Metis Calgary Family Services Society
In 1991, a group of Métis community professionals came together with a vision and a shared goal to assist our Métis and Urban Aboriginal Families with unique and meaningful services by our own community. This, a vision led by then Métis Nation of Alberta President, the late Ephram Bouvier, and a group of passionate, hard working individuals formed the first board of directors in 1991.
This year, 2016 marks 25 years of when the work began to plan and create a responsive organization by our Métis people for our people which could meet the needs of our community. A special acknowledgment of gratitude to those who paved the way creating a positive legacy for Métis and First Nations children so many years ago; Arthur Cunningham, Lori Anne Houle, Ed Vandal, Yvonne Genaille and Don Zboya. Witnessing the increasing rates of teen suicide, negative child well being; social service apprehensions of Aboriginal children separated from their families placed in group homes and foster care, as well the alarming number of aboriginal incarcerations and the highest drop-out population in both the public and separate school systems in Calgary.
It was these specific issues our community was normalizing as standard; and with that, a common vision to address ways and means to eliminate these challenges and build on the strengths of our community, which would include our youth, our parents and grandparents, and the leaders of tomorrow… our children.
In April of 1992 with the help of Economic Development officer, Marlenze Lanz and others, Métis Calgary Family Services launched with our first “official” signed contribution agreement for Aboriginal Youth Start, a stay in school project for aboriginal youth.
Fast forward 25 years; Today known as ASP or Aboriginal Students Program, it’s the longest running initiative in Calgary for aboriginal youth. Those first ASP participants finished school, and today are successful and established community members, some of whose children are now youth workers in ASP Program. They are true mentors and role models! This is how we are different… This theme of pure community capital holds true across Métis Calgary Family Services reach and is not measured only in geography, but more over in time, it’s what a legacy is. A positive legacy at that!
It’s evident with Medicine Wheel Preschool graduates whom are now more than a decade later teaching Medicine Wheel children themselves. It is evident when twenty years ago a young mom attending Ke Mama Nnanik parenting group now leads parenting groups and is a part of our leadership management team. It is evident when a young family is able to purchase their first home through HOAP homes and becomes a role model and mentor to others facing risk of homelessness.
These are the community roots that run deeper today and are a direct result of that seed planted 25 years ago by those individuals we acknowledge today. This legacy sets our vision of our tomorrow… this is why we do what we do, the difference we make, and what makes us different. This is our community, we live here, it’s our home.
Vortex Production Services
Calgary Board of Education
United Way of Calgary
United Way Donors Choice
Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada
City of Calgary Family and Community Supports
Government of Alberta Human Services
Calgary and Area Children’s Services Authority
Metis Nation of Alberta
Kidz up Front
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Rupert’s Land Metis Employment
Calgary Food Bank
Atco Gas Ltd.
Our Lady Queen of Peace
Telus Spark Science Center
Children’s Cottage – Brenda’s House
Stoney Child and Family Services
The ‘Alex’ Mobile Health Services
Inn From The Cold
City of Calgary Parks and Recreation
Cenovous Employee Foundation
Dreams Take Flight
And all those anonymous donors!