Métis Centre of NAHO and MNBC to Launch Resources for Women at Risk of Sexual Exploitation

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Vancouver (December 6, 2011) – On this National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, the Métis Centre of the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) and Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) are co-hosting a ceremony honouring Métis women and  launching products about Métis women at risk of sexual exploitation.  This work is part of the Métis Women: Strong and Beautiful project, undertaken by the Métis Centre of NAHO and Métis Nation British Columbia with the support of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

The launch includes an analytical paper examining the unique situation and vulnerabilities of Métis women at risk of sexual exploitation and a booklet designed specifically for Métis women containing information and culturally appropriate resources. Fieldwork for this project was conducted in Fort St. John, Prince George, and Vancouver’s Downtown East Side among Métis women who self-identified as being at risk, as well as service providers.

“This work is not only exciting because of the positive impact it will have on the Métis community in B.C., but also because it is truly ground-breaking research,” says Métis Centre Director Catherine Graham.  “Research has been done on the sexual exploitation of First Nations women, and there has been research done from a pan-Aboriginal approach, but to our knowledge this is the first time that Métis-specific research has been done on women at risk.”

“Our women have been invisible and silent for a long time,” says Bruce Dumont, president of Métis Nation British Columbia. “I am hopeful that this work will help to open up a dialogue among Métis, and the broader community, about our women who are at risk. Then we can start talking about how we can help them and support them.”

The ceremony will take place at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre at 1607 East Hastings Street from 2 to 5 p.m.

The Métis Centre is one of three population-specific centres within the National Aboriginal Health Organization. The Métis Centre strives to develop accessible, culturally relevant and safe health and well-being information for a variety of audiences including, but not limited to, researchers, governments, and Métis individuals, families, and communities.

The National Aboriginal Health Organization advances and promotes the health and well-being of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis through collaborative research, Indigenous traditional knowledge, building capacity, and community led initiatives.

For more information on the National Aboriginal Health Organization,  visit www.naho.ca

Métis Nation British Columbia, a political body created in 1996, develops and enhances opportunities for Métis communities in B.C. by implementing culturally relevant social and economic programs and services.

For more information on Métis Nation British Columbia, visit www.mnbc.ca

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For media inquiries, contact:

Catherine Graham, Director, Métis Centre
National Aboriginal Health Organization
Mobile: (613)-513-5606
E-mail: cgraham@naho.ca

Victoria Pruden
Director of Children and Families, Women, and Elders
Mobile: (250) 208-4937
vpruden@mnbc.ca

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