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Metis Voices Radio, August 22, 2008

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Courtesy of BBS Radio

Tohsha Key Wow, my name is Deborah Canada and I am a proud citizen of the Métis Nation. My family and I have resided in beautiful British Columbia for the last 15 years. I was in born Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan and raised in Winnipeg Manitoba. I am the proud daughter of Earl and Ethel Canada, mother of Aaron Canada and wife of Marcel Cardinal. My father, a silently strong Métis man, taught his children that honour, integrity, pride and humility came in the form of action rather than words. In the true Métis spirit, he impressed upon us the importance of never moving ahead at the expense of others, especially our own people, that hard work creates a strong mind and spirit, and to always hold our heads high especially in the face of struggle and diversity. I carry his teachings with me each and every day. Over the years I came to understand that the building of a strong nation is very complex and contradictory. Often my father told us that being born a Métis is being born political. I believe this to be true; because being born a Métis, I do not remember a time free from the negative impact of external political decision making on the well-being of our people. It is my belief that a strong Nation is a healthy Nation and I want to be a part of building a healthy Nation and; belonging to one.

For as long as I can recall, Métis people have struggled to gain a voice, struggled to be heard, struggled to have our culture recognized and descriptions of ourselves validated from the outside. Because our values, customs, traditions, and identity as a Nation of people has not been honoured we must continue to command our rightful place to ensure a future for our children and a place of honour for the elders. I believe the strength of any Nation depends on the health and wellness of it’s citizens and of the leaders. Further, it is the responsibility of Leadership to make decisions based on the very best interested of the citizens within the Nation. I belief in order for this to happen, teamwork, collaboration, integrity and ethics must be incorporated into all levels of decision making.

With a solid educational background and over 20 years experience of practice,
my work experiences include management/administration, curriculum development /design, adult instruction, clinical supervision/case management as well as program and policy development. I have been involved in many levels of working for and with the Métis Nation.

And more about Deb....
Deborah earned a Bachelor of social work degree from the University of Manitoba and a Master degree in Education from Simon Fraser University, she is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of British where she is writing about Métis Child welfare policy and practice.

Deborah has served on various local, provincial and national boards such as President for the Métis Commission for Children and Families of BC, Vice-President Central Training and Employment, Panel Member for the Child Death Review Committee, Métis representative for the Interior Aboriginal Health and Wellness Committee and many more.

Deborah has close to 20 years experience in area of management, clinical supervision, and community development. Her experience also includes curriculum development and adult instruction at Nicola Valley Institute for Technology (NVIT) in Merritt.

Deborah was one of the curriculum writers for the Aboriginal Early Childhood Development, developed a 20 course diploma program in Aboriginal Health, and a 10 course certificate program in Foundational Counseling Skills. In additions she taught courses in Child Welfare Policy, Research, Disabilities, Community Development and Child Welfare Practice. Deborah has spent the majority of her life serving Métis and other Aboriginal people.

In 2003 she established the White Buffalo Aboriginal Health Society and remains active within the compounds of the society.

In January 2008, Deborah was hired by the Board of Directors for the Métis Commission as their Chief Executive Officer. Working within child welfare specifically in the area of policy and practice continues to be a passion.

Deb’s commitment to the Métis children, families and communities is a constant. The Métis values of honesty, self-reliance, self-determination and persistence she attributes to the teachings from her Métis father who continually reminded all his children that they had a responsibility to each other and to the people.

Metis Voices Radio

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In 1954, in Edmonton Alberta, Dale Rodney Haggerty was the fifth child Born, to parents John Haggerty, a Scottish immigrant and French Métis Mother, Georgina Villeneuve. The Haggerty’s moved their growing family to B.C. when Dale was just an infant and youngest at that time, his sister Teresa was born later in Vancouver where the family lived and worked most of their lives.

As President of the Society, Dale’s future hope and plans for the museum is to continue sharing the Métis culture as long as he is able and when he is ready to retire (which won’t be for a while yet), the museum will be placed safely in the hands of our future Métis generation who will continue to bring and present the Métis culture and history to all that would benefit and have an interest & now its time to reach to even more of our Aboriginal brother s & sisters across the world. Our very own internet talk radio show called 'Metis Voices Radio' every Friday night 8pm pst on station 2 . Dale is looking forward to your callins as he talks about Metis history and many other Metis programming.

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