Reducing Barriers & Empowering Métis Youth
A new website designed to empower those Métis youth making the move to bigger centres, is proving to be a social safety net that can be cast Canada-wide.
“Métis youth face many barriers when transitioning to a new city,” explains project coordinator Kelly Davison, adding “this tool was developed with those people in mind. It’s something they can access anywhere, find important information with, and that will give them a bit of a boost.”
According to MyVoyageur.ca , “the mission is to reduce the barriers that Métis youth face through an easy-to-access tool that provides them with tangible and reliable information about the communities in which they live, or into which they transition, by focusing on the agencies that provide specific programs for Aboriginal people and youth.”
Funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, and managed by the B.C. Métis Federation (BCMF), MyVoyageur.ca “holds a lot of potential to empower Métis (and other) youth to find healthy and meaningful support groups in the B.C. communities that they move to, and to participate more quickly in the local economy.”
Though still relatively new with the primary purpose of supporting the successful transition form rural to urban life in the five major B.C. centres of Prince George, Vancouver (and area), Victoria, Kamloops, and Kelowna, the vision of BCMF and the developers of MyVoyager.ca, “is that the knowledge gained through the development and use of MyVoyager.ca can be applied to all provinces in Canada for the benefit of Métis youth.”
MyVoyageur, says Davison, was designed by Métis people, for Métis youth, “but can really be used by anyone. Nurses, physicians, social workers, helping agencies… anyone who might be working with community agencies to provide help.
“My hope,” he says, “is that the benefits of this project are realized in B.C. quickly so that we can build on this tool and include resources in other provinces and territories.
“It has been such an honour to engage with and hear from Métis youth for this project,” says Davison. “They are the future of Métis people. They are strong and they are resilient.”