A Kamloops Métis family services agency is engaging community elders to make sure kids who need help connect with their culture.
“You cannot move forward if you do not know where you’ve come from,” said Peter Hourie, vice-president of the Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services board of directors.
The agency launched a program called “voices of the Michif elders” this month to ensure that children’s safety and family services maintain Métis values, traditions and honour.
“Our Métis elders are our teachers who will guide us in transforming services and help us accomplish this goal,” said Colleen Lucier, executive director.
In October 2012, the agency began the process of taking over child protection services for Métis youth and families in Kamloops from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
“Restoring the responsibility for the care and well being of our children is a vision that has long been desired by our people and one that we are fully committed to achieving and achieving well,” said Lucier.
Inspired by Michif Elder Dave Barron, the Michif elders will provide mentorship to social work practice, facilitate respectful resolution to conflict and serve as cultural advisors.