Mark Carlson (left) was presented his Order of the Sash earlier this month by President Myrt Servatius of the Kootenay South Métis Society (middle) and by then-Nation director Marilyn Fayant Taylor, as she served the last days in her regionally elected role. Fayant Taylor retired from the position, which Debra Fisher was elected into on Sept. 21. (Submitted photo)

Trail man recognized with Order of the Sash

Métis Nation BC held its election Sept. 21

A dedicated advocate for Métis rights in the Kootenays was recently awarded the Order of the Sash for his 20+ years of service, which is the highest honour a citizen can receive from Metis Nation British Columbia (Nation).

“The Order of the Sash is bestowed on people that have given outstanding contributions to their community and to their nation, for the dedication they show and the leadership they show,” Nation President Clara Morin Dal Col told the Times.

“And we felt that this is Mark’s time to get the Order of the Sash,” she said. “He’s dedicated 20 years to the Métis Nation and it’s so well deserved – we couldn’t have given it to a better person.”

The Times contacted Morin Dal Col after she was elected to a second four-year term as president in the Nation’s election held last week.

“It’s such an honour, first of all, to be re-elected and have my work mean a lot to the people and where we are taking the Nation,” she said.

“As a Nation, we have made big strides ahead these past four years, and this is something we want to continue.”

Morin Dal Col, who came out well ahead of two other candidates, says the Nation will be focusing on several critical issues including housing demand and education, in particular early learning and childcare centres.

Because each region is different, Morin Dal Col says elected leaders will be looking to each community for insight on how to best meet their needs.

“In the Kootenays, is it going to be family housing, senior housing multiple-family housing,” she explained. “And another thing we have to look at, even for our childcare centres, is making sure our elder committees get up and going. We have to have our seniors more involved in our Nation, by bringing them together as a committee,” Morin Dal Col said.

“I want to see this come to fruition in this next four years – sooner rather than later in all our areas, in all our regions, across the province.”

Another goal she has is for Métis Nation British Columbia to starting holding its own annual gathering.

“Yes, we have Batoche, but not everyone can go there,” Morin Dal Col said, referring to Back to Batoche, the national historic site in Batoche, Sask., that hosts a yearly celebration of Métis culture.

“What we have to do is have our own gathering for our own people here in British Columbia … we have to really seriously look at what we are doing here for our people within our own province.”

She also touched on the subject of COVID-19, and how the ongoing pandemic has thrown a tailspin into the Nation’s plans as well as how the viral threat has so greatly affected Métis elders.

Morin Dal Col also sits as the Nation’s national health minister and for many months, she has been part of the COVID-related calls with other national health ministers.

“What we are seeing is the mental wellness impact on our people because they are being shut in,” she shared.

“People living alone, especially seniors, who were used to going to have coffee with friends to socialize, that’s not there anymore,” Morin Dal Col said.

“We are seeing that come to the forefront, so we are looking for funding from the federal government for mental wellness to help our people.”

The social and economic impacts of COVID-19, no matter when (or if) a treatment breakthrough happens, are going to be long-term and the reality of this weighs heavy on Morin Dal Col’s mind.

But, she chooses to focus on moving forward, looking at the positive side of things, and what can be done right now to help her Nation.

“I am really excited being president once again because I knew what was coming up and what we were working on,” she said.

“And there are some great things, (including) negotiations with the provincial government, and how we are moving forward on those. So there are a lot of good things happening, for sure.”

Community Leadership

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Clara Morin Dal Col was elected into a second term as President of Métis Nation BC on Sept. 21. (Nation photo)

Just Posted

Photo: Rose Karges
Blue about snow?

If you have a recent photo to share email it large or actual-size editor@trailtimes.ca

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Some amendments have been made to the bylaw since it passed first reading. File photo
Second public hearing set for Rossland chicken bylaw

Amended bylaw would now require electric fencing to be put around yards with chickens

File
Cooperation needed so minority Parliament can function smoothly

“We will continue to work with the other parties to get answers … ”

Katrine Conroy has won for the fifth time in the Kootenay West riding. Photo: Submitted
Katrine Conroy ready to tackle challenges after election

Conroy won the Kootenay West riding for the fifth time

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Most Read