Métis Nation British Columbia Should Step Back In the Box

(Vancouver, BC) British Columbia Métis Federation (BCMF) read the recent Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) press release entitled “Métis Nation British Columbia’s Economic Development takes a Large Step Outside the Box” with great interest. The recent MNBC press release was posted on the MNBC website this past Monday and sent by email to their distribution network.

Since September 2009 Métis community leadership and MNBC citizenship card holders at large have been inspired to believe MNBC was preparing the Nation for a number of financial benefits. First the Métis School purchased in Abbotsford would pay dividends within two years, instead after two years there is a loss. Second Meet-So Catering Services Limited would provide $500,000 in revenue in the first year (2010) and increase revenues over the next five years. The sad truth is none of this financial forecasted information has been correct and MNBC has significantly risked their overall financial position.

BCMF President Keith Henry stated; “As Métis people in BC all we want is for any Métis organization to administer Métis funding effectively, cost efficiently, and transparently. MNBC is the epitome of incompetence given their track record of gross financial mismanagement showcased over the past three years. They took major risks without a proper mandate and the evidence of their inability to produce results is obvious by their own audited statements. Only this past month the MNBC economic venture of Meet-So Catering Services Limited was quietly shut down. MNBC only informed the people about this sudden development after it was the BCMF who raised the questions after hearing directly from inside MNBC sources. In the MNBC Press Release they admit MEET-So was in operation for three months. If so what were the costs, what are the further negative financial implications to the overall MNBC financial crisis given the business venture failure? Will MNBC provide the true financial position regarding Meet-So and what led to this sudden closing in October?”

BCMF President Henry added; “Let’s not forget MNBC claims about the MNBC debt as of March 31st, 2011 is $2.3 million. Suddenly in September MNBC releases their Métis School financials and this increases their overall financial debt as of March 31st, 2011 to over $2.5 million as it was revealed the Métis School also lost money last year. The question has to be asked, have MNBC leadership and management been deliberately misleading Métis people all along? ”

BCMF President Keith Henry further added; “BCMF continues to monitor the MNBC closely although we clearly all want to move on in our lives. However, the continued MNBC contempt for their mandate and vision to assist Métis people and communities has become painfully obvious. They continue to put aside their own community needs for infrastructure and policy support as they write proposals and mislead governments to funnel limited resources to their accounts. MNBC are in a financial self made crisis and they have no choice but to try to compete for funds in any sector by whatever means possible. Now they have set their sights on research, digital mapping, etc. These are specific traditional knowledge based activities that often result when consultation is triggered by a resource project. There are a number of qualified companies in BC performing these services, not to mention some being Métis owned. How did MNBC chose this company and why? Was there any consultation or was this just another idea behind the board room door with management?”

BCMF President Henry continued; “The MNBC should get back in the box and must make their second quarter debt recovery report a priority. The 2011-2012 second quarter ended in September and it has been over a month for MNBC to prepare their update that has been the focus of our Nation’s issues today because their financial situation gets worse each year. MNBC has yet to provide their self claimed monthly tracking of their deficit recovery on their website as per their glossy brochure dated March 2011. Given the severity of the MNBC financial crisis BCMF would have expected MNBC leadership and management to make their debt recovery actions and reporting their priority. Our people are not confident and the recent lack of interest by anyone to attend an MNBC hosted health forum in October should be a huge sign to all. MNBC had to cancel due to lack of interest and we all know health is important to our communities, just not when initiatives are led by MNBC.”

BCMF President Henry concluded; “To observe MNBC releasing new alleged economic development ventures in light of delinquency of accurate or timely reporting for Métis people tells many of us where MNBC priorities are. MNBC is on track to increase the overall organizational debt and negative working capital for their fourth consecutive year in 2011-2012 despite MNBC repeated claims that they would not increase the debt any further. MNBC was allegedly going to consolidate debts and to what extend remains a mystery. Unfortunately there are many who have been misled to believe MNBC only owes $2.3 million. These same people forget the existing MNBC demand loan, lines of credit, outstanding payables, etc that BCMF estimates is in excess of $7 million. MNBC leadership and management appear to believe we are all gullible and will take these new words as gospel. Have we not all heard this before? I can only encourage Métis community leadership and grassroots people to have the courage and strength to question such important matters.”

Media Inquiries:

Keith Henry

President

BC Métis Federation

#300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2

Office 1-604-638-7220

Cell 1-778-388-5013

Email k.henry@bcmetis.com

Downloads:

Click here to download this press release in PDF format. Click here to read the MNBC press release.

 

2 Responses to Métis Nation British Columbia Should Step Back In the Box

  1. Joe Desjarlais November 2, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    This last-ditch effort business venture claims to combine traditional knowledge with western science, but Metis indigenous knowledge and values have been ignored when it comes to building “nationhood” and governance if you look at the track record of MNBC over the last 3 years. Indigenous Knowledge has not been drawn from the communities. In fact, TK has been siloed within the local community level and wrapped up into oppositional politics. MNBC structures are mostly a mirror of western structures, and indigenous values like inclusion, respect, equality, consensus, shared ideas, and a sense of ‘place’ have been largely absent. They have no concept of the public good of metis communities that is informed by a historically informed dialogue. They commodify the idea of traditional knowledge. As well, how will this ad-hoc venture impact Metis rights in their fullest meanings as they unfold in BC?, They have no informed plan.

  2. Richard Lucier-larson November 2, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    From today’s Times-Colonist News letters to the Editor:

    “Dear B.C. Hydro Executive Team:

    I thought I would write due to the uncalled-for attacks against your recently brought to light questionable accounting practices.

    To show my support, I have developed a plan that I am sure you will appreciate. I have decided to defer my 2011 Hydro payments into 2012. I understand that this may create some awkwardness around the payments you have already received from me, but you can refund these monies to me, so as to keep everything on the books nice and clean.

    As I am sure to be one of your best customers, due to me allowing the corporation to reduce its energy footprint in the 2011 year, I understand that I will be collecting a bonus. As I am aware that you are actually in the red (please trust that I won’t tell anyone this), I am willing to take my bonus in the form of a kilowatt credit, which I will also project into the 2012 fiscal year, thereby offsetting my alleged energy payment shortfall for this year, resulting in me not owing you anything for 2012 as well.

    Your loyal customer,

    Andre Serzisko

    Victoria

    Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/deferred+expenses+good+Hydro/5644045/story.html#ixzz1caUWlgVz

    Now that Deferring expenses for Personal gain is done by B.C. Hydro and a following article refers to the B.C. Provincial government reconsidering the $$ paid out, my question is , will the funds paid out by the MNBC to executive be subject to recall ?
    Or can the grassroots Métis in B.C.apply said funds against our Electric Bills ??

    Slight Tongue in Cheek.
    Richard Lucier-larson

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