Reunifying Métis families highlighted in Tuesday project groundbreaking

A new development project in Bonnyville is underway.

On Tuesday, a groundbreaking ceremony took place for a Family Reunification Program, where reuniting Métis children with their families is their priority. 

In collaboration with the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Métis Capital Housing Corporation is beginning the newest housing development for the phase II family reunification program. 

“I am very proud of this initiative and cannot wait to open the doors and the building to be full of capacity with all of our Métis children coming home,” said Andrea Sandmaier, Region 2 vice-president of the Métis Nation of Alberta. 

The ceremony took place on the lot where they are planning to build the 12-suit housing, at 3902B 50 Ave in Bonnyville. 

The Family Reunification Program is designed and dedicated to reuniting Métis mothers, fathers, and their children by providing wrap-around services and support in a safe and culturally appropriate manner. 

The home will have spaces for workshops, programming, cultural counselling, learning centers, a kitchen and a playground.

The project will give Métis families a safe space to start their healing process surrounded by supportive and compassionate staff. 

“Métis children have the right to remain with their families and Métis families have a right to a second chance,” said Sandmaier.

The approach for the program is to offer support that is culturally responsive and strength-based, where families are empowered to be part of the decision-making process and supported throughout the program and beyond.

“I think it’s a very important project that’s going to bring a lot of benefit to the Metis families in the town of Bonnyville,” said Elisa Brosseau, Mayor of the Town of Bonnyville. 

MCHC staff and the Alberta Ministry of Children’s Services, are there to assist families with developing their case plans and eventually transitioning them to independent living. 

They believe that a healthy community raises healthy children while recognizing the need for families to retain their privacy. The program strikes a balance between group and one-to-one interactions while offering time for personal space. 

“We believe children, all our children, are the future they need to be nurtured, protected, and loved so we can pass along our traditional knowledge and teachings to them,” said Sandmaier. 

“So they can grow into proud individuals, proud of who they are, and proud of where they came from. And to truly know where they are going.”

news via inbox

Get Connected! Sign up for daily news updates.