March 22, 2019, Ottawa, ON – The Government of Canada has announced capacity funds to Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak – Women of the Métis Nation. The funding from The Department for Women and Gender Equality is for $250,000 over 3 years for a total of $750,000. It will assist Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak to develop human resource capacity to support initiatives of importance identified by Métis women specifically in the areas of governance and community participation.
This funding will provide much needed capacity to support the organization’s mandate which is to ensure that Métis women from across the Métis homeland are safe, connected, and empowered. It will also go towards engagement to link Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak with other Métis and Canadian organizations. The goal is to help create the conditions for strong Métis female participation throughout the Métis Nation to help build healthy, vibrant and productive communities.
Funding will go towards advancing Métis women into leadership roles in their communities, as well in positions of governance. An aim of the project is to raise the profile and voice of Métis women in areas where they can effect change like School Boards, Municipal Governance, and committees in Métis and mainstream governments.
“This funding is much needed for Métis women across the Métis Nation. It is part of a $100 million commitment to women’s issues across Canada. We are pleased to be recognized as a leader in our community”, says Melanie Omehiho, President of Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak – Women of the Métis Nation. “This funding will assist our goal which is to help Métis women overcome barriers that many do not realize exist. Giving Métis women the skills and confidence to join the public conservation and participate thoroughly, through a strong female Métis lens and proper skills training, is our number one priority. I would like to thank Minister Monsef for her commitment to this work.’
“Our government is committed to investing in women’s organizations, and Indigenous organizations serving women, because we know it is the most effective way to advance gender equality”, says Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Minister of International Development. “We are happy to announce stable and flexible funding to help the Women of the Métis Nation build capacity so they can grow and continue being a strong voice for Métis women across the country.”
“Congratulations to the women of the Métis Nation for their on-going advocacy” adds Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown – Indigenous Relations. “The Government of Canada is proud to work with you to advance the needs of Métis women from coast to coast to coast. We know that when women are seen and heard, they use their voices to the benefit of their families and entire communities.”
Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak – Women of the Métis Nation member organizations include women representation from the five Métis homeland provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. Through strategic planning, advocacy, enhancing internal operations through governance training and building and improving networks, our capacity to advance equality between Métis women and men, and Metis women and Canadian society will improve outcomes in the economic, social and democratic life of Metis women.
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For more information contact:
Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak – Women of the Métis Nation
Department for Women and Gender Equality
Office of Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations