Métis focus on fundraising

by Phil Ambroziak

A new name will mean new opportunities for a Meadow Lake and area Métis organization.

Lac du Prairie Métis Local 31 Inc. – formerly known simply as Métis Local 31 – is now permitted to apply for financial grants and organize various fundraising initiatives thanks to the renaming of the group, something that became official earlier this month.

“Our goal is to look at fundraising in order to hold community events such as youth and elder days, and to pay off some of the Local’s outstanding debt,” explained Lac du Prairie Métis Local 31 Inc. vice-president Guy Tourond.

The name change was necessary in order for the group to become incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. Until this important step was achieved, all hands were tied as far as significant fundraising efforts were concerned.

“We did not have access to any of the previous (Local 31) board’s financial statements, so we could not become incorporated,” Tourond continued. “That’s why we decided to change our name. Now that we’re incorporated, we can apply for grants and loans. The funding is out there, but because we were not incorporated until recently, we had no access to this funding.”

According to Lac du Prairie Métis Local 31 Inc. president Gwen King, Local 31 used to be incorporated, but eventually lost that status.

“At our AGM, we decided the better option than trying to pursue any papers or records from the previous board would be to change our name,” King noted. “Now, we can start holding different activities within the community, apply for grants and host cultural events.”

Both King and Tourond confirmed there are no formal plans currently in place as far as upcoming fundraisers go, but did share a few ideas which have been suggested.

“Nothing definite is planned right now, and we probably won’t know any more until we meet again. We meet every third week of the month,” Tourond reiterated. “We’ve been looking at holding elder days, family days, some sort of cultural event – anything we can do to raise some money.”

“There is nothing really planned right now,” King added. “We’re still working to change over all of the necessary information. But, we do have a lot of ideas in mind.”

Tourond went on to explain efforts to have the group incorporated have been ongoing for some time now.

“This is something we’ve been working on since being elected – it’s been about two years roughly,” he said. “There have been a lot of stumbling blocks, but now that we’re incorporated, it makes many of our ideas that much more realistic. We can now set both short and long-term goals.”

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