoples – that are the heart of

My View I believe that the Métis people in British Columbia constitute a proud, dynamic, self-governing and sustainable nation – we understand our rights as Métis citizens and our loyalties to our Métis nation, to our province and to our country. Central to this vision is a future in which our children, their children and generations of children after them will grow and thrive from their awarenes of their Métis heritage; speaking Michif, our national language, with ease and confidence and secure in the knowledge that their rightful place is acknowledged and respected by Canadians everywhere. This is a vision conveyed by our Métis Elders across the province and it is shared by the many Métis communities, groups and dedicated individuals throughout British Columbia who entrust the MNBC to speak on their behalf. Michif originated as the language of our people. The future of Michif, and through it the spirit of the Métis Nation in British Columbia, rests with the speakers, with the celebrants of our culture and with every member of the Métis nation. As a predominately oral language Michif is a defining feature of our people, like our traditional practices. That is why I firmly believe that each generation of Métis people, speakers and non-speakers alike, is responsible

Aboriginal rights which, as the Supreme Court of Canada stated in the Van der Peet Case, “lie in the practices, customs and traditions integral to the distinctive cultures of aboriginal peoples.” The Court underscored the recognition of the Métis nation in the subsequent Powley case when it concluded that it is the history of the Métis people, our origins and our unique language and culture that confirms without question our identity as a constitutionally recognized people in Canada. Here is what the Supreme Court stated: The Métis of Canada share the common experience of having forged a new culture and a distinctive group identity from their Indian or Inuit and European roots . . . . The inclusion of the Métis in s. 35 represents Canada’s commitment to recognize and value the distinctive Métis cultures . . . .

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Perspective cont. The Supreme Court’s rulings are entirely consistent with the beliefs of Métis people in British Columbia and elsewhere that our culture is integral to our identity and, further, that it is a defining feature of the Canada that we know today.

Where Do We Go From Here? The MNBC approach to the Michif language and the Métis culture, contemplates a process of support, learning and promotion driven by our beliefs, our values and our Bev Lambert and Kim Hodgson outlooks as Métis people, in British Columbia and across the Métis Nation. Yet there are important challenges and the most pressing of these is our language. The status of Michif across Canada is distressing – there are fewer than one thousand Michif speakers in the country. Moreover, there is no community of Métis people with a strong core of Michif speakers. It is with this imperative in mind that the MNBC is determined to redress the state of the Michif language in British Columbia. Accordingly, I hope to improve the awareness, and the learning, of our language and our culture. As suggested by many people whom I have consulted, we at MNBC will ensure that the methods we propose for doing so will reflect our communities; their perspectives, and their wishes. They will be developed collaboratively so as to respect the preferences of the communities to the extent consistent with the common goals of the Métis nation in the province. That, in my view, is the key – our awareness of ourselves

Did you know? The Métis language (“Michif”) is one of the trade languages. These languages were crucial for communication between the Indians and the fur companies. Everyone spoke these languages during this time in history and many of the words are in use today. For instance the word Prairie: only in Canada is this word used to describe the great plain regions. Visit C’est La Vie - CBC Radio -- and download the program about the Michif Language. Or, Native Languages with many links to information on the Métis language ... Michif.


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

as a nation, and the way in which we teach that awareness to our children and to others, must come from all of our citizens who make up the Métis nation. To this end I hope to encourage learning settings that combine Michif and cultural teachings in an atmosphere that is accommodating for everyone. The objective at all times would be a comfortable and hospitable environment for everyone in the setting, Elders, teachers and students, alike -- one where everyone can easily participate in teaching and learning Michif in a manner appropriate to the community and consistent with the nature of the language itself. With the prominent involvement of Elders, and of community leaders, this approach would embrace, and be shaped by, the essential traditional perspectives of the community, and of the Métis people.

Why This is Important I believe that a continued threat to Michif and to our Métis identity would be a profound loss not only for the Métis nation – it would also undermine the very quality which defines Canada as a unique country. The Canadian identity is often described as fabric woven of many threads: the blending of English and French speakers followed by the arrival of other cultural groups from offshore to make up Canada’s multicultural nature. Yet this is an incomplete picture for it overlooks the profound and fundamental influence of Aboriginal societies and their cultures. It is the oral histories and the stories of creation that explain how Aboriginal peoples came to be on this land now called Canada; it is also the songs and dances that express their relationship with the land. When rendered in Aboriginal languages such as Michif, and in the varied cultural expression of Aboriginal peoples, the stories give Canada’s social fabric a texture, colour and spirit that is truly special; one found nowhere else in the world. My colleagues at MNBC and I are determined to do everything in our power to foster our Métis language and culture and thus revitalize and confirm this vital quality of Canada’s character.

Natural Resource Act To be Presented to MNGA for First Reading in December The Minister of Natural Resources and BC Métis Assembly of Natural Resources will present the MNBC Natural Resource Act to the Métis Nation Governing Assembly in mid December. The Act is the culmination of years of planning and community discussions related to ensuring that Métis harvesting in BC is managed by Métis, reflects sound conservation principles and protects the interests of MNBC Citizens. The development of this draft Legislation commenced in 2003 and has progressed to the present through the following processes: • Traditional Resource and Conservation Knowledge Program – 2003 provided guidance for the development of the Ministry of Natural Resources; • Citizenship Registry – Powley compliant – 2003 to present; • Natural Resource Use Questionaire, 2005 – Community input focusses the Ministry of Natural Resources on conservation and management issues as priorities and identifies negotiation as preferable to litigation where access to resources is concerned; • Development of the BC Métis Assembly of Natural Resources modeled on the traditional Buffalo Assembly - 2003 to 2006; • Regional Consultations with Regional BCMANR Captains and community officers – 2004, 2005; • BCMANR Policy – adopted, 2006; • Strategic Planning by Ministry of Natural Resources and BCMANR – 2006, 2007 • Harvesters Registry – 2006 to present; • First Species at Risk Project with Environment Canada (mountain caribou) 2006/07; • First Co-management Agreement with Canadian Wildlife Service – 2007/08 addressing Migratory Bird Harvest Monitoring and Database Development; • Workshop hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources, and formal presentation on the Natural Resource Act, during the 2007 MNBC Annual General Meeting; • First Enforcement Protocol with Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada -2007/2008 – currently in draft form.

At the same time changes in federal regulations such as those under the Migratory Birds Convention Act are reinforcing the recognition of Métis as one of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. The Métis Nation BC must move forward with Natural Resource Legislation to ensure that Métis citizens benefit fully from new opportunities to harvest and manage the natural resources that sustain our culture. The Natural Resource Act will empower: • MNBC Harvesting Cards (including management databases); • Environmental Protection (enables policy development); • Consultation (with government, industry and others); • Métis Harvest Management Regulation (developed through BCMANR including both traditional and scientific knowledge and community consultation); • Compliance and Enforcement (including Restorative Justice); and •

A Senate appeal mechanism.

The time is now to have the Natural Resource Act passed into legislation. Inclusion of the MNBC Citizenship Card in the “Reference Manual for Federal Enforcement Personnel on Harvesting by Métis” has placed new pressure on MNBC to create this legislation. MNBC believes that Métis citizens will soon be able to harvest federally managed species without a government license. This creates urgency to develop the MNBC Harvesting Card and have it recognized by federal enforcement agencies such as the RCMP, the Department of Fisheries, Parks Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service (Migratory Bird). With the new Act in place, MNBC will be responsible for managing harvesting by its citizens and ensuring that conservation, public safety and public health are high priorities. For more information contact: Gary Ducommun, Director of Natural Resources, MNBC

Passage of the Natural Resource Act into Métis Nation BC Legislation has become a priority for the MNBC Ministry of Natural Resources and BCMANR. The recognition of MNBC as the governance body for BC Métis by both Canada and British Columbia has created urgency for this new legislation. The federal government recently identified the MNBC Citizenship Card as the only card that will be recognized by federal officers (A Reference Manual for Federal Enforcement Personnel on Harvesting by Métis).

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


A Shared Concern: Diabetes and Métis Communities Submitted by Marie van Humbeck,

degree in which the approach taken is communitybased, community-driven and culturally-based. This is further dependant on the capacity of the community infrastructure to sustain momentum and the ability of leadership to sustain a vision for community health and well being. The Aboriginal ActNow initiative is first health promotion project in British Columbia to specifically include the Métis. The MNBC has agreed to use the resources provided through this initiative to work towards the common ActNow targets for the year 2010, which include: •

Tobacco Reduction: Reduce tobacco use by 10%

Healthy Eating: Increase percentage of people who eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day by 20%

Physical Activity: Increase percentage of people who are physically active by 20%

Healthy Weights: Reduce percentage of BC adults who are overweight or obese by 20%

Healthy Choices in Pregnancy: Increase number of women counselled about alcohol use during pregnancy by 50%

MNBC ActNow Coordinator

It is understood that diabetes is the single largest health threat among Aboriginal people, with prevalence rates of type two diabetes being three to five times higher than the mainstream Canadian population. The Métis are no exception to this staggering trend. The 2006 Métis Nation British Columbia provincial survey confirmed the 2001 Census/Aboriginal Peoples Survey data that Métis in British Columbia suffer from the same disproportionately high rates of diabetes as other Aboriginal peoples. The factors found to be independently associated with diabetes among the Métis included sex, age, body mass index (BMI) and level of education. The risk of diabetes among the Métis was twice as high for females compared to males, with a sharp age gradient. An individual ≥ 50 years of age has an almost 13 times greater risk of having diabetes compared to those 15 to 24 years of age. The risk for diabetes among those who had completed less than grade 9 was almost twice that of those who had completed at least grade 9. The risk also increased 3-fold for those with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 compared to those with BMI <30 kg/m2. (Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 2003;27(4):442-448) The concern about diabetes within Aboriginal populations has driven many researchers to study different approaches to implementing diet and exercise programs as a catalyst for behavioral change. Success appears to be associated with the 44

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

The strategy in promoting these targets within the MNBC ActNow project is to stem the rate of diabetes in our communities by focusing on positive lifestyle and behavioural changes. Regional information sessions about the MNBC ActNow project have been held throughout the fall of 2007. Most regions are choosing physical activity as their ActNow focus and will be providing jigging lessons, seasonal camps and other culturally based activities to get their citizens out and active. Choosing physical activity as a regional focus does not mean that nutrition, smoking cessation and prenatal health must be abandoned.

result of sur-

Well-being does not happen in a silo (or in an ActNow pillar) it is the conscious decisions and circumstances rounding emotional, spiritual and physical needs. Physical activity programs should be

considered as a beginning, or catalyst, to continue to promote nutrition, smoking cessation and healthy maternal and child health. The MNBC Ministry of Health website is continuing to grow with health promotion resources for communities. Community leaders, citizens and health stakeholders are all encouraged to get involved in the MNBC ActNow program and continue to look for ways to build a strong, proud nation for generations to come.

MNBC Senate Develops Electoral Appeal Procedure Submitted by Dean Trumbley The MĂŠtis Citizens in British Columbia ratified their final arm of self governance in the form of an Electoral Act at the 2007 Annual General Meeting. Therefore, the MNBC Senate was mandated to develop the Shawnigan Lake was setting for MNBC Senate Retreat Electoral Appeal process according to their jurisdiction highlighted in the MNBC After three-days of meetings, at the beautiful Shawnigan Senate Act. The MNBC Senate struck an Electoral Appeal Lake Boarding School, the MNBC Senate Electoral Apsub-committee consisting of three Senators, Senate legal peal sub-committee has drafted an Electoral Appeal process counsel and the Interim Senate Clerk. within their Policies and Procedures. These procedures will ensure that all future elections or by-elections of the MNBC will have the Senate available, for candidates or citizens, to appeal any decision made by the Chief Electoral Officer. The result will be a fair and democratic process for all elections under the authority of the MNBC. The MNBC Senate Electoral Appeal sub-committee will present their document to the full Senate at the 2007 MĂŠtis Nation Governing Assembly. If approved by motion, it will be presented to the MNBC Board of Directors for ratification into the Senate Policy and Procedure. This will then have the MNBC Senate available and ready for the 2008 MNBC general election, should the need arise. The last meeting was held at Shawnigan Lake School on Vancouver Island. Senators (l. to r.): Alan Edkins, Phil Gladue, Margaret Penner, Bob Adams, Gerald Pope, and Ron Snider

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08





René Therrien


Dan Pope

Rose Bortolon

North Central Dave Hodgson

Lower Mainland Frazer MacDonald

Thompson Okanagan Kootenays

Vancouver Island

Gerry Lagare 46

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Regional News

around these points and people left the meeting with renewed enthusiasm to make the Nation grow.

MNBC Concludes 2nd phase of Regional Governance Training Over the past three months Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) has taken their key personnel on a road trip to visit every region within the province. CEO Keith Henry, Chief Financial Officer, Cora David, Ex. Assistant - Brittaney Katernick, Director of EducationColleen Hodgson, Director of Family & Children Services - Glen Parker, Registrar –Laurel Katernick, Director of Social Policy – Marie VanHumbeck, President Bruce Dumont, Vice President – Lorne LaFleur have traveled to Victoria, Terrace, Quesnel, Fort St John, Kelowna and Nelson to meet with executive members from all MNBC communities. Other MNBC ministers and regional directors joined the two day event as their time permitted. Each community meeting started with a very detailed agenda that included an overview of MNBC five Year Plan and then was broken down into very important steps of that five-year plan. Métis leaders from across the province learned the importance of the Registrar’s role, the importance of culture and the importance of keeping an office, proper by-laws, and financial records.

A new health initiative was launched during these sessions. Marie Van Humbeck outlined the BC ActNow Health initiative and encouraged every community to take up the challenge to make British Columbians healthier by 2010. There is funding for every community to create a Métis health awareness project. It is a three-year project and must be designed to encourage a healthier lifestyle for all our Métis citizens. Following every session the assembled Métis invited members of the community to join them for an evening of socializing and eating. This was a great opportunity to meet the presenters in a casual setting and learn about the culture and distinct personality of each region. “The sounds of the fiddle were heard throughout the evening as well as a little jigging and a lot of talking! This is part of our culture and it is great to see so many people engaged.” stated Keith Henry CEO. The local presidents and the provincially elected officials will be gathering in December for the Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA). The Regional Training Sessions will be an invaluable tool to help every elected official during the governing discussions. Education is the key to a healthy nation!

In every community the team from the MNBC executive staff and provincial leaders fielded many questions. Each region had different questions and great discussions were held. It was an opportunity for anyone who had concerns about policy, procedure or even political issues to ask these questions and get well thought out answers. On the Road MNBC Senior Staff – Cora David Without an exception every region is concerned about the Registry of our Métis people, about fund raising ideas, bookkeeping for small organizations and about which direction MNBC is heading. Often the discussion was quite lively

CFO, Marie Van Humbeck, ActNow, Colleen Hodgson, Director of Education and Brittaney Katernick Executive Assistant

Northeast Region


Lower Mainland

Vancouver Island

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Regional News

MNBC Vice President’s Message Tansi,

On behalf of my family and all of us at MNBC we would like to take this opportunity to extend a very merry Christmas and a happy holiday season to all Métis people in British Columbia. As we move closer to the holiday season I would like to send my prayers and best wishes, especially to those who find this a difficult time. We all have family and friends that may need a little extra help during the holidays. Please, if you know someone who needs a hand, a smile or someone to talk to during the season, take the time to visit with them! It could make a world of difference to one person’s holiday. God Bless Everyone, Happy Holidays! Lorne and Barbara LaFleur and family (Lorne is the MNBC Vice President)

Vancouver Island MIKI’SIW Métis The MIKI’SIW Métis Community held a family gathering at the Kin Beach park in Courtenay on August 18. About 30 members and family had a good time with a buffalo roast, bannock hot dogs, salads and muskeg tea. On November 17 we are holding another gathering to celebrate Louis Riel Day and Christmas. Yes, it is that time of year again. How time flies. At this time I, on behalf of the MIKI’SIW Board would like to wish everyone on the MNBC a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year. At the AGM in Kelowna our Youth Rep. Jasmine Hart attended and she wrote what she experienced. Kelowna 2007 This was my first AGM, as well as my first time in Kelowna. My experience was a positive one. When I arrived on Friday afternoon the meetings had already begun. I was surprised at the size of the auditorium. It was almost like walking into a meeting at the Parliament. One of the first things I noticed at first glance was the lack of women represented on the podium. It would be nice to see women representing at least half of the board. There was so much going on that I had not been previously prepared for. The level of intelligence in the room was almost overwhelming. To be honest I did not understand most of what was going on. In future, should I attend more 48

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Birth Announcement! Lorne and Barbara LaFleur are proud to welcome their first grandchild, Cheyenne Marie LaFleur into the world! Cheyenne was born September 29, 2007 at 10:18 pm in Duncan. 11pounds! Proud parents are Jeff and Natasha LaFleur.

AGMs or meetings of this sort I would like to have more information about the proceedings, bills and laws? It was awesome to watch people interacting. The discussions around the legislation were phenomenal to watch. I was taken aback, and at that point wished that I knew more of what was going on and could therefore better understand, as well as to voice my opinion. Although not grasping the entity of the discussions it was definitely a positive learning experience. In future I would like to better educate myself so that I could be of more use to the board in giving feedback and ideas. This trip was a great one for me! I watched and experienced proceedings that I had never before encountered. The trip to Kelowna was awesome. I hope to build on what I learned at the AGM. I appreciate all the staff and board members who made it a possibility for me to attend. Great thanks. Jasmine Hart. Age 26

Regional News Lower Mainland NOVA Métis office has relocated to: 10568 King George Highway Surrey, BC V3T 2X3 NOVA president Ken Fisher entertains in his new office.

Drop in and visit anytime!

Ken Fisher receives Métis cupcakes during Grand Re-Opening of NOVA Metis Office

Thompson Okanagan

Merry Christmas!

First, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Métis Nation BC has had another busy year, with many positive outcomes. The AGM, which was held in Kelowna, was a success again. We had success in signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government for the Ministry of Children and Family. We are all looking forward to the Governance Training that is coming up in November. I am looking forward to a successful MNGA, which is being held in Vancouver in December. Attending the MNC AGM in Ottawa was disheartening and the outcome was not what was expected. I would like to congratulate all of the MNBC Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Board of Directors & staff for a very successful year; it has been a pleasure working with all of you and I look forward to another successful year in 2008. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome aboard my assistant Linda Koster and I look forward to working with her over next 4 – 5 years. It was a pleasure working with all of the Presidents, Vice-President Board of Directors & staff of the Thompson Okanagan Region. Once again thank you to everyone for your support & hard work. Dave Hodgson Director/Thompson Okanagan MNBC Treasurer Minister Responsible for Employment & Training Child & Family Services

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Regional News

Kootenay Delegates at MNBC Training Session

North Central

Kootenays 2007 MNBC Annual General Meeting delgates were treated to a stellar performance from the Kootenays! More than 25 entertainers came from Golden to perform before a large audience during the P r e s i d e n t â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gala Evening. Special thanks to Caren and Davene for preparing the Li Jigeurs Mechif for this wonderful performance.

A Cultural dinner was held Nov 16 at St Andrews United Church at Huckvale Place Williams Lake. The evening was a wonderful opportunity to meet old and new friends. We are holding our Christmas bake sale on the 14th Ursula and her grandchildren and 15th of Dec at Boitano Mall, also on the 15 (after the bake sale) we are having our annual Christmas party at the St Andrews Church starting at 5:30. We are also booking Crystal Meth workshops for our region, if anyone is interested please call Marlene at 250-398-5327 or call Wayne at 250-3054652.

The Dragon Lady

Some other upcoming programs that members in our area maybe interested in are; Life-skills workshops, we are doing a series of life-skills workshops from now until February. These workshops are free and run every Friday. Our community is also going to set up some physical activities to participate in the Act Now BC program. Flo Gonyer is starting her program, which assists with special needs children, for more information on this call Flo at 250 398-7836. Caribou-Chilcotin MĂŠtis Association Executive 50

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

North Central cont.

James Roberts receives an award for Excellence in his community


Regional News

BladeRunner President receives bear hide at Opening Ceremony

René Therrien, Regional Director for Northwest BC, had the opportunity to publicly honour Richard Hayden with an award of recognition for his hard work and dedication to the communities in the Northwest region. He is always available to give assistance when he is called upon. After many months of work MNBC is close to signing a deal as a partner with EnCana, a pipeline company. Partnering with EnCana will generate some resources for the Métis Nation, to be passed on to the communities. René has been very busy since the last issue of Whispering Winds. For complete details from the Northwest Region please check the MNBC website The Annual Smithers Fall Fair was held late August where Tri-River Métis Association hosted the Métis Booth. This year Beverly Lambert presented Kim Hodgson, Tri-River Métis Association, a Métis Trail sign. Beverly Lambert did a great job of teaching and co-coordinating all that came along and were interested in learning how to jig. Within a short time a number of people were prepared to help Beverly and René entertain on the stage. We are all looking forward to next year’s event!

Bev Lambert and new Jigger

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Regional News Northeast An Annual General Meeting was held in both Fort Nelson and Chetwynd in November.

Caterers for Fort Nelson Annual General meeting

Congratulations to the newly elected board members. We look forward to working with all the boards in the Northeast. The past year has been extremely busy, however, 2008 promises to be even bigger!!! Read about major plans for Canada’s energy industry and how it pertains to MNBC citizens in Whispering Winds March 2008 issue. Have a wonderful Season and a Prosperous 2008! Northeast Regional Director Dan Pope

Carol Paynter, Métis Skills and Employment Centre for Northeast Region

May Barrette, Fort St John, Receives Award of Excellence for her hard work and dedication to the Métis

Northeast Métis Association (Dawson Creek) raise the Métis flag Louis Riel Day at Dawson Creek City Hall

Registrar Clerk Annette Fellers Sashes Dawson Creek Mayor Calvin Kruk while NEMA board looks on.


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Bill and Blanche Gladue, Chetwynd and their granddaughters


Let us introduce you to: Maureen Shaughnessy, our newest outdoor photographer (Dog sled photo, Page 26)

In my working hours I am a landscape designer. I have a background in science, fine arts and landscape architecture. Sometimes designing gardens is my play. Other play times are filled with making music, singing, writing, sketching, making mixed media sculptures, being outdoors, and of course, taking photographs. In 2003, I knew very little about photography and had just received a digital camera as a gift from our five kids. I have learned photography by trial and error (I don’t do manuals) and from kind folks who have shared their tips, advice and encouragement. I take photos for different reasons: to record our lives, to use in my artwork and for my own pleasure and joy. I hope through my photography that I can touch someone’s heart, or help others connect with nature -- with all of life -- in a soulful way.

APTN Sound Sessions. Every Saturday from 6 to 8 pm et | pt

Can’t miss music on 54

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Métis Women’s Secretariat-BC

Family Memories of Christmas

By Rose Bortolon

bracing the spirit of giving, particularly at Christmas time, is very important to me; there are so many opportunities at this time of year to touch someone’s life in a positive way. I always felt I had to give. I also felt the Lord was there with me as he has been... through my life. The most important lesson that I learned from my mother Alice and my Aunt Rose is that no matter how poor you are, no matter how bare your cupboard is, no matter if your coat has holes in it, your family strives to give you the best that they have, through their love, their music and their faith. I hope that your Christmas this year is full of wonderful shared moments with those you care about, kind thoughts, and treasured gifts of the heart. Rose


ovember brought snow, glistening white fluffy snow, creating a winter scene so lovely so crisp, it was a photographer’s delight. I think to myself, “It is one month and a half before Christmas and I’m not ready!” My thoughts then turn to consider Christmas, and what it means to me.

Is it presents? Family traditions? Midnight Mass? Christmas Dinner? I think back to my humble beginnings, my big Métis family...Christmas Eve ...the parties that our family and relatives had, drinking, laughing, dancing and inevitably fighting. The next morning brought hangovers and a late supper. I remember the sadness of being a poor child in a broken home with family values and love often put aside for alcohol and abuse. This life taught me many lessons; the power of determination, dreaming, potential to create your own family, acceptance of the many challenges that life brings, the importance of never giving up, and the peace that can come with forgiveness. My early Christmases inspired me to bring some loving traditions into my own family’s Christmas, which we still carry on today. I started my own traditions for Christmas which included going to Midnight Mass, hanging up stockings, making Christmas fruit cakes in November, baking, and giving presents, not only to my family but to other people. Em-

Seasons Greetings from the Métis Women’s Secretariat-BC Committee of Regional Representatives Rose Bortolon - Chairperson Samantha Sansregret – Vancouver Island Kim Bayer – Lower Mainland Debi Huber – Thompson Okanagan Caren Nagao - Kootenays Annette Maurice – North Central Sandra Conlon – Northwest Peggy Olanski, Northeast

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Métis Women’s Secretariat-BC

Exploring new partnerships to promote Métis Women’s Health Submitted by Victoria Pruden The Métis Women’s Secretariat-BC is engaging in new partnerships to conduct research and provide Women’s health programming. The new MNBC Act Now health programVictoria Pruden ming includes a special provision for women’s programming that will reflect one of the four priorities of Act Now. To assist in research related to one of the priorities of Act Now, Healthy Choices in Pregnancy, the Métis Women’s Secretariat-BC along with the MNBC Ministry of Health is partnering with the Métis Centre at the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO). This Métis specific research project called, “Healthy Messaging” will consist of 12 focus groups of Métis Women to be held throughout the province of BC. Women in three different age groups, 18-24, 25-34, and 35 and over will be the target of the focus groups. The participants will test the effectiveness of a variety of health messaging materials that target healthy pregnancies. The results of this research will assist Métis organizations across Canada to create effective health messaging material that is Métis-specific. Locations for the focus groups are being planned, and the research groups will begin in February 2008. For more information, please call Victoria Pruden, Director of Women MNBC at 1- 866-293-1504.


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

M e t i s Wo m e n across BC

Métis Women’s Secretariat-BC

Métis Mother & Daughter

Craft Nights in Chetwynd Making a Métis Christmas Tree Submitted by Darlene Campbell, Chetwynd


arlene Campbell is the MWSBC Women’s Representative for the Moccasin Flats Métis Society in Chetwynd. She shared with us her experiences in running a successful Mother-Daughter craft group. Among Darlene’s many great ideas for community activities that bring families together is her successful “Mother-Daughter Craft Night”. Last year, Darlene invited mothers and their children to participate in a Family Scrapbooking project. Gathering together one night per week, these mother-daughter family groups created scrapbooks with precious memories to take home. This year, the mother-daughter groups are creating a Métis Christmas tree that will be auctioned off to raise money for their local library. Darlene and the craft night participants are creating each Aboriginal themed ornament by hand. They are making: mini tipi ornaments, leather garlands, mini bows and arrows, hand-woven sash ornaments, mini mukluks, and braided sweetgrass rounds. These ornaments for the Métis Christmas tree will adorn their contribution to the Chetwynd Library community fundraiser. We look forward to seeing the finished products! Thanks Darlene.

Sheila Wynn, BC Deputy Minister of Community Services was a special guest speaker at 2007 AGM.

M e t i s Wo m e n a c r o s s B C Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Métis Women’s Secretariat-BC

Métis Granddaughter Discovers Her Grandmother’s History By Kim Hayek, Lower Mainland Madame Catherine Perrault, my 4th great grandmother, born 1787, married June 10 1811 at Riviere-Ouelle, Quebec. She had 13 children. Two boys and eight girls lived to adulthood. Her husband, Honorable Amable Dionne Hamel, was merchant with River-Ouelle, in Kamouraska of 1812 to 1818. He was the captain in the militia in 1818 and reached the rank of major in 1830. Catherine had a privileged life as the wife of an appointed official, named with the Legislative Council of Canada East, and one of the most richest and influential French Canadians of the time. She had formal dresses that would need her personal staff to help her with the corsets and many other under garments that the society ladies used at the time. Many nannies helped her with her 13 births. I felt sadness and loss when I learned that three of her babies died, probably buried in the parish church. I have had a son die at a young age and even though I recently have gotten to know this grandmother, I sense a women ship, a kin to this pain. Her busy life allowed no time for open grief, as she was pregnant for sixteen years. Catherine Perrault and Amable Dionne were the last Seigniory Lady and Lord of the Alder Plantation. Seigniory means a position of power or authority of a feudal lord. The plantation was built between 1850 and 1853 by Amable Dionne, my 4th great grandfather.


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Catherine would have had many servants for the main house. With a central door opening on the frontage of the manor the entranceway, the foyer, would be a place of receiving the many dignitary’s wives for high tea. I image Catherine would have arranged for fresh cut flowers from the well designed gardens throughout the manor grounds. The organizing of the many rooms in the manor: the show, the hall, the stage, the kitchen, the room with lunching, the room of the lord, the room with dining, the turret of the lord, the turret of the lady, the cellar (turret is a little tower often at a angle of a larger structure and merely ornamental) would put Catherine in an Executive Assistant position. With all the parties, politics, fundraising for local girls College of Sainte Anne she had to delegate many of these tasks to keep ahead of her life and her husband’s appointments. I believe education was important to her, as I have found some evidence that she may have published French Folk stories. Her husband was a published poet and would have access to the printers of the day. I often wonder what kinds of influence she had in the legislative. It is common for political wives to have a strong influence and use their husbands’ positions to get their issues addressed. Later I found out that her daughter, my 3rd great grandmother, was involved as a house mom at the all Girls College of Sainte Anne. Catherine Perrault’s grandson, Cirice Jacques Amable Tetu married a Cree woman named Melanie Barron. The families were upset and Cirice and Melanie were disassociated with the family for the rest of their lives. They settled in Manitoba. The Alder Plantation is a tourist attraction today. It is an heritage site and thousands of visitors come every year to walk the magnificent gardens, tour the brick flourmill and rent rooms for conferences. The architecture of the mill is world famous. I hope to visit it one day.

Did you know? The Métis Nation during the 1800s produced pemmican that sustained the exploration and settlement forces of the new world. Without the entrepreneurial spirit of the Métis, the armies would not be fed and the settlers would have died. The Métis Nation had contracts with both Canada and the United States and their gross nationals product surpassed both these (at that time) fledgling nations.

Metis Role Models



Rebecca Chisholm

recently graduated from the Dental Hygiene Program of University of British Columbia in May 2007. She was awarded the College of Dental Hygienists BC Gold Medal for highest overall academic achievement in the Dental Hygiene Degree Program. Rebecca is also a performing artist and has won many awards for her singing. Rebecca currently resides in Victoria and hopes to pursue her studies, do a Masters degree and work for the BC Ministry of Health. Congratulations on your achievements Rebecca and best of luck in your future endeavors!

Curtis Pocha

My name is , I am fifteen year old and my Aboriginal background is Métis. My Father is also Métis and my Mother is First Nations. I have a younger brother and sister. I live in Cranbrook, BC. I started Tae Kwon Do when I was five years old and still actively participate after ten years. My Father, Mother, Sister and Brother all do Tae Kwon Do with me. My Father is my instructor and coach, he also teaches his own school with his partner. During the summer of 2006, I was competing in the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). I received a Gold medal in the sparring division after my two matches. I was presented with my Black belt in the spring of 2007 and want to become a Master myself. Before the games I went to Vancouver to train with Master Sirota who was our team B.C. coach. I was also interviewed by APTN. Competing and training for the games was a great adventure. I was invited to go to Batoche and I had a great time and met new people. During that trip I made a few good friends. I learned lots about my heritage and I am PROUD TO BE MÉTIS. I enjoy being involved in Métis activities so that I could tell other Métis Youth about my experiences so that maybe they will be compelled to get more involved and learn more about their heritage as I did.

Nicholas (Nick ) Koster is from Ashcroft BC and in June of 2007 Graduated from Ashcroft

Secondary School. The picture is of President Bruce Dumont presenting the Ceremonial Graduation Sash to Nick. A very proud time for his family! Nick is currently in the process of starting his own Gutter Company which is based out of Merritt. His company name is The Gutter Crew. He has also applied at the Merritt aquatic center as a Lifeguard to take up some of the long winter nights. Nick is a member of the Merritt District Métis Association.

Cheri Gullason

is from Ashcroft BC and in June of 2007 Graduated from Ashcroft Secondary School. The picture is of Cheri being presented with her Ceremonial Graduation Sash from President Bruce Dumont. Cheri is also quite the fighter and enters “so you want to fight” in Kamloops BC. This is the second year in a row that Cheri has entered. In the picture Cheri looks like she is ready to “give it to her competition” but the competition “gave it to Cheri”. Nice try Cheri! Cheri works for A.S.C. as the parts person. And one day hopes to attend welding school. Cheri is the Youth Representative for Merritt District Métis Association.

Chelsey Cooper is from Ashcroft BC and in June of 2007 Graduated from Ashcroft Secondary

School. The picture is of President Bruce Dumont presenting the Ceremonial Graduation Sash to Chelsey. Her mom cried. Chelsey is currently attending Thompson Rivers University working on her Bachelor of Arts and is hoping to attend school in September of 2008 to become a Dental Assistant.

Grass Dancers

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


We are Proud Written by: Malonie Langthorne I believe our strength, our strength it could move mountains, our elders teach… our youth they should believe, Can you hear the fiddle in our valleys and our mountains, our stories carry from lakes, to oceans and streams.

We are proud, our hearts are with our families, We are Métis, a nation in BC, we stand strong, united all together, we are proud, in all we have achieved.

We are strong, like winds blowing through the prairies, our children’s hearts, give the strength to move us on. We are part of our glorious country; our elders guide us so our culture will live on

All sing We are proud, our hearts are with our families, We are Métis, a nation in BC, we stand strong, united all together, we are proud, in all we have achieved.

(Repeat) All sing We are proud, our hearts are with our families, We are Métis, a nation in BC, we stand strong, united all together, we are proud, in all we have achieved.

And We are proud, in all we have achieved. (Fade)


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


n September 19th- 21st, 2007 the BC United Métis Youth Circle (BCUMYC) held It’s 9th Annual Youth Meeting in conjunction with the MNBC 10th Annual General Meeting in Kelowna. The focus of this year's meeting was to increase Métis youth involvement and representation at the community level, increase Métis youth participation in the upcoming MNBC provincial ballot box election and gather youth feedback on the BCUMYC 2007-2008 Workplan. There were 56 youth delegates in attendance. Several of which were voting delegates. The meeting included discussion sessions on how to improve the lives of Métis youth in the areas of health, housing, education and economic development. There were also discussion sessions on how to increase Métisyouth involvement at the community level, how to get involved at the regional level through the BCUMYC Committee of Regional Youth Representatives, and how to increase Métis youth participation in the upcoming MNBC election. Highlights included a Sash presentation with President Dumont, Métis jigging instruction and sharing circles with Métis Elders. Check out the BCUMYC website:

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Ministry of Justice

The Positive Transition for Métis Offenders


PTMO Métis Nation BC AGM, Kelowna, BC The Ministry of Justice and the PTMO Community Justice Support Workers (CJSW) attended the Métis Nation BC AGM in Kelowna, BC this past September. The Ministry of Justice gave an update on how the program has evolved over the past year. Justice Minister Fraser MacDonald reported on the success of the program to date and described how the program was assisting our Métis people who are incarcerated. The Métis communities engaged in various discussions with the support workers. Many people encouraged the workers and offered assistance and support within their communities. PTMO Institutional Event: The Community Justice Support Workers participate in many different events held by various institutions. Among those that take place twice yearly is a Social/Pow Wow/Gathering which offers an opportunity for inmates’ families, friends, and community members to visit an institution and enjoy a visit with their loved ones in a more relaxed stressful environment. Various First Nation and Métis communities take part in music, dancing and food. Our very own Métis Jigger Bev Lambert has performed her magical dancing at most of the events held in the institutions. Bev also takes the opportunity to speak on Métis history and culture. During her jigging performances she always invites the audience to participate. This is hugely popular, especially with Métis inmates who love to take part and experience the pride of the Métis nation both during and after the events. 62

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Jennifer Robertson, Program Director for Justice, Métis Nation British Columbia at MNBC AGM and Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation Alberta.

Jennifer Robertson and Bev Lambert @ MNBC AGM

On Oct 20th, 2007: CJSW Jennifer Robertson and Bev Lambert took part in a “Gathering” at the Frazer Valley Institution for Women. Elders, Aboriginal Liaison Officers, CSC staff, community members and families with their children participated in this event. Bev put on yet another wonderful performance, speaking about the history of the Métis people and dancing to Métis Fiddle music. A number of people responded to her invitation and joined in the dancing and it was easy to see why, as Bev’s enthusiasm is almost impossible to resist.

3rd Annual Tradition Camp for MĂŠtis Youth Submitted by Ron Nunn


he third annual camp was a great success again. After a rocky start, the camp

ran smoothly. The 12 youth participants, ages 10-15, were highly motivated to learn new bush skills, marksmanship, trap making and snare setting, among other bush skills. It was no problem getting the youth up in the morning, as they rose quickly from their sleeping bags to the smell of pancakes, bacon and eggs. The adult chaperones made wonderful and nutritious food. Buffalo stew and bannock was served as well as another big hit â&#x20AC;&#x201D; buffalo burgers! Ham, bacon and eggs, cheese and pickles were also on the menu.

852 Fort Street Victoria, BC V8W 1H8

Telephone: 250.380.1423

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


With their high (and boundless) energy the youth kept adult instructors busy teaching bush skills throughout the day. The evening was a great time to relax and bond with the children. An Elder, Joan Holmes, generously travelled a long distance, from Grand Forks to Cherryville, to teach the youth how to make rattles from rawhide. The two days after her arrival were spent instructing the youth and assisting them in cutting, sewing, painting and decorating their rattles. The youth were very proud of their creations and I’m sure they rest in a special place in their homes. A special treat came our way while at the camp. Two prospectors were at the campsite with us, along the Kettle River, and talked about prospecting for gold before helping the youth pan for gold. The excitement was at its peek when “colour” was found.

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Of course, the youth had lots of free time. When not involved in a workshop, they splashed in the river, found frogs and little fish and were busy just having fun. All too soon the camp was over. The youth jumped in and assisted in the camp dismantling and taking the tipi down. We were implored to promise that we would host a winter camp some time in January 2008. Many thanks to all who participated in the traditional camp. Special thanks to the adults who most generously volunteered their time and resources to make the traditional camp a big success. As Captain of Hunt for the region, being allowed to work with such fine Métis citizens and the youth of Region 3 honoured and humbled me. I look forward to calling together another camp in the New Year. God Bless.

MNBC AGM Highlights (AGM Highlights continued from page 14) In July 2006, the MNBC board spent considerable time revising the MNBC mandate, vision statements and values that have now been implemented in all documents. Regional Governance Council meetings were held in each of the regions. Participation is defined by the signing of Métis Community Governance Charters. Presently there are 37 charters signed clarifying Métis citizenship, political roles, and program accountability to the Métis community. Core governance resources were provided through an annually renewed program with the federal Department of Canadian Heritage. These allowed leverage of additional resources from federal and provincial governments. MNBC continued consistent communications with Métis citizens by continuation of the MNBC presidential monthly updates, website development, Métis Matters radio broadcasts and quarterly “Whispering Winds” magazine publications. MNBC has continued the Tripartite Self Governance Negotiations (TSN) Program with the provincial Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and the federal Office of the Federal Interlocutor. The TSN process has been instrumental in enabling MNBC to implement critical governance and capacity-building initiatives over the past several years. In the interest of rational and transparent decision-making, MNBC moved in 2006-07 to community consultations on the development of a five year strategic plan for the entire organization that will ultimately result in enhancing the

“See Your Business More Clearly” Serving from:

Vancouver „ Abbotsford

professionalism and accountability of MNBC policy and program administration.

Health Minister - Lorne LaFleur Our efforts in 2006 were directed towards laying the foundation for the ministry’s strategic plan Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd for the next addresses AGM five years. The plan consists of improving the overall health and well being of our population by improving the quality, accessibility and sustainability of culturally appropriate health services and programs. We have been working with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer to bring the health of the Métis nation to the forefront in Aboriginal health planning. We have created alliances with health coalitions such as B.C. Healthy Annual Health Fair at AGM Living Alliance to ensure the Métis nation’s participation in provincial health promotion programs. And we continue to work with research institutes to ensure that the programs and services delivered by and for our ministry are consistent with good practice guidelines in the management of health and health-related information about Métis people. In February, an agreement was signed between Health Canada and the Métis National Council to provide $10 million for the Métis Health Human Resources initiative. Over the next three years, MNBC will award $1.3 million to Métis students entering into or continuing health studies. This initiative will also establish a registry of Métis practitioners to support the development of targeted retention strategies for Métis health professionals.

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


MNBC AGM Highlights

Work began on development of the Métis Elders Networking guidebook, which will be both a resource to elders and a companion to an online facilitation manual. The manual will provide communities with the tools to deliver their own elders programs to address such issues as pensions, housing, and health risks and promote active living and fitness for elders. At the last AGM 95 delegates attended the Health Screening and Information Fair, which marked the launch of the ministry’s internal communications strategy. The fair provided 72 participants, over the age of 40, with cardio vascular risk profiles while participants under 40 learned about smoking cessation, nutrition, stress management, exercise and cholesterol. The Healthy Choices - Healthy Families workshop was offered to interior and northern communities. The workshop is designed to help youth understand the dynamics of healthy interpersonal relationships. It also provided information about substances commonly used for illegal drug use. The ministry is currently investigating the feasibility of training youth to become peer educators through on-line or distance education programs, with the goal of providing every community with this important and potentially life saving information. The ministry has worked with the Provincial Health Officer’s staff to develop a Métis chapter for the legislated document, “The Health and Well-being of the Aboriginal People in British Columbia”. This is a tremendous improvement from the initial version in which the Métis were merely a footnote, citing that information on the Métis was non-existent or unavailable. The 2006 provincial survey highlighted significant health challenges that concern our families and communities. 34 per cent reported having diabetes; 27 per cent suffer from heart disease; and 45 per cent are affected by arthritis. What concerns me is that 50 per cent of respondents avoided getting health care because of the costs. It is vitally important that we lessen the burden of illness for people in our communities, regardless of age, gender and geography. Health care is directly connected to poverty, income, education and community. We can’t look at health in a silo and assume it is a luxury for the richer classes. Health care needs to be provided to all people of all backgrounds. As your representative government we are morally responsible for improving the disparities in health because a healthy society is the foundation on which we build our families, our communities, our economy and our nation. Good health is not a privilege — it is a right. Métis Artists and Crafters join Corporate sponsors at AGM Trade Show


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

MNBC AGM Highlights The MNBC goal, as it applies to the Michif language, contemplates a process driven by our Métis beliefs and values. The approach we are taking towards revitalizing the Michif language reflects our communities — their perspectives and their requirements. During the past year we put in place elements necessary to build an effective Michif learning environment in B.C. and laid a sound foundation for increasing the number of speakers in the province.

Culture, Language and Heritage Minister René Therrien We, as Métis people, love to celebrate our Métis culture and our identity as expressed through the wonderful music, the dancing and the demonstrations of traditional activities that we share among ourselves and with our non- Métis friends. Central to our Métis values is a vision of us as a proud, selfgoverning and sustainable nation. That vision looks towards a future in which our children, their children and generations of children after them will speak Michif, the national language of the Métis as a defining element of our identity. Our goal is that they will do so with ease, as our elders do — and in the security of knowing that their rightful place as Métis people is acknowledged, and honoured by others around them — the global community, the Canadian society and other cultures in Canada.

Our Michif teachers conducted a seven-day language and cultural workshop that featured the direct involvement of elders. The camp provided a cultural setting, with related activities, to encourage the learning of Michif. The 17 participants all graduated with first level fluency. A provincial workshop was conducted for 53 people. The objective was to find ways to increase the number of Michif speakers in B.C. and expand the utility of Michif. Six delegates attended the National Michif conference where participants compared experiences and discussed common issues for referral to the Métis National Council and federal government. Objectives for the next three years of the funding term include supporting community-based language activities and projects aimed at protecting and revitalizing the Michif language and the Métis culture; promoting Michif language, culture and identity throughout B. C.; and contributing to development of a framework for a national Michif language and cultures strategy across the Métis homeland.

Order of the Sash The “Order of the Sash” is a short ceremony that the Métis Nation British Columbia utilizes to recognize extraordinary/exceptional work that supports Métis citizens. The ceremony involves the Métis Nation leadership (usually the President) who presents the Order at a specific forum/event to ensure there are witnesses from the Métis community. The Order of the Sash ceremony is the presentation of the ceremonial sash (the cultural icon for the Métis citizens). The ceremonial Order of the Sash has been specifically designed as a very distinct Sash and involves all of the traditional colors recognized by the Métis. The Order of the Sash is a distinct award provided by Métis leadership to honor important work by an individual. The Métis Nation recognizes special work that supports the Métis Nation and any individual who receives this prestigious award feels honoured.

Philippe is surprised with sash

Lisa Nye and Milt Wright, BC Government receive sash from President Bruce Dumont

Art Meyer, Enbridge Senior VP is honoured with sash from President Bruce

Senator St Germain is presented a book from Art Burd Festival by Keith Henry, CEO

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


MNBC AGM Highlights

formalize the relationship and to assist in making it as effective as possible. During the past year, Métis veterans were recognized at Remembrance Day ceremonies across the province; the essential task of informing Métis veterans about their entitlements was supported by MNBC which provides for identification of Métis veterans on citizenship application forms; the association has established a portal on the MNBC website and MVABC had developed into an effective and transparent representative body for Métis veterans living in B.C. Joe Geruluk, MNBC Legal Counsel, is excited to receive the Order of the Sash from Regional Director Dave Hodgson & Keith Henry, CEO

An important step for Métis veterans was a national Métis Veterans Forum held this past spring, hosted by MVABC.

Veterans Minister René Therrien

Natural Resources Minister Lorne LaFleur

Métis veterans hold very special place in our Métis nation. By their actions in serving Canada, their contributions to our country’s noble causes abroad and by their sacrifices they have demonstrated in the most honourable way their commitment to Canada and to the Métis nation.

The ministry has continued senior level meetings with various government agencies including, at the federal level - Canadian Wildlife Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Parks Canada, and at the provincial level - Ministry of Forests and Range and Ministry of Environment.

Far too many of our veterans, Métis veterans, have been left to struggle for the recognition of their rights as veterans and for their entitlements.

The ministry has also participated in a few significant legislative consultations including renewal of the federal Fisheries Act, the provincial Ministry of Environment’s harvest allocation policy and the provincial Wildlife Act renewal.

To compliment the essential work of the Métis Veterans Association in B.C. there is a need to educate people throughout B.C. and Canada concerning the contributions and sacrifices made by Métis veterans. The Métis Veterans Association in B.C. (MVABC) was established in response to a clear need to provide a strong voice for our Métis veterans. The MVABC has established a relationship with MNBC to further the veterans’ agenda within the Métis nation and MNBC appointed a minister to

BC Minister Mike De Jong address AGM delegates 68

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

It’s also involved in industry consultations with Enbridge on the Gateway Pipeline and BP and ConocoPhillips on the Mackenzie Pipeline. The BC Métis Assembly of Natural Resources (BCMANR) is the component of the ministry that represents MNBC communities and regions and provides policy support and operational advice. One of the major accomplishments over the past fiscal year

MNBC AGM Highlights

was finalization and ratification of BCMANR policy and procedures. The BCMANR Captainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Assembly and the Director of Natural Resources conducted the first ever conservation contract with Environment Canada on southeastern B.C. mountain caribou. The project was so successful that a second year of funding has been secured and workshops on the issues around the conservation of these animals will be held in ten MĂŠtis communities over the next few months. BCMANR has also participated in the development of the first success related to the rights-based agenda by assisting in discussions with the Canadian Wildlife Service on the full recognition of the MNBC Harvesting Card under the Migratory Birds Convention Act. We believe that by late 2008, MĂŠtis harvesters (with the MNBC Harvesting Card) will be able to hunt ducks, geese and other migratory birds without a federal Migratory Bird Stamp (license). A key goal for the next year is development of a natural resource act. This will enable the ministry to manage natural resources for MNBC citizens and will put in place the legislation needed to transition to MĂŠtis management for MĂŠtis harvesting activities.

MĂŠtis Nation BC Veterans Honour Party

Other goals include development of an MNBC consultation policy, guidelines and framework; the first annual provincewide BCMANR Harvester assembly and cultural days in central B.C.; full development of the Harvester Card registry and management database; implementation of a MĂŠtis community restorative justice program in conjunction with the MNBC Senate and Department of Fisheries and Oceans; continued rights-based and socio-economic arguments towards implementation of the MNBC Harvester Card for all natural resources; further research with the University of British Columbia on the historic presence of MĂŠtis in British Columbia, and the launching of various research and map-

May the joy of the season warm your hearts throughout the New Year 403-233-4000 Ă&#x;ÂŻĂ&#x; TH Ă&#x;!VENUEĂ&#x;37Ă&#x;0/Ă&#x;"OXĂ&#x;Ă&#x;Ă&#x;\Ă&#x;Ă&#x;3TATIONĂ&#x;Âą-²Ă&#x;#ALGARY Ă&#x;!LBERTAĂ&#x;Ă&#x;#ANADAĂ&#x;40Ă&#x;(Ă&#x;Ă&#x;

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


MNBC AGM Highlights

ping tools; documentation of contemporary harvesting activities through a new project with UBC-Okanagan; conducting regional information sessions for the province and B.C. Natural Resource Managers; fully engaging Parks Canada around consultation to new parks or proposed changes to existing federal parks around traditional land use and the inclusiveness of Métis content in park interpretive materials; and conducting a migratory bird monitoring project in cooperation with Canadian Wildlife Service.

Registry - President Bruce Dumont The MNBC Centralized Registry is the “objectively verifiable process” that reinforces a standardized process for the Métis in B.C. and is being implemented consistently across the homeland. In the past year three significant key milestones were reached. Deployment of the new citizenship database in September 2006. The database has state of the art technology for file management, file processing and tracking, including enhanced technical security and data backup features. In addition the database generates real time statistical reports and voters lists.

The Métis Cookbook & Guide to Healthy Living

Two staff were added to handle the increasing volume of work. In July alone, approximately 1,000 letters were sent out. The third milestone was creation of more public awareness tools. The MNBC Citizenship Registry Guidebook was created to provide an in-depth President Bruce Dumont overview of the Registry’s history, to support assistance with the citizenship application process, provide registry contact information and answer frequently asked questions. A 30-second television commercial was developed and run for three weeks in October during Global morning and dinner newscasts to make Métis citizens aware of the application process. In 2006-07 the Registry issued approximately 490 cards. Following a review of serious bottlenecks at the department in Vancouver an action plan was established which resulted in a 300 per cent increase in issuance of cards in the first quarter of 2007-08 compared to the previous year and a decrease in application processing time from 15 months to 10 months. A current challenge is verification of community acceptance for citizenship. There are 244 applications pending verification of community acceptance. Assistance from the Chartered Community would be appreciated.

Call for Recipes!

The Métis Centre at NAHO is collecting new contributions for the second edition of its highly successful Métis Cookbook & Guide to Healthy Living. Please send traditional or contemporary Métis recipes, with stories or photos to the address below. Remember to also include your name, address and phone number (and e-mail address where possible). All photos will be returned to the sender. Send your recipes, stories or photos by December 28, 2007. Métis Centre – Recipe Collections National Aboriginal Health Organization 220 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1200 Ottawa, ON K1P 5Z9

Email: Fax: (613) 237-8707

For more information contact Miranda Dyck @ 1-877-602-4445 ext 518. 70

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

Going forward the Registry recently entered into a partnership with the Indian

MNBC AGM Highlights

Registration and Band Lists Program at Indian and Northern

in our communities and providing women’s programming.

Affairs Canada. This partnership means all MNBC applicants, including card-holding citizens are being screened through the Indian Registry to ensure accountability and transparency.

We have rebuilt our women’s governance committee and recruited many representatives at the community level.

Spring 2008 is the tentative launch date of the MNBC Historical Document database. Métis National Council’s Historical Online Database is currently available on the Internet.

We participated in creating a National Métis Women’s Strategy that was presented to the federal and provincial governments. We have completed our first women’s governance program with the Department of Canadian Heritage and are continuing to build this relationship.

The Registry is committed to a target of 4,000 cards issued by January 2008 and have already completed approximately 2,500 citizenship cards.

The MNBC is striving to offer a holistic approach to closing socio-economic gaps for Métis citizens in this province; Métis women have roles to play in every aspect of this plan.

Sports, Housing, Justice Minister Frazer MacDonald

We engaged in honest communications and found Métis women want more opportunities to access culture, language and traditional knowledge; are interested in accessing programs that include self-esteem building, managing anger, improving self confidence and address issues of violence and racism in our communities; are interested in exploring historical and contemporary reasons for challenges faced by Métis women; and are interested in grant and proposal writing workshops, business communications, facilitation training and economic development workshops.

The Sports Ministry continues to be developed in response to major events planning to be hosted in British Columbia — 2008 North American Indigenous Games and 2010 Olympics/Paralympics. MNBC has reached an agreement with VANOC (Vancouver Organizing Committee) and the Four Host Nations that includes commitments to work together on communications, sport and youth, heritage and culture, economic development, plus a number of other opportunities. The Housing Ministry was established to negotiate funds, enhance housing capacity and develop new programs. The ministry has been designed to assist Métis homeowner applicants in applying for current RRAP and HASI programs. It will develop an apprenticeship plan to train Métis in construction crafts and will lobby government aboriginal housing budget and programs for Métis specific allocations. There continues to be progress with the province and its willingness to discuss and learn about the Métis and our specific needs and challenges and look forward to addressing housing issues in the Métis Relationship Accord. Justice - MNBC is currently running a 27-month pilot project called Positive Transition of Métis Offenders (PTMO). The PTMO works with Métis people who are currently incarcerated and preparing to be released back into society to ensure a person successfully transitions. The project works with offenders to overcome barriers that prevent success.

The goals and objectives of these women are ambitious and we have been charged with a substantial task in helping to find resources to bring this programming to regional and community women. We have begun to create positive partnerships with federal programs like the Aboriginal Women’s program of Canadian Heritage and the Stopping the Violence program led by the provincial Ministry of Community Services. We will continue to explore sources of funding to expand the number of Métis women who are able to access programming and services that meet their needs.

In 2006-07 the program supported 59 Métis clients including 37 who have returned to the community and five who have returned to an institution.

Women - Minister Rose Bortolon The ministry is charted with supporting women’s governance, Métis women’s representation within our nation and

Maddie McCallum performs for AGM Opening Ceremony

Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


A Canadian Legend


expected, the fall of ’84 has come in with a fury. There has been an early frost that has only served to further cool our spirits. Many of the crops have been lost and we are fearful that the animals feed will be depleted long before spring arrives. However, the root vegetables – turnip, potatoes and such- were saved and the cabbage does well with a good frost. We also have a substantial stock of salted pork and dried fish. The children work or play, enjoy their usual games and adventures, while their elders –now that Monsieur Riel is amongst us- huddle in small inert clusters and count the waiting-moments amidst this atmosphere of political uncertainty. Unable to sit still, John James, Papa Primeau, Patrice Fluery, and several others have headed north to work their trap lines near Montreal Lake. They are expecting to trade the furs for some flour, tea, salt and sugar. Also, any fresh meat will help fill the stew pot. The children set snares and occasionally bring home a rabbit or a prairie chicken since the snow has fallen. Wonder of wonders, we eat well tonight. I was in the yard today showing Arthur the fast way to skin a Prairie Chicken ( stomp on the hind end and the breast will break away, then you can just pull back the skin, feathers and all.) As I stood up I spied a large, mangy, cat prowling just within the tree line. I am sure that he was emboldened by both the smell of fresh blood and by his hunger, but by the Mother Mary I was emboldened by the threat to my young ones. I grabbed my rifle -the children knew to stay still- and took careful aim and ‘Holy Mother’ with a final snarl the cougar leaped into the air and fell dead. Louisa and my boys were very excited as we approached the big cat; the little


Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08

ones, Charlotte and Joe would only peer curiously from a safe distance. After bleeding and gutting my kill, I retrieved the heart and liver for supper and milk-soaked the kidneys for breakfast. We have hung the carcass in the barn and will butcher it this evening. This sinewy old cat meat is going to require strong teeth, but I am sure our family and friends will be pleased with the offering none the less. With only nine days left until the Christmas Evening Mass, Monsieur Riel has contacted Prime Minister McDonald on our behalf; thus far there has been no reply. However, we follow Riel’s leadership and as he assures us, “These things take time.” God be praised, our men have returned just in time for the Christmas observances bearing all manner of goods. There are parcels of flannel cloths, salt, sugar, some rock-candy for the youngsters and a couple of little brown jugs of spirits. Despite our current uncertainties our holy day festive traditions must prevail. Early today all the men of our community have began to primp their horse and sledges. They apply bells to jingle, tassels to sway, and fancy embroidered finery to impress. The men will dress in their best “soft shoes” (moccasins), colourful flannel shirts, and ripped corduroy britches. They will then put on their wool capes (capotes) fastened soundly with their best arrow sashes, pull on their finely beaded and fringed gauntlets (gloves) and gaiters (leggings) and step forward to be admired. While inside the houses women are arranging their long dresses, scarves and winter capes. They will wear mittens and head shawls which they have knitted. The children, being only smaller versions of their parents, dress appropriately according to sex, age, social status, and financial means. We will

Part 6, by Leanne Laberge all heat many large stones to warm the feet beneath our Buffalo robes. The boys go about their usual chores, but with added care, for they know that we shall not be returning home until far past midnight New Years Eve is approaching with still no word from Prime Minister MacDonald. We will not allow our spirits to be dampened. I have decided to make a large Tourtiere (meat pie) and a good amount of Poutine Glissantes (dumpling pudding) as our supply of molasses and dried fruit are plentiful and our men have brought us home much fresh-frozen meat to share. I know that other women will be preparing pots of Avrignoles (pork meatballs), breads and cakes. This year’s celebration is bound to be a joyous one indeed. My mama complained of great fatigue upon our return home last night and this morning Papa has awakened us with the news that Mama had gone on to live with our Lord. “Your mama lived a difficult life my girl”, Papa gasped between sobs, “and she has been my strength. May she be at peace this day and not have to suffer the fate of all other Métis!” “Hush now Papa,” I say, wanting to scream myself, “Mama was well past her sixtieth year…she was growing weary.” I pull on my winter wear and call back to John James, “See to these children John James…I must honour my mother’s journey.” Although obviously taken aback, John James calls the children down to breakfast. It is a short walk to my parent’s home, but the distance ways heavily upon me today. What did I not say to my mother? Who will I ask when I need advice? My life will never be the same again.

Marie Primeau I hear my mama say, this is not a time for YOU. This is a time for others. Your Dear Papa will be lost…do not let him down. You are the only girl, you are the only strength. Farewell my girl… I go now… “Mama!” I holler as I approach her bed. But she is silent and she will not speak again. I wash her body and cloth her. The Priest will come, blessed the body and the house, and arranged for the funeral. But my Mama’s ways were Cree ways and her ways are also mine, so I begin the three day vigil of her body. Other Cree women come to help me keep the evil spirits away from mama should I slumber. I sleep little, eat nothing, and cut my long braid in sorrow. My mama’s ways are mine and I am proud to have been her daughter. Later, Monsieur Riel is said to have stated, “We must respect and honour our maternal ancestors.” I pray the day will never come when we do not do so. With spring has come an overwhelming sadness for most, a sense of resignation to some, and unbridled anger in many. The Canadians still refuse to deal fairly with us. The clergy tends to side with the Canadians even though we have been nothing if not respectful and courteous to them. We attend services regularly and give all that we can. I suppose they oppose the taking up of arms that has been openly discussed of late. But people may only be pushed so far. My Papa’s sorrow has turned to anger and he rants of new governments and Riel as our religious leader. If the multitude is of the same mind as Papa the clergy certainly has good cause for concern.

A Canadian Legend A Canadian Legend

I tend to believe the Willow Cree of Beardy’s, for they have no reason to lie. They say that old Assiyiwin, a half-blind elder with many an old battle behind him, was walking his horse home from visiting in Duck Lake. In town he had heard of the planned hostilities, but when cautioned by Joe McKay to turn back he refused. “You are on Beardy’s Reserve land here. I am not the one to be turning back. I am going to my camp.” Assiyiwin countered moving forward.

Part 6 in a 12 part series.

With that McKay threw his coat at the old man’s feet saying, “If you step over this coat I will shoot you.” “I am going home.” Assiyiwin stated, as he picked up the coat and returned it to McKay. It was then that McKay pulled the trigger and old Assiyiwin grabbed his stomach. My brother’s wife –a Beardy’s women- says that the old brave lived until the next morning in silent agony. “Thirty of our men stood beside our Métis brothers,” my sister-in-law added, “we have been starving for years…but old Assiyiwin was no longer a warrior…his time was the past.” One set of troubles has lead us to another and we are now at war. My Papa has gone to Batoche to be with his friend Patrice Fluery. We wait at home, fearing the worst and praying for the best outcome. Word has reached us that soldiers with cannons have arrived on our lands. I fear our lives will never be the same again.

The furor started on the Duck Lake road where it cuts across a corner of the Beardy’s Reserve. Almost everyone tells a different story, but as John James says, “The best tale creates the strongest legend.” Whispering Winds - Winter 2007/08


Métis Christmas Recipes Submitted by Leanne Laberge

Poutine Glissantes

Really good with cold milk or cream on top. Line large fat drippings pan with dried berries or fruit. Mix: 2 cups Flour 1 tblsp. Baking Powder ½ tsp. Salt 3 tblsp. Fat (butter) ¾ cups Milk 2 cups Water Then drop by tablespoon full into pan of fat drippings. Next: Pour 2 cups of Roger’s or Maple syrup or molasses over all and bake. 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

Avrignoles 2 pieces of Bread 1 lb.. Ground pork 1 Egg 1 tsp. Salt 1/3 cup Milk Season with wild onions /or black pepper In large bowl cover torn up bread with milk and mix. Add: pork, egg, salt and seasoning and mix well. Form into small balls and fry in fat until meatballs are brown. To make a gravy just add cold water with some flour to the fry pan and cook. A More Modern Recipe.

Extremely Quick West-Coast Clam Patties by Two’s Warning: these can be addicting!

Open and drain: 2 tin clams (fresh is also fine), saving juice in a large bowl. To that bowl add: 2 cups Regular Pancake mix 2 tsp. Lemon Juice 2 cups Milk/Water After mixing well add the drained clans and stir. Cook in about 2” of cooking oil, drain on paper towel and eat.

Season’s Greetings from Whispering Winds publishers, Noel Mineault & Diane Ellis

All the best to you and your families for the upcoming season and Happy New Year! Special thanks to: Lynn Laustrup, Designer, Creative Concepts Steve Dills, Editorial Technician Harrison Baker, Sales Leanne LaBerge, Contributor & Children’s Editor Ron Nunn, Contributor Kim Hayek, Contributor Maureen Shaughnessy, Photographer Philippe Doré, MNBC / Whispering Winds Liaison

Light the way for generations.

Your passion lies in making a difference. By moving beyond the expected, you help make our world a better place. These are values we respect and seek out in employees. As the demand for electricity grows, so does our need for more bright minds to join our team. Together, we can build our community, foster conservation and deliver clean, reliable energy solutions for today, tomorrow and generations to come.

Learn more about BC Hydro career opportunities. Visit our website to fill out an online application and use our online features to help with your job search. • Apply for current opportunities • Create and receive job alert emails • Submit an application for future opportunities • Check out student and new grad opportunities BC Hydro offers exciting and diverse career opportunities from apprentice programs to senior-level positions. We are looking for people who understand that we’re here for the future of our province, and who want to share in continuing to build an environmentally and socially responsible company.

We have opportunities in: • Skilled Trades

• Legal

• Technologist & Technician

• Management

• Finance & Accounting

• Marketing & Communications

• Human Resources

• Engineering

• Environment

• Marketing & Sales

• Administration

• Regulatory

• Communication Once you've successfully applied online, forward the recruiter message email to Visit the Community Investment page on our website at for on information scholarships, donations and sponsorships. BC Hydro is an equal opportunity employer.

Winter 2007  
Winter 2007  

Métis and Aboriginal culture and news.