Métis Commission for Children and Families of BC
"Advancing transformative change for the well-being of Métis children, youth and families"
Keith Henry and the Métis Commission are pleased to announce and welcome
5 new additions to our Board:
Having grown up throughout the unceded territories of the Tsimpshian, Coast Salish and now the Secwepemc peoples, I have been blessed to experience the diversity of cultural traditions which exist among First Nation, Inuit and Métis people. As a Métis woman, I am driven to use my knowledge, experience and voice in order to highlight the importance of reconnecting and maintaining Métis children and families with their culture. I have experienced first-hand the disconnection of family and culture, and because of this I greatly value connection and the celebration of one’s cultural identity. I believe very strongly that Métis people must have a connection to their cultural roots and communities in order to foster healthy community and family connections.
As a social worker, I have worked with women and children fleeing abuse, with individuals experiencing struggles with mental health and substance use, and with people who have been involved with the criminal justice system. I believe that all of these issues are connected. Over the past seventeen years I have argued for the elimination of discrimination of not only our people, but for all oppressed people.
I am a granddaughter, daughter, sister, mother, aunty, niece and cousin. I value family, and wish that mine wasn’t spread so widely, so that we could spend some more time together. I love nature and try to be outside as often as possible. I love to both watch and take part in traditional ceremonies and celebrations. I am thankful for all of the gifts that Gitche Manitou has given me, because they allow me to help others.
Ferne is proud, passionate Métis woman who has spent her adult life helping others. She has a Master’s of Social Work Degree and has worked in many areas of community service. Currently she works as a Child and Youth Mental Health clinician, as well as owning/operating a private counselling practice. Ferne also spent 6 years as a guardianship social worker in an urban Aboriginal agency and has volunteered at countless non-profit agencies over the years.
Ferne is the mother to 9 children, 8 of whom were adopted from the foster care system. As a result, she thoroughly understands the needs and barriers children in foster care face, including the right of Métis children to have their cultural needs met.
Richard Nault was born in Edmonton, Alberta and is the fourth youngest in a family of seven children. Richard married Cathy Folk of Surrey, BC in 1986 before moving to his current home in Prince George, BC. Richard and Cathy have six adult children and currently five foster children residing at home. They have been fostering for over 17 years and Richard is presently the President of The Northern Interior Métis Cultural Society and a Director with Kikino Métis Children and Family Services Society. Richard devotes his life to the betterment of children and families.
Sherry was born in Kamloops BC and has lived most of her life there.
Her father is German/English descent and her mother is French/Cree from Northern Alberta.
Sherry has served on the board of Two Rivers Métis Society, Métis Nation of BC (Women’s Representative for Region 3 Thompson Okanagan) and most recently of Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services as a director and Board President. She is currently a director of Strengthening Métis Women Development Association.
She has participated in team meetings; attended workshops for Signs of Safety; participated in meeting with the Ministry of Children and Family Development as well as meeting with other Métis Family Service Agencies.
She also took part in the Truth and Reconciliation information groups and the training for Touch Stones with MCFD.
Sherry held the position of the Women’s Representative for MNBC for Region 3 Thompson Okanagan from 2009 to 2012. This is an elected /volunteer position. As a member of a group of Métis Women’s Reps in BC (6)
They completed the Métis Women’s Act; Policies and Procedures; and as part of the National Métis Women of Canada (5 provinces represented) they participated in the development of By Laws to incorporate under the Society’s Act as a National organization.
For several years Sherry ran a home based business and sat as a director for the Chase Chamber of Commerce and is now employed by Interior Health.
She is passionate about her Culture and she has a strong and proven Commitment to her family and her Métis Community.
I possess a deep and vested interest in supporting Métis children & families across our province. This interest developed through personal and professional experiences and compels me to join the work of MCCF now. From a professional perspective, I am a Registered Social Worker with experience in working with remote Aboriginal communities, medical and non-profit environments. I am privileged to have engaged with a variety of Aboriginal groups (including Métis Child & Family Services), working collaboratively to preserve and strengthen the most valuable components of these groups-culture/language/identity. I believe that culture and language are crucial to the preservation and reclamation of our identity as Métis people and an invaluable resource for our children & families to draw upon-especially when faced with challenges.
I know from personal experience, the realities of being a child-in-care and how fragile one’s sense of identity can become. Our culture and knowing oneself is as important (if not more so) as any other form of sustenance we may depend upon. While we have made significant and notable strides in acknowledging the importance of language, culture, relations and how this impacts identity, I believe we have much more work to do. I am confident that together, and through MCCF, we have the ability to influence an entire new generation of Métis children and families, creating strong, confident and proud Métis for generations to come.
I look forward to our work together and all the wonderful change it will bring.
The Métis Commission for Children and Families of BC is pleased to announce the temporary hiring of a Chief Executive of Operations: Mr. Keith Henry!
Keith is a Métis person born in Thompson, Manitoba and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Mr. Henry achieved a B.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1995 and has been directly responsible for financial administration of a number of Aboriginal non-profits and has a proven track record of success. He started his own consulting company in October 2008 and is the President and CEO of KCD Consulting Incorporated that specializes in human resource development, economic development, project delivery, strategic planning, negotiations, and leadership development.
To view Mr. Henry's consulting website, please visit: http://www.kcdconsulting.ca/
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