(Gibsons, BC) British Columbia Métis Federation (BCMF) President Keith Henry met with the Vancouver Métis Cultural Society (VCMS) board members earlier today in Gibsons. VMCS notified the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) last week that the majority of their members in attendance at a special general meeting held September 3rd, 2011 decided to terminate their Charter Agreement with the MNBC due to the ongoing MNBC challenges. VMCS is one of the larger Chartered Communities of the thirty six in British Columbia with approximately 350 members. VMCS was one of six recognized Métis communities in the Lower Mainland Region (Region 2) under the MNBC governance system.
This was a historic meeting and important next step in the rebuilding of the Métis Nation led by the efforts of the BCMF. Today VMCS leaders officially signed a Statement of Cooperation (SOC) with the BCMF and now belong to a Métis cultural, political and government structure that is solely focused on making life better in partnership for Métis families, elders, youth, women, and veterans in the Vancouver area.
BCMF President Keith Henry stated; “I want to sincerely thank the VMCS board members for having the courage and understanding that it is time to begin rebuilding the Métis Nation through the BCMF. VMCS is a large Métis community and having an agreement to work cooperatively should showcase to all other Métis communities that the time for change is now. VMCS does not believe in the MNBC governance, and made this decision because of MNBC’s poor leadership, lack of Métis public transparency, and zero support for our culture and their community needs. It was obvious to me that VMCS leaders felt there was nothing to lose and everything to gain for the VMCS members by moving on with BCMF because they did not have any support from MNBC anyways. ”
VMCS Interim President Russ Roy stated; “The BCMF has proven that a grassroots approach to Métis governance can be honest, accountable and transparent through proper governance representation at all levels. We see that BCMF has placed the needs of our community first. VMCS is proud to support this grassroots Métis cultural approach to representation that the BCMF endeavors to commit to and we will stand shoulder to shoulder with them.”
BCMF President Keith Henry concluded; “BCMF leadership continues to make significant progress. BCMF is being recognized as the proper Métis government representative for Métis in BC and this is the third community to take steps to move forward. BCMF continues a number of other discussions with Métis communities and looks forward to signing a number of new SOC agreements shortly. Governments that provide Métis funding for community needs must consider and understand that change is inevitable at this point for Métis people throughout BC.”
BC Métis Federation
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