Strengthening Bonds with Métis Nation British Columbia

Protocol Sets Sights on Improved Levels of Participation


The signing of a new protocol with Métis Nation British Columbia will enable Selkirk College to build on its dedication to better supporting Aboriginal learners and respecting their cultures.

In late-June, Selkirk College administration, Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) officials and local Métis leaders met at the Gathering Place on the Castlegar Campus to officially endorse the Métis Learners Protocol which defines a pathway to strengthen the partnership. The document acknowledges “the need for improved levels of participation and the success for Métis learners in post-secondary education and training in British Columbia and beyond.”

“The Gathering Place is a place where students can network and meet other Aboriginal peoples where they have a comfort level and that’s very important because people are afraid to identify at times,” said Bruce Dumont, President of the MNBC. “It’s really important that people know their history, know their culture and know their ancestry. It’s been problematic for the Metis for many years because of the resistance where people go underground and don’t identify.”

Metis Protocol

Selkirk College President Angus Graeme (left) and President of the Métis Nation British Bruce Dumont (right) signed a new protocol at the Gathering Place on the Castlegar Campus.

The Gathering Place is the hub for Selkirk College’s Aboriginal Services programming. Opened in 2012, the Gathering Place provides Aboriginal students with a place to meet, celebrate culture, conduct ceremony, study and relax. A fitting location for the official signing of the protocol, the new document outlines how the college and the MNBC will work together in the coming years.

“It’s about valuing the different ways of knowing that cultures bring to the educational process,” said Selkirk College President Angus Graeme. “We see every day how critically important it is to connect the culture, traditions and values of Aboriginal peoples to their learning because it makes it so much more meaningful and lasting.”

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