An aboriginal group based in Fernie believes new provincial funding could help Metis connect with their culture.
The Elk Valley Metis Association received three thousand dollars, part of the $224,000 announced Thursday for the Organizing Against Racism and Hate Program.
President Jean Sulzer says having events showcasing their heritage could help people understand their identity.
“A lot of Metis people that have lived here have been told by their grandparents not to identify,” Sulzer says. “They are learning about it in schools now, the students are learning and it is time for people to be able to say openly that they are of aboriginal heritage.”
Sulzer says there are about 300 students in local schools who identify themselves as Metis.
She hopes kids in the region can celebrate their culture and history through their efforts.
“Its an ongoing process of learning about your heritage, what we have in common and identifying with the culture and the people who live here,” Sulzer says.
Sulzer adds their long-term goal is to establish an Elk Valley friendship center.
She says there isn’t a specific office for aboriginal people and residents are isolated from available groups in Cranbrook.
– Jean Sulzer, Elk Valley Metis Association President