Project Spotlight: Métis Nation of British Columbia

Kaa-wiichihitoyaahk (We Take Care of Each Other): Comprehensive Métis Mental Wellness Community Capacity Building Implementation

Building capacity and confidence within Métis communities in British Columbia

WHO

Métis individuals and communities across British Columbia

WHAT

Objectives

  • Expand community-based training and mental health promotion and suicide prevention programming for Métis communities in partnership with LivingWorks
  • Build Métis capacity for mental wellness
  • Create a network of safety for Métis community members in crisis.

HOW

  1. Establish a community life promotion circle advisory panel that ensures Métis ways of learning and knowing
  2. Implement 3 province-wide suicide prevention training courses through LivingWorks (START, SafeTALK, ASIST)
  3. Create a Métis Learning Supplement for future deliveries of SafeTALK to ensure the cultural safety of Métis participants
  4. Host Métis Mental Health and Wellness gatherings that celebrate culture and offer mental health training
  5. Develop an evaluation plan; gather and share knowledge about effective interventions within Métis communities

WHERE

Settings

  • Online
  • Community

Implementation sites

  • 39 Métis Chartered Communities across British Columbia

WHY

  • Métis communities are disproportionately impacted by mental health concerns which were exacerbated by the pandemic
  • COVID-19 increased isolation and disconnection from culture and community for Métis people
  • There was a significant increase in Métis individuals seeking mental health supports

 

In the words of the project team members

“This program works to mobilize and harness the resiliency, strength and wisdom that already exists within Métis communities by bringing suicide prevention trainings to every region across British Columbia”

Key protective factors

  • Resiliency and coping
  • Cultural connectedness and identity
  • Supportive relationships in the community
  • Safe and secure environments
  • Access to mental health support services

Key approaches

  • Culturally safe/informed
  • Métis knowledge-based
  • Trauma-informed