There are nearly 70,000 Métis people in British Columbia and making sure that Métis youth have a strong voice is an important part of Métis Nation B.C.’s (MNBC) work to create a proud, self-governing, sustainable nation.
“It’s really important that our voices as youth are heard,” said Cassidy Caron, MNBC’s Minister of Youth. “We have so many dynamic Métis youth leaders within our nation who have tremendous skills and knowledge they can share and we want to give them every opportunity.”
Colette Trudeau, director at MNBC Ministry of Youth, is excited by the energy and drive of today’s Métis youth, with so many reclaiming their heritage. “Métis culture has been supressed for a long time,” Trudeau said. “Many families kept their heritage a secret from their children, so to see Métis youth embracing their culture and working together is giving them a real sense of belonging. It’s also empowering them to work with other Indigenous youth groups in a positive and respectful way, which has to be a positive thing for the future of Indigenous people in British Columbia.”
MNBC’s Ministry of Youth is a purely volunteer-driven governing body with a mandate to advocate for Métis youth at both the provincial and federal level.
As well as providing a youth governance structure, MNBC’s Ministry of Youth also supports training programs such as the Métis Youth Industry Training (MY-IT), which helps increase awareness of trades training options. The ministry also encourages the celebration of Métis youth through its Youth Role Model Campaign.
Métis youth in British Columbia are also making their voice heard at a national level through MNBC president Clara Morin Dal Col, who is also the national Minister for Youth on the Métis National Council.
“Youth are our future, they are the people we are entrusting to keep Métis heritage and culture alive and vibrant,” said Morin Dal Col. “We need to educate people across British Columbia and Canada about who the Métis are, and it is wonderful to witness the enthusiasm of our youth to get that message across in communities across our nation.”
Métis Nation B.C.: www.mnbc.ca/
Sharon PocockMinistry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation