Read The Federation’s 2016-17 Annual Report

The Federation’s mission is to be a catalyst for positive change to British Columbia’s social policies and community programs. This year’s Annual Report reflects that goal and details the many ways we have been working toward it.

You can read about initiatives and activities focused on influencing social policy development including our tireless work to increase community engagement in policy planning and development.

You can learn about the new partnerships The Federation has formalized and map our growing network of allies collaborating with us on social change.

You can get updated on Leadership 2020—The Federation’s custom-build leadership development program—and read about the different program offerings available to you (as well as the amazing ranks of guest speakers that make the program stand out).

You can also review our efforts to “live into reconciliation” and read about our intentions, our approach, and our goals for the future.

The report also welcomes the new Federation members who have joined us in working toward our vision of a society of strong, healthy individuals and families, and caring, inclusive communities strengthened by comprehensive, responsive, high-quality supports and services.

You can view and download The Federation’s 2016-17 Annual Report (as well as previous Annual Reports) here. If you have any questions about the report or our work over the past year, do not hesitate to contact me.

Métis Nation British Columbia and The Federation of Community Social Services of BC announce new collaborative partnership


For Immediate Release
June 23, 2017

Métis Nation British Columbia and The Federation of Community Social Services of BC
announce new collaborative partnership

PENTICTON, BC — Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) and The Federation of Community Social Services of BC (The Federation) are excited to announce the creation of a new partnership that will help ensure the effective advocacy, service delivery, and development of preventative services for Métis people in British Columbia.

MNBC and The Federation have committed to strengthening advocacy efforts on behalf of Métis children and families in order to improve the well-being and preservation of those families. This collaborative working relationship will support the development of culturally grounded programs and services for Métis children and families throughout BC while recognizing the rights and responsibility MNBC has for the well-being of their community members.

“As Minister of Children and Families for Métis Nation British Columbia, I am concerned about the overrepresentation of our children in the foster care system,” says MNBC Minister of Children and Families, Daniel Pitman. “I want these numbers reduced. I want to see our children connected to their family, our people, our community, and our Nation. Our partnership with The Federation focuses on furthering a distinction-based approach to Métis children and family services. We are excited to work with The Federation of Community Social Services Society and their extensive network to bring our children back home and to keep them with our people.”

“The Federation is committed to reconciliation and has embraced the notion of reconciliation as a continuous way of being,” says Federation Executive Director Rick FitzZaland. “Today, I am proud of the beautiful spirit of caring and justice that has breathed life into this agreement and I am thankful for the leadership shown by the MNBC Board of Directors and The Federation Board in realizing the promise of working together in service of Métis children and families”

By signing this agreement MNBC and The Federation commit to supporting a distinction-based approach to the development of a service delivery system for Métis children and families in BC.

Additional Quotes
“MNBC is committed to keeping our Métis families together. It is important that we as Métis look after the best interests of our Métis children,” says MNBC President Clara Morin Dal Col. “Our goal is to strengthen our communities and our service providers so that we have Métis people protecting the interests of our Métis Children & Families. They are the heart of our Nation. This new agreement with The Federation will help us in fulfilling our commitment to Métis families and children.”

“The Federation believes social services support should be driven by community strengths and knowledge,” says Federation President David Young. “We are excited about this new agreement and we are proud to formalize our support of MNBC in their advocacy efforts on behalf of Métis children and families.”

About Métis Nation British Columbia
The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) represents nearly 70,000 self-identified Métis people in British Columbia, of that, over 16,000 are provincially registered Métis Citizens with MNBC. Recognized by the Métis National Council, the Provincial Government of British Columbia and the Federal Government of Canada, the Métis Nation British Columbia is the official governing body of the Métis in BC.

About The Federation
The Federation of Community Social Services of BC represents more than 130 member agencies serving over 250 communities across BC both on and off recognized First Nations territories. Our members provide more than 50 different service and program areas to people of all ages, employ more than 6000 British Columbians, and represent over $500 million of community investment in BC’s social service sector.

For more information contact or to arrange interviews contact:

Tracey Thornhill
MNBC Executive Assistant & Communications Officer

Rick FitzZaland
Federation Executive Director

Reconciliation in Action: Moving forward, together

The Federation’s June Conference, Reconciliation in Action, takes place next week in Penticton. We started this work at our conference last October where we framed reconciliation as a continuous way of being. This event is our next step down that path. Our intention is to create a space grounded in understanding as we consider different paths toward reconciliation.

What to expect

We will once again be hosting the KAIROS Blanket Exercise—an experiential way to think about the ongoing impacts of colonization and to consider each person’s responsibility in moving forward in reconciliation.

Afterward, a series of Stories from the Community sessions will invite leaders, activists, and community members to share stories about work that is inspiring, mobilizing, or supporting their local communities. Participants will listen to examples of work from other communities and be empowered to “harvest” knowledge from the different stories—things that relate to their own reconciliation journey as well as ideas to take back to their organizations.

In addition to these learning opportunities, you can also look forward to learning more about local Indigenous communities and cultural teachings throughout the day.

Reconciliation as a way of being

As you can tell, this is not a traditional conference. This is not a training day. This is a day to build relationships, to build knowledge, and to build understanding. This event not about cultural competency—we’re beyond that.

This event is the next step in a journey that will continue throughout the rest of our lives. This is about stepping into a way of being that holds care, respect, and social justice at its heart. We may not see a fully just society in our lifetime. But if we don’t do this work now, we guarantee that our children and grandchildren won’t either.

I have said this before: this is not an easy path to walk. There are no straightforward to-do lists and simple boxes to check until we are “done” and can move on to something else. This commitment we have made requires us to keep learning and continually question our beliefs, our ways of thinking, and ways of working together.

My hopes for next week

My hope is that participants are challenged. I hope that we ask ourselves some hard questions and that we all leave with lots to think about. I hope this event inspires our curiosity and disrupts our understanding of what the future may look like.

And I hope to see many, many of you there joining us in this work. I am looking forward to taking this next step with you. And I hope you will also be able to participate in your local National Aboriginal Day events.

Learn more about the conference and register to attend here.


Engaging with our next provincial government: planning and positioning

Just like many of you, we at The Federation office have been watching closely the results of the BC election and the media coverage of the unexpected, unprecedented results. The legislature is now poised to tussle over who should (or could) be appointed Speaker—a choice that will give us a better idea of how the next few months will unfold. 

But rest assured, whatever happens, The Federation is ready to continue working closely with our provincial government—however that government may look—on the issues that matter most to our members. 

Our provincial election strategy was designed to not only inform and educate the candidates as they campaigned but to also inform and educate the newly-elected government and cabinet ministers. The time and energy that was put into the February Social Policy Forum and the ideas and examples brought forth by members were a big part of this work. With your help, we were able to define and explain the most important issues (across multiple service areas) facing our communities. 

Because of these efforts, and months of diligent work by The Federation team, we are now in a strong position to inform and engage with the BC government that will take shape over the coming weeks. 

Years in the making

The truth is that we have been preparing for this for a long time. Over the past 3 years, we have been meeting with members of the government, the official opposition, cabinet ministers, and deputy ministers. Our “Life in BC” Snapshot reports and the issue briefs from the Social Policy Forum were shared with each major party and their caucuses.

Each year The Federation presents to the Select Standing Committee on Government Services and Finance and each year our Executive Director has follow-up conversations with committee members about the issues that are most important to our members and the need for increased funding. 

As our new provincial government comes into shape over the next few weeks, I feel more confident than ever about The Federation’s position and our ability to speak out (and be listened to) about the things we care about most: sustainable funding, innovation, the meaningful involvement of community organizations in social care planning, a commitment to reconciliation, and improving services to children and youth in care. 

How you can get involved

In the meantime, I encourage you all to get involved as well. The more our government understands and cares about the issues that we care about, the more likely we are to inspire and motivate them to create the kinds of change we want to see.

Our election strategy empowered and encouraged Federation members to get involved as community leaders and to meet with your local candidates. I encourage you all to keep doing this. Use the materials The Federation has made available to help you make the case for BC’s children and families and communities. You never know—your local MLA could very well end up being one of our new cabinet ministers. 

Links to resources, reports, and fact sheets can be found in the sidebar of this email. Use them! You can get additional resources by emailing The Federation’s Research and Policy Analyst Pam Alcorn: If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact me