There is talk of the implementation of a new Metis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) Culture and Language Institute. Three information gathering sessions were hosted by MNBC’s Ministry of Culture, Heritage and Language.
The community engagement sessions occurred on Sept. 27, Oct. 4, and Oct. 5 via Zoom to discuss the potential of the Institute, as well as what members would like the vision and focus to be. A total of 54 community members across the province participated in the sessions, voting on a variety of ideas and options at hand. Ted Silberberg of Lord Cultural Resources facilitated the voting process.
The results yielded showed that 81 per cent of participants believed the Institute should be made a priority for MNBC. The majority (48 per cent) also said that, should the Institute be made a reality, the focus should be on creating “a place for Métis culture and language education programs (both online and offline),” but should have “no exhibitions at the headquarters itself.”
Respondents were also asked about what their priority would be surrounding Métis-focused culture and language programs. In which, the top three answers were “artisan classes (moccasins, beading, and finger weaving), language circles and courses (all ages), and land-based language immersion classes.”
The implementation of MNBC Culture and Language Institute would have a Métis museum open to the public, with the option of smaller, travelling exhibitions and programs to Métis Chartered Communities. According to 63 percent of participants, that is “extremely important.”
Avery Cole, Coordinator of the MNBC Ministry of Culture, Heritage and Language, said, “Lord Cultural Resources found the engagements very insightful and will be taking your feedback into account as they develop recommendations for the Métis Culture and Language Institute business plan.”
Haley Grinder, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer