Immediate Call to Action Regarding Student Allowances

The following letter was addressed to all Métis people and community leaders in British Columbia…

Dear Métis People of BC,

I write to each of you today to seek your immediate assistance regarding a situation that appears to be unfolding in British Columbia due to the ongoing financial challenges facing the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC).

The BC Métis Federation has been contacted by individuals and concerned family members this past week regarding Métis people who have been funded through the Métis employment and training offices throughout BC. MNBC is provided approximately 6.5 million annually by the Federal Government through a program managed by Service Canada. It appears MNBC is late paying student allowances and many tuitions for students who began their studies in September 2011. The living allowances provide Métis individuals their basic needs (rent, food, etc.) and we believe the MNBC delay in payments will affect several hundred students.

The BC Métis Federation is asking for your assistance to contact us if the MNBC late program payment for their employment and training program affects you or your family member. We intend to follow up with the Federal Government and if necessary the media to immediately address this situation to protect the needs of Métis students. We believe MNBC has been advanced the contract funds by Service Canada to ensure timely living allowance and tuition payments for Métis individuals so this is extremely concerning.

It is unclear what is causing the delays in MNBC providing approved payments but this is unacceptable and must be addressed without delay given the needs of Métis people who face financial barriers. MNBC has not informed clients exactly what the situation is but we suspect the ongoing financial crisis is the root cause.

Please contact me either by phone (1-778-388-5013) or email k.henry@bcmetis.com. I can assure individuals who contact the BC Métis Federation that action will be taken to support you.

Thank you,

Keith Henry

President
BC Métis Federation
Suite 300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2

cc

BCMF Board of Directors
BCMF Members
MLAs
Rod Cunningham, Service Canada

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3 Responses to Immediate Call to Action Regarding Student Allowances

  1. Harold Morin November 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    The call to action by the BCMF Executive is commendable. The students are innocent players and have been victimized by the MNBC funding crisis. mismanagement, and ineffective leadership.

    I am totally frustrated at the conspiracy of silence by the local community leadership in not questioning MNBC leadership and making them accountable. When significant issues such as the “student funding crisis” fail to be addressed, are swept under the rug, or downplayed by MNBC leadership, where can we go to seek justice? We are at their complete mercy!! Why is it that our concerns fall upon deaf ears? Do we not have rights?

  2. Richard Lucier-larson November 8, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Harold I share your thoughts.
    What also comes to mind is when the MNBC finally collapses , will the now silent Local/community Presidents be known for building the Métis Nation of probably destroying it.
    On APTN last night was a showing of Metcom who interviewed Thelma Challifoux , Elder, past Canadian Senator, Matriarch and Otepemisawak . her words were very significant in B.C.s Métis politics.
    As a member of the BCMF , I have principals, I have never received a cent in payment for anything I have done to build the Métis Nation , I am in it to build the Métis Nation .
    Now what are the Principals of the executive and most Local presidents of the MNBC ??

    I do not include the Local Presidents who have spoken out or have seen through the sham.

    It is time to take action, maybe we should be picketing the alleged School in Abbotsford, anyone got a few banners and signs?

    Richard Lucier-larson
    a proud Citizen of the Métis Nation

  3. Harold Morin November 9, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Richard I share your thoughts. When is it the right time to take direct action? When all else fails, what can we do to force change? In my opinion, the “Student Allowance funding crisis” requires immediate attention and perhaps direct action on the part of our local Metis community leadership.

    While I am a veteran of many political wars, I am very capable of fighting these battles. However, when vulnerable citizens of our Nation such as our youth become victimized, it makes my blood boil. These are innocent students who wish to do nothing more than advance themselves to be employable by attaining training and employment skills. They are the victims in this sick scenario.

    I would call upon both BCMF and MNBC local elected and non-elected leadership to picket the Abbotsford school. Our objective would be to draw media attention to the plight of our most vulnerable citizens, our youth and our students. What choices do we have left? I am at a loss for answers?

    It appears out letters to the stakeholders are falling upon deaf ears. Perhaps the politicians will start listening when they see the pickets on the evening BCTV news.

    I too can stand beside you Richard and state that I have never received one red cent of Metis funding. My oibjective is to do what I can in order that we can create a better future for our Nation. As leaders of our Nation, that is a responsibility handed down by our ancestors. We must contine the fight for social justice, equity and equality. You are indeed a proud citizen of the Metis Nation. It is a breath of fresh air knowing that we have many esteemed, bright, and articulate colleagues within the BCMF and the MNBC that share these views. If we do not take up the fight, who will fight for the rights of the students?

    We have a responsibility to rid the MNBC of these tyrants. They continue to milk the organization for everything that can get. All the while, our students are going without badly needed training allowances. I say “enough is enough”.

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