Métis women in British Columbia are better positioned to become community leaders with federal funding of almost $ 200,000.
On Thursday, March 28, the Department for Women and Gender Equality announced that the Métis Women of British Columbia will receive $ 198,190 for the Métis Women BC Provincial Council. The money is part of Ottawa’s larger investment of $ 5.3 million for 14 organizations serving women and Indigenous peoples in the Lower Mainland.
“Women’s organizations provide vital support to our communities, helping women and girls to be financially secure, free from violence and able to fully participate in all aspects of our economy and society,” the federal government said in a press release. “Yet for too long they have been chronically underfunded, underestimated and undermined. “
Colette Trudeau, director of operations for the Métis Nation of British Columbia in Cloverdale, told the Journalist the money will be used to “make the voice of Métis women heard” by ensuring that Métis women are included and have a say in political and government changes at the MNBC.
“It’s really focused on improving the knowledge and understanding of governance, their role as leaders and politicians, and what they can do to influence change in British Columbia, then back to there. ‘nationwide as well,’ Trudeau told the press conference. Journalist.
“A lot of times these women are elected into their roles, but they’re not given information about their roles and responsibilities, and what we’re really trying to do is provide them with those skills and knowledge, so that ‘across the province we have a number of Métis leaders who understand their role and can really make their voices heard.
Although limited, the funding is a good start for the 39 Métis charter communities in British Columbia, she said.
“We’ve never received funding to really support our governance of Métis women in this way, so anything helps,” she added.
Work on the project has already started, she said, and includes webinars and live workshops, but the organization will also consider hosting provincial gatherings to expand women’s skills during the year. .
Additionally, Trudeau noted that it is particularly important to draw attention to the violence faced by Métis women and girls, an aspect that can be overlooked as much of the conversation tends to be centered on women and girls. First Nations.
“If we have the capacity to build our leadership capacity among Métis women, the sky is the limit,” Trudeau added.
“There are so many opportunities to help influence Indigenous women, programs and services, and I think by building capacity and cultural confidence, and standing up for our Métis women, we’re going to see a lot of Truly formidable opportunities where Métis women will no longer be hidden or forgotten.
One project already underway to build the capacity of Métis women and girls is the Sashing Our Warriors campaign run by the Métis Youth British Columbia and Métis Women British Columbia committees, Trudeau said.
According to the campaign preview, the scarves are an “integral and highly symbolic aspect of Métis identity” and a tangible means of expressing and preserving it. The colors of the warrior belt – magenta, pink, black and white – represent, among other things, the promise to protect and nurture women and to take a stand to prevent violence.
Although not tied to federal funding, the project aims to educate and raise awareness about violence prevention. As part of the campaign, a survey recorded the stories of nearly 400 women who have experienced violence. The final report of the investigation will be released soon, Trudeau said.