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Funding Supports Métis Violence Prevention Program

by NationTalk on April 22, 2008485 Views

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2008CS0063-000578
April 21, 2008

Ministry of Community Services

VICTORIA – The Métis Nation British Columbia and Métis Women’s Secretariat-BC will receive over $137,500 in funding to support violence against women prevention activities, which includes engaging Métis men and boys in prevention of violence against women and girls, announced Ida Chong, Minister of Community Services and Minister responsible for Seniors’ and Women’s Issues.“This is the first Métis-specific violence against women prevention initiative ever in B.C.,” said Chong, during Prevention of Violence Against Women Week. “By engaging men and boys, we can help create the change needed to stop violence against women and girls. This project is an excellent example of this government’s continuing commitment to a new relationship with First Nation and Aboriginal people, based on respect, recognition and reconciliation.”

The violence prevention initiative consists of three components: an awareness campaign targeting Métis men and boys; a Métis-specific violence prevention symposium; and the launch of the awareness campaign, including education materials, with community consultation across the province. The symposium is called Sihtoskâtowin, a Michif/Cree word meaning “coming together in unity,” and is the first of its kind in Canada. The symposium will take place in Richmond in June 2008. Feedback from the community consultations will be used to create permanent Métis Nation British Columbia violence against Métis women and girls prevention programming.

“This project represents the beginning of Métis Nation British Columbia’s five-year plan to implement violence prevention programming,” said Victoria Pruden, director of Women for the Métis Nation British Columbia. “It will provide a voice for Métis women who have not had the space to dialogue about family violence, acknowledge historic and present-day violence in our communities, and address that violence through prevention initiatives that are specifically for Métis people.”

“We need to start out gently,” said Elder Phillip Gladue, Métis Nation British Columbia. “Our Nation has not yet begun to bring these issues out into the light. We need to do this; we need to begin our healing. By focusing on cultural and family values, we will get the people involved.”

According to 2006 census, British Columbia is home to the fourth largest Métis population in Canada with 15 per cent of the total Métis population in the country and 30 per cent of the Aboriginal population in B.C.

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Media contact:

Marc Black
Ministry of Community Services
250 387-4089

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