(Vancouver, BC) The Vancouver Métis Cultural Society (VCMS) is one of thirty six (36) defined Métis Chartered Communities in British Columbia that is aligned with the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC). VMCS was formed in 2006 as a nonprofit organization that signed a Community Charter Agreement with the MNBC in 2007 in an effort to work together for the betterment of the Métis people in the Vancouver area. VMCS is located in the Lower Mainland Region (Region 2) as established by the geographic boundaries in the MNBC Constitution.
VMCS Interim President Russ Roy has been challenging the MNBC on a number of fronts over the last year regarding accountability and most recently become the subject of a demand by MNBC leadership to resign or face further action by the MNBC in a letter dated August 21st. VMCS had already called a special general meeting to discuss the relationship with MNBC as many of the VMCS members have been indicating their desire to remove themselves from the MNBC given the present situation. VMCS invited members to review the relationship with the MNBC and MNBC leaders were invited but did not attend to further address the rationale behind the August 21st, 2011 MNBC correspondence.
VMCS also invited British Columbia Métis Federation (BCMF) representatives to present their options for Métis communities given the present situations facing the MNBC. BCMF representatives did attend and answered a number of questions from VMCS members.
BCMF President Keith Henry stated; “This was an important meeting for members of the VMCS who could attend. MNBC threatens their community leader on August 21st in an unfounded letter and then does not have the leadership skills to attend and answer why? BCMF representatives looked forward to discussing the issues of MNBC financial mismanagement, growing debt, and many other items in front of VMCS members with MNBC President Bruce Dumont and Lower Mainland Regional Director Henry Hall. Unfortunately neither of these MNBC elected leaders made the time for their constituents in spite of this very important matter for VMCS members.”
BCMF President Henry added; “MNBC is losing their mandate from another community in BC. VMCS Interim President Russ Roy’s letter of September 5th is very compelling. Essentially VMCS has told MNBC they want nothing further to do with them. VMCS members still support the VMCS leadership and MNBC has no authority to demand their resignations. One would have thought MNBC leaders would have retracted their letters and apologized to ensure VMCS did not feel forced into this situation. Instead MNBC does not show up, does not answer any membership questions, and will probably feel relieved that Métis community leaders like Russ Roy who are not afraid to stand up will not be at the upcoming MNBC AGM.”
BCMF President Henry concluded; “This now makes two of the MNBC Chartered Communities (Vancouver and Quesnel) who have said they will not attend the upcoming MNBC Annual General Meeting. The BCMF board will be meeting this week to send out our official position on attending the upcoming MNBC Annual General Meeting given these latest events. However, as many of us know the MNBC will pay many delegates who are family and friends, just as they did last year, to ensure they have 51% of the vote. It is time for Métis people to consider not attending the upcoming MNBC AGM as a logical alternative. Let’s face it MNBC will stand up, make long speeches about how great it is and try their level best to convince the attendees that everything is fine despite the obvious financial disaster unfolding. MNBC leaders will not answer direct questions and will use high paid consultants and staff to deflect from their responsibilities. As the former CCMC we tried our best to offer solutions but these were dismissed. Today the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia, the corporate nonprofit arm of the MNBC, is likely irreparable because of inaction, bad politics, and the absolute lack of business acumen. I congratulate VMCS members who took this brave stand and I encourage other Métis people and communities to do the same. Join the BCMF and lets rebuild the Métis Nation.”
BC Métis Federation
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