Berens River First Nation and the Government of Canada launch Chief Elsie Bouchie Cultural Camp to revitalize Anishinaabe culture

Press Release

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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December 5, 2022 — Berens River First Nation, Berens River, MB— Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, leaders from the Berens River First Nation and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, launched the Chief Elsie Bouchie Cultural Camp. The Government of Canada will provide $2.85 million towards the camp through the Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program.

The Chief Elsie Bouchie Cultural Camp is named in honour of Berens River First Nation’s first female Chief who served her community in many roles—from cook to band councillor. Anishinaabe thought, practices and ways of being will be at the core of the camp’s approach to supporting women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people on their journey as they restore, reclaim and strengthen their identity. The camp’s programs will be based on principles of safety, fairness, and inclusiveness to create a living legacy that builds community health and well-being.

Investing in cultural spaces is crucial to addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals. This transformative program will also support Indigenous Peoples in reclaiming their identity as part of their journey towards self-determination, which is a crucial step in advancing reconciliation and building relationships with Indigenous Peoples, governments, and all Canadians.

Quotes

“As our community continues to grow, it is crucial to have the infrastructure in place to be able to gather as a community for recreational, social and cultural opportunities. Our members must have access to a safe environment that fosters healing, sharing, and reconciliation at all levels. The Chief Elsie Bouchie Cultural Camp will ensure the infrastructure needed for a healing journey that is reliable and safe, allows us to stay connected, and supports our members dealing with missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people. This important project will ensure the longevity of Berens River First Nation and will foster a vibrant and thriving community for years to come. Thank you to the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, for your partnership and support.”

Chief Norman McKay
Berens River First Nation

“Culture is a powerful tool that can transform lives and uplift people. Our government will continue to support the construction of projects like the Chief Elsie Bouchie Cultural Camp, where women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people will be able to experience the life-changing effects of immersing themselves in their culture. I would like to congratulate the leadership and members of the Berens River First Nation on this important initiative.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada continues to work with provinces, territories, Indigenous organizations, families, Survivors and communities across the country to make progress on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQI+ People National Action Plan.
  • Budget 2021 invested $108.8 million over two years for the Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program. This investment is part of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQI+ People, the Government of Canada’s contribution to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQI+ People National Action Plan and supports the response to Call for Justice 2.3.
  • The National Action Plan was co-developed by
    • the National Family and Survivor Circle
    • representatives of First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Indigenous grassroots organizations
    • Indigenous, provincial and territorial governments
    • Indigenous urban and 2SLGBTQI+ leaders.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Aïssatou Diop
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
[email protected]

CIRNAC Media Relations:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 819-934-2302

Councillor Glen Boulanger
Berens River First Nation
Phone: 204-619-4616

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