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MNBC Announces $2.75 Million for Culturally Appropriate Health Programs

Press Release

As part of a continued commitment to supporting a healthy Métis Nation in B.C., Métis Nation BC (MNBC) has pledged $2.75 million of the current 2021/2022 operational budget to support the programs offered by the Ministries of Health and Mental Health & Addictions.

This investment in the Ministries of Health and Mental Health & Addictions honours the need for more culturally appropriate health care that uplifts Métis people throughout the province. Much of the funding has been allocated to increasing availability of culturally safe mental health support in various forms, including Métis-led counselling initiatives. The dedicated health funding has been distributed as follows:

  • $100,000 towards the cessation of tobacco use and vaping through utilizing BC Lung and Quit Now resources to develop Métis-specific programs for education of the effects of tobacco use and vaping.
  • $125,000 to Métis Youth Connections, a counselling partnership between Métis Nation BC and Lii Michif Optimeisiwak, a Kamloops-based Métis specific mental health program.
  • $300,000 towards Métis Counselling Connections with the intention of providing 10 free counselling sessions to Métis adults with a focus on cultural sensitivity. The funding will also go towards supporting CMHA’s Living Life to the Full program which trains Métis to be facilitators for community counselling sessions.
  • $50,000 to producing a report on the Métis Public Health Surveillance Program, including recommendations and targets for the health of Métis citizens from a public health lens.

The budget also allows the Ministry of Health to work on an information sharing agreement with the Provincial Health Services Authority to help tackle the opioid crisis, while also sharing data with local health authorities related to Métis vaccination clinics and MNBC’s COVID-19 portal.

Elders are also a focus of the Ministry of Health over the next two years, with a proposed plan to develop monthly COVID-19 Elder zoom meetings and an Elder’s advisory group for mental wellness planning.

“We are very excited about the ability given to us by the new budget to promote and improve Métis metal heath and general wellness across all age groups, from Elders through to youth,” said Paulette Flamond, MNBC Minister of Health. “The health of our citizens is very important to us and we are excited about the programs we have developed using the funding to continue supporting a healthy Métis Nation in B.C.”

“Investing in the health of Métis citizens through food security, cultural activities and Elder mentoring is an investment in the wellness of our communities,” said Jacqueline Alderking, President of the Fort St. John Métis Society. “Healthy communities lay the foundation for Métis people to thrive.”

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