Affordable homes and childcare for Vancouver Island’s Métis are coming to Campbell River.
Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) has acquired land in Campbell River to build below-market rate rental housing for Métis families, a Métis child care centre, and office space for the North Island Métis Association (NIMA).
The purchase, totaling $1,160,000, is part of MNBC’s ambitious goal of creating Métis centres across the province in all seven regions. According to a MNBC press release, the funding, provided under the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Early Learning and Child Care Accord supports MNBC in building a community-based system of quality child care, so families have access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care no matter where they live.
“We are excited to work with MNBC to begin the process of building affordable Métis housing. This is the next step for North Island Métis (NIMA) in supporting our community and strengthening our nation. NIMA is looking forward to working with all of our partners to provide a center for all NIMA activities and services in Campbell River,” said Tyler Massee, NIMA President.
This child care facility housed with an affordable Métis family housing project will be designed to meet the needs of our families in Campbell River, a community that is currently lacking in urban Indigenous child care services. The child care facility will provide 61 spaces for holistic child care programming to support the needs of families and provide children with consistent, quality child care from birth to age 12. MNBC is committed to exploring collaborative strategies and meeting the needs of children and families for a continuum of high quality, accessible, affordable and comprehensive child care services.
“I’ve heard from many Métis families about the need to provide affordable housing on Vancouver Island. I’m happy to see this vision of a network of Métis centres with housing, childcare, and offices space for our communities beginning to take shape and come to fruition. This is long overdue,” said Lissa Dawn Smith, MNBC Acting President.
MNBC is partnering with NIMA to collaborate on the build of the housing and child care centre. M’akola Development Services, an Indigenous-based, socially-conscious professional development services organization, has been engaged to lead the development of the project. M’akola has 31 years of experience in planning, and development for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal clients.
Providing affordable housing, delivering Métis early years programs, and creating space for our Métis Chartered Communities is a key strategic goal of MNBC’s Cabinet and senior leadership team. Over the coming months, MNBC will continue on its progressive agenda with more announcements to come.
“I am excited to see our Cabinet’s vision of providing quality, affordable housing, and culturally relevant child care spaces continue to come to fruition. Building on our announcement in Kamloops, it is great to see Campbell River as the next location for one of our centres. I am excited for the partnership with NIMA in delivering these services for our Métis people,” said Patrick Harriott, MNBC Director for Region 1.