Last year, at the Métis Nation of Alberta 90th Annual General Meeting, the department of health, children and youth was added to the MNA.
On May 21, Beverly Lambert started as the Regional Youth Project Coordinator Region 5. She is part of a team of six coordinators across the province.
Lambert is a widow with four grown children. She grew up in McLennan which is a half hour north of High Prairie on Hwy. 2.
Lambert’s been involved with MNA for years. She’s the sister of the current Region 5 vice-president. Their parents encouraged them to pursue education.
In 2000 – 2001, Lambert studied social work at Northern Lakes College. Her children were six months, two and three years old.
Lambert lost her husband in 2003. She’s worked in a variety of jobs to support her children.
From 2010 to 2015, she was a pipe fitter. She then went to NLC to become a heavy equipment operator and drove various equipment including a de-limber and processor in the logging industry for three years.
Lambert made sure to find Métis funding for her schooling from Rupertsland Institute, an education branch of the MNA.
Lambert volunteered at her children’s school to give presentations on her experience with education and Métis funding.
“If a little person like me can do it, you can do it,” she tells kids.
Lambert is slight and around five feet tall.
“It is important to set a good example for children,” Lambert says. “When they know you’re a success, they want to become a success.”
One of Lambert’s daughters is following in her footsteps. She’s in her second year studying social work.
Lambert enjoys working with youth.
“This job is very rewarding,” she says. “You do things for people and they look up to you.”
MNA offers programs on culture enrichment or life skills.
Since Lambert started, Region 5 has hosted several programs. Most recently, a firearms certificate course on August 6.
Coming up, there is a day of fiddling lessons on August 13. Programs like the firearms and fiddling are only for MNA citizens.
Other events like Métis Fest and Indigenous Days are open to everyone. Self-identified Métis and other people often come as spectators to events.
Lambert taught jigging at Indigenous Days in Slave Lake.
There were a few summer camps this year for youth which were open to any MNA citizens. Unfortunately, no youth from Region 5 attended.
There is a list of programs suggested, but Lambert is open to developing new programs if people ask her.
“Everything’s new,” Lambert says. “I know it’s a work in progress. I’m willing to try new things.”
Region 5 has more self-identified Métis than citizens.
Lambert encourages people, especially youth, to apply for citizenship. She can help people fill out the citizen applications.
It isn’t very complicated, she says. People need government ID and a birth certificate with parents names and birth dates.