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Parliamentary Secretary Cathy McLeod Announces Support for Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia, August 30, 2013 – On behalf of the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Cathy McLeod, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament (Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo), today announced support for three projects of the Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society.

“Our Government is proud to support organizations, like the Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society, that help Aboriginal people prosper while strenghthening their cultural identity,” said Parliamentary Secretary McLeod. “With the support announced today, we are helping ensure that Métis culture in the Thompson–Nicola Regional District is preserved and protected for years to come.”

With this funding, the Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society will offer a six-day immersion excursion for youth that will provide seven hours of Michif instruction per day through cultural activities. The Society will also build on its previous Michif Language and Jigging Program and provide 24 three-hour language classes. These classes will each include a 30-minute traditional jigging segment that will expose participants to the language, as well as traditional music and songs.

From November 9 to November 17, 2013, the Society will also present the 8th edition of the Honouring Louis Riel, His Legacy & Our Michif Culture Festival. Activities include musical, artistic, and historical performances that will showcase local artists and celebrate Métis culture.

Funding will also support the Healing Through Our Michif Ways project. The Society will work with 43 Aboriginal women to offer a series of information sessions on family violence and prevention. Activities include talking circles, traditional ceremonies, and moccasin-making and beading sessions. The women will also be also offered jigging sessions to strenghthen their cultural identity.

“Our Government recognizes the important role organizations like Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society play in promoting Métis heritage,” said Minister Glover. “It is truly great to partner with an organization that is focused on providing important services to the Métis people in Kamloops and surrounding communities.”

“On behalf of our Board of Directors and team, I wish to express our gratitude for this generous funding we have received from Canadian Heritage. This funding will support our continued efforts to encourage within Métis children, youth, and families a sense of pride and belonging to their community and cultural identity as Métis people,” said Colleen Lucier, Executive Director. “A sense of belonging is considered to be a powerful protective factor and core to one’s healing. By creating opportunities for Métis people to gather, learn about their history, and engage in their traditional Michif language, music and dance, we will contribute to healing. We are so honoured to be part of this important process.”

Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society is a non-profit Aboriginal organization that serves the local Métis community in Kamloops. The Society offers a variety of programs and service resources for the Métis community, including family support, infant and early childhood development, and community care.

The Government of Canada has provided total funding of $75,028 through the following programs of the Department of Canadian Heritage: the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program and the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI), and Aboriginal Women’s Programming Element (AWPE) of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Program.

For more information about the projects, see the attached backgrounder.

For more information (media only), please contact:

Marisa Monnin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
819-997-7788
[email protected]

Anna Gravelle
A/Regional Manager
Communications
Western Region
Canadian Heritage
604-666-6504

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
[email protected]

—–

BACKGROUNDER

Today’s announcement includes the following projects:

Aboriginal Peoples’ Program: Aboriginal Women’s Programming Element (AWPE)

This program supports Aboriginal women’s projects addressing issues affecting them and their families and strengthening their cultural identity and traditions. The Program supports community-based culturally appropriate approaches to addressing the issue of family and related violence.

City Organization Project Funding and Year
Kamloops Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society Healing Through Michif Ways $30,720
(2013–2014)
  TOTAL: $30,720

 

Aboriginal Peoples’ Program: Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI)

The objective of ALI is to encourage and support community-based language projects that contribute to the revitalization and preservation of Aboriginal languages and increase their use in community settings.

City Organization Project Funding and Year
Kamloops Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society Lii Michif and Lii Danse Equals Fun Part II $40,708
(2013–2014)
  TOTAL: $40,708

 

Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage

This program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage.

City Organization Project Funding and Year
Kamloops Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society Honouring Louis Riel, His Legacy & Our Michif Culture $3,600
(2013–2014)

 

  TOTAL: $3,600

 

GRAND TOTAL, ALL PROGRAMS: $75,028

NT5