Open letter to the BC Métis People

Oops! We accidentally linked to the wrong post from the Tuesday the 24th BCMF Update email. If you are looking for the BCMF letter to the MNBC dated for Tuesday the 24th, please click here.

The following letter was sent this morning by the BC Métis Federation to the Métis People…

Métis People of British Columbia,

I am writing this letter addressed to Métis people in British Columbia as follow up to the ongoing developments highlighted last night during our online Coffee Talk show in terms the ongoing financial situation at the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC).

During Coffee Talk the BC Métis Federation financial advisor and Chartered Accountant Mr. Sandy Aird provided his opinion on the impacts of the recent MNBC acquisition of a second mortgage registered against the property located at 30691 Simpson Road of $1.6 million. He provided his views on two possible scenarios:

  1. The bank (RBC) provided MNBC an additional $1.6 million for MNBC to cash manage the organization financed against the value of their asset, or rather the property located at 30691 Simpson Road. This would increase the overall insolvency an additional $1.6 million but Mr. Aird did not believe this is the case.
  2. The bank (RBC) refinanced some of the existing MNBC debts, included a few of the MNBC’s key outstanding payables, and increased their security on the MNBC assets at a higher rate of interest which is now financed at prime plus 5%. Therefore Mr. Aird was confident the overall state of MNBC insolvency will increase but it is unclear in the absence of full MNBC public disclosure.

Click here to view the Coffee Talk slide presentation which provides a visual to better understand the significant financial challenges at the MNBC.

The situation and events within the MNBC board and management continues to demonstrate severe mismanagement resulting in negative impacts to existing programs and an outright lack of public transparency. Repeatedly MNBC has not provided information and once again did not disclose this major decision. We believe the process by which a borrowing resolution was presented to RBC was not proper and thereby contravening corporate law. Unfortunately we believe that in spite of these contraventions that if tested in the court MNBC would quickly resort to the legal standing that the MNBC is defined as only 11 directors, a legal point the MNBC legal counsel has made when questioned at the MNGA in the past. Therefore a court challenge would be pointless given these uncertainties.

The new financial situation and events unfolding at MNBC have become a unique story in themselves:

  • MNBC leadership admits more deficits at the MNGA last February, now self identified at $2.3 million as of March 31st, 2011.
  • MNBC sent out a press release last March celebrating the confirmation of federal stimulus funding of $1.45 million that remains to be confirmed. 
  • MNBC leadership release MNBC Debt Recovery Plan last May reconfirming MNBC debt of $2.3 million, confirming the third year of substantial financial losses.
  • MNBC refuses to release financial statements last July.
  • MNBC forced to release financial statements when a Global TV reporter shows up to their offices on August 31st.
  • BC Métis Federation releases a financial overview September 8th and presents many questions within the MNBC financial statements. These remain unanswered to this day.
  • MNBC releases the first and only Debt Recovery Plan reporting last September 12th that remains to be the only reporting as of this date. MNBC confirms continued financial losses. MNBC committed in writing to provide monthly updates on their debt recovery and this has not been updated on the MNBC website in any manner since the release of the MNBC Debt Recovery Plan and initial posting in May of 2011.
  • MNBC releases additional financial information without any prior notice, Métis School financial statements, at the AGM September 23rd – 25th. Métis School financial statements reveal additional MNBC overall losses as the Métis School had additional deficit of $239,534.00 on March 31st, 2011.
  • BC Métis Federation makes efforts to clarify last October in a written correspondence to MNBC to explain the inaccuracy of their public claims of an overall MNBC deficit of $2.3 million when in fact the consolidated debt based on the new information is $2,564,067 as of March 31st, 2011.
  • MNBC closes Meet so Catering Services Inc. last October.
  • MNBC announces the sale of the property at 30691 Simpson Road in Abbotsford last December.
  • MNBC is delinquent on paying youth projects and various employment and training tuitions.
  • Plus so much more…

The reality today is the plot is thickening. As of this week MNBC has now contracted the Youth Director who had left on January 3rd, 2012 to assist the completion of the Youth Projects for 2011-2012 from Heritage Canada. In fact some of the 15 projects received a portion of their funding and the signed contracts this week for the approved youth funding. We find it ironic that the youth project payments are provided in correlation with MNBC borrowing an additional $1.6 million. The fact is only a portion of the projects were paid and given the fact that we are now almost completed 10 months of this fiscal year, many of the projects cannot proceed as originally approved.

Clearly the MNBC board has no real plan of action to solve their gross financial incompetence. The ongoing failures continue to provide ample evidence of the complete disarray of the MNBC on many levels. Clearly the inability by MNBC to explain the situation or provide the Métis public a plan on how MNBC will sustain itself is questionable. Today MNBC has to make their first interest payment on the second mortgage of $10,667.00. How will MNBC cash manage this payment? How is MNBC cash managing all other contracts? Has MNBC replaced the deferred revenue from 2010-2011 of over $1 million dollars. So many questions remain unanswered.

BC Métis Federation submits that any “after the fact” MNBC explanation at this point should not have merit considering how MNBC written commitments have meant absolutely nothing to date. MNBC board members will continue to draw on your friendships and compassion for the ideology that MNBC as a corporation is the Nation. The hard facts are that the MNBC board has created financial ruin by their decisions, their lack of skills and their disregard for full public accountability. I realize there are several capable Métis community representatives who simply do not have accurate information to make informed decisions and this continues to be the main reason the MNBC board and management has been able to confuse and manipulate the Métis people. The MNBC is broken, the governance system designed and implemented in 2005 has failed. It is time to admit the MNBC system is broken and move forward for the future. Further delays in immediate action will only prolong the inevitable.

MNBC board members should resign or MNBC board members should force themselves into bankruptcy and we as Métis people need to start rebuilding. The prospects of paying back the increasing millions in debt appear impossible and the loss of program funding will only increase. This is not fair to those most in need.

The only MNBC board strategy at this point appears to stay the course and “survive” as many of us realize their term ends now in only another 7 months. This MNBC board cannot solve the current millions in debt, loss of programs, plus so much more and there is no future sustainability. MNBC supporters, it is time to start being practical, we can move on together without this MNBC debt and mismanagement. The facts continue to speak for themselves.

In closing I urge Métis people to attend future BC Métis Federation events, we have a vision of a new responsible, accountable Métis government. We need to bring the community and our families at the center and have decision making at the grass roots level. Fundamentally this is the most important difference between MNBC and the BC Métis Federation. MNBC makes decisions behind closed doors where 11 board members and management decide what is best for you. On the other hand BC Métis Federation understands that true Métis governance involves the community. Historically this was the foundation for our fight for self governance and we need to bring this value back to our contemporary representation. Look what the current MNBC system has brought us today? As we say the facts speak for themselves.

The choice is yours.

Thank you,

Keith Henry

President
British Columbia Métis Federation

Downloads:

Click here to download this letter in PDF format. Click here to download the Coffee Talk slide presentation in PDF format.

 

17 Responses to Open letter to the BC Métis People

  1. Northern Metis January 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    It is clear that MNBC leadership is in “survival mode”. They are attempting to stay in power so they can leave quietly while leaving behind a massive and insurmountable debt.

    They have resorted to “deficit financing” to survive. While their demise is “certain”, I truly hope that we can all work together to ensure elected MNBC leadership are made directly accountable for their actions.

    I find it unbelievable and incomprehensible that our elected MLA’s and MP’s can sit and watch this carnage unfold. However, I remain confident that the BC Metis Federation will ultimately bring those responsible to justice.

    What is unfolding here is nothing short of criminal behaviour. I continue to remain amazed at the pompous and ignorant behaviour of elected MNBC officials. They think nothing about sinking our Nation into a “black hole” with no reasonable recourse of recovering from this finaqniaql mess.

  2. Joe January 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    “Historically this (community involvement) was the foundation for our fight for self governance and we need to bring this value back to our contemporary representation.”

    Good point. The irony is that they are not competent managers, yet to confound matters they hide behind broken bureaucracies and legal trivia. Clever schemes eventually become undone. There has been no authenticity on any level here. This is how technocrats function – manipulating structures to keep power at all cost.

    Whats the alternative? Metis people need ethical leaders in order to link democracy to our structures. A functioning democracy, then, requires structures and systems that are clearly understandable, that work, and work to include people as participants. Keith has demonstrated that under the broken system, these 3 criteria are not present – it is clearly anti-democratic.

    As Keith also suggests, The BCMF objective is to bring these values back into Metis community representation. This agrees with the democratic foundation in Canadas history. As a historian, I know that this approach agrees with the Canadian experience in our best moments.

  3. Metis January 21, 2012 at 5:33 am #

    Since the government has supported this non-democratic regime, I still say they are partially to blame as is the bank.. What is to happen with the work of our registry? I see their calling for new BC resource captains what is going on behind the scene? Seems like they never tell us anything why the renewed interest for BC resource captains after many years of not having any captain in our region. Buying time it definitely is and to sell the school for the miraculous amount owing would be a pipe dream.

  4. Christine January 21, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    ” We need to bring the community and our families at the center and have decision making at the grass roots level” I think this is the most important sentence in this press release. As a citizen many of us have never been involved in these decisions and only a select few are running our affairs. Of course mostly family members and relatives on board with MNBC, nepotism at its finest.

    Now we are at this juncture, how does the BCMF propose to fix this mess? What is the BCMF offering as a alternative in our communities as to governance. The MNBC governance model has not worked and there is a communication break down on every level as presidents sit at these tables on a free meal and holiday to abbotsford.

    There is no established requirement that presidents communicate with their members, before they attend AGM’s and vote on anything at the MNGA. Many card carrying members have no idea what goes on at all when it comes to the business of our Nation nor allowed to actively participate due to the remoteness of these AGM’s. So how can this government profess to represent us and our communities, it is just a smoke screen of the Canadian government to wash their hands of us saying they are actually doing something.

    BCMF present us with a governance model and a decision ratification process that makes our communities able to participate, and make our Nation strong and viable again, so we can be proud of being Metis. The MNBC has been a total failure at governance as it does not represent anything ‘grassroots’ oriented, rather a bunch of professional lawyers who lost touch with its people. There is no such thing as a ‘government’ without its people.

  5. Daryl Piper January 21, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Well what can I say the MNBC leadership has managed set the standard for in competence. They have shown over and over again that they know nothing about their own governance, constitution, and bylaws. They MNBC leadership swore an oath when they became elected and they have thrown that out the window. Nothing seems to matter to these people they have no conscience. Corruption is rampant within the MNBC leadership and they only care about lining their pockets and holding onto power. The MNBC leadership’s path of financial destruction will soon end.

    Its sad that the the Federal and Provincial governments continue to discriminate against the Metis people and deny us our rights. Let me remind you that the government has a fiduciary obligation to the Metis people and yet the Government is allowing the MNBC dictatorship to continue. It appears that the Government could care less about the Metis people and are assisting the MNBC leadership in the destroying our Metis Nation.

    What I find outrageous is the way this 2nd mortgage was obtained, the legality of the 2nd mortgage is questionable and still the Royal Bank without due diligence grants MNBC the 2nd mortgage anyway. The MNBC could not afford the payments on the 1st mortgage and has differed the payments on the 1st mortgage till June 2012, so why would the Royal Bank grant the 2nd mortgage?

    Almost 3 years now and still no accountability from the MNBC leadership, both levels of
    Government, and the Royal Bank. Enough is enough and its time to rebuild our Nation. I have made my choice and I cut up my MNBC citizen card in disgust and joined the BC Metis Federation and am ready to take back my Nation.

    Proud To Be Metis

  6. Earlene January 21, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Christine:
    What ever is going on in your area, is going on in the northern part of the province as well, unless you are talking about the north. Although I am a member of a local you never hear anything in regards to meetings, AGM’s although they are playing a part in land negotiations on behalf of the people, there is no community consultation. I wonder who is actually signing off on these resource consultations without actually having community meetings to consult the very people the resource companies are affecting.

    When will our Metis people wake up in the north that these companies are walking over the people by allowing this corruption. Consult your members on issues, by having community meetings. Government and Industry consultation documents are easily found on the internet upon government websites, but who exactly is attending these meetings on behalf of the people. Where are the meeting notices that there is a community meeting to discuss issues? Community governance relates to consistent management, cohesive policies, guidance, processes and membership decision-rights. It appears fiduciary duty to consult has been violated on the very base community level by our own community members, there is a right way and wrong way to notify the community so Metis community members have a choice to voice their opinions or even participate in elections. We are always exclaiming to the Canadian and BC Government they have never consulted with us, but the breakdown is the community itself not informing the membership.

    May I suggest, The BCMF ‘statements of cooperation’ need to be revamped to ensure that communities are following consultation guidelines with their members on important issues that are effecting them. It is time that those that profess to be our leadership actually get voted in by the community rather than a private backroom deal.

  7. Keith Henry January 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Thank you everyone for the great conversation so far,

    I want to respond to the post by Christine first. I am so glad you picked up on the line “bringing decision making back to the community and families”. When people ask me what is the difference between MNBC and BCMF that is one of my responses. We need to have community involved and giving direction on any matters affecting them. MNBC has lost complete sight of this and decision after decision is being made without your consent, your input, your direction and beyond all other issues facing the Métis Nation that is the worst of all in my mind. Look at what this has created?

    So you ask how BCMF will do this. We have committed to drafting a new constitution. Today we have established basic BCMF bylaws to get the organization going as many of you know in only last June 2011. The BCMF bylaws were only the start. BCMF will be out to a number of regional sessions and community meetings from March – May throughout BC to get your input about what communities really want. For example, Earlene raises a great point in her response and I completely agree. As the BCMF evolves we must make sure Métis communities have proper resolutions to provide direction to the BCMF provincial board as part of a new constitution. We must ensure communities have the capacity and ability to attract members to want to get involved. How do we do this? The most obvious way is to ensure people feel like they really have a voice in the BCMF, no other way to do this than ensure their voice is in a new constitution in writing, very clear.

    I think that the results of the current processes are evident. We know that MNBC is running around to industry to misled about how they define Métis consultation, making inaccurate presentations to the joint review panel on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline about MNBC’s role and how decisions are made, etc.? If anyone wonders why, it is all about MONEY.

    Take for example the Northern Gateway Project. This project will affect a number of Métis families who continue to practice traditional harvesting and land use. Ask yourself how many Métis families have actually been consulted about their views and had a chance to understand the impacts and potential risks? MNBC has been provided funds by Enbridge for consultation but how have these been used. Northern Gateway has offered equity packages to those Aboriginal communities who have signed on and it is reported that 10% equity will measure to about $30 million over the 30 year period of the pipeline? Has MNBC properly informed Métis communities? Has this so called MNBC program “Captains of the Hunt” properly held meetings with traditional harvesters and community leaders? Now MNBC representatives say in the currently regulatory hearings that MNBC will decide if they approve the project at the upcoming MNGA? How is this possible given the fact that it appears absolutely no families, or very few in an inner circle, have been provided this key information to make an informed decision?

    The project will affect Kelly Lake, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Prince George, Fort St. James, Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert. As many people see the vast majority of First Nations in BC are not in support and I know first hand they will fight this project to the very end, legally or otherwise.

    My point is BCMF would never let this happen as Métis families and communities need to know and have to be involved.

    Thanks for the time to write your views all. Keep them coming…

  8. Earlene January 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    Thank you Keith, it is good to have open discussion that is what brings about new ideas. Your comments is exactly the point I was trying to make. Part of the problem is community capacity funding enabling large group meetings, and in part the lack of ability & knowledge of community leaders to practice effective governance and communication with its membership.

    While working for a local First Nation band I attended and assisted in organizing Traditional Land Use Negotiations between a local band and the Federal Government. An important topic came up in many of the meetings was communication with its members. An important part of these negotiations was notification and participation of community members and of course a final ratification by a majority of their community members. I did like the set up that this local band had in ratification of decisions while the band council attended the initial meetings, family meetings were scheduled after being widely advertised via internet, newsletters phone calls, and newspapers. The decision to participate in a project, information share and comment on the project was done at the community family meetings.

    Recently working for the same band I was to draft response letters to Industry proponents, I noticed that pre-impact archaeological assessments were done with particular local charters of the MNBC. In one of the government assessment reports, the named MNBC charter was quoted as saying, “we have no concerns”. After reading report after report with the similar statements, I questioned the due diligence in obtaining that opinion without any community meetings to gather community input about the project or any notifications that this particular project was in the environmental assessment stage and could potentially impact Metis land usage.

    I believe this is apart of the problem why the MNBC, and its charters is at this stage, this practice of no community input and lack of consultation with its members is the sole reason why the organization is in dire straits. If its citizens had the opportunity to be apart of the decision making of purchasing the school, and apart of the ratification process, the decision to purchase might of been met with more opposition keeping us out of this cash management difficulty. In essence the governance structure could work if it was managed properly, the current governance is broken because of the lack of consultation with our communities, it is time to rebuild it.

    On another note, in regards to the discussion of new constitutional development, I look back at the past MNBC constitution and ask who were the key players in its development. How was this constitution ratified and by whom? Was this constitutional development province wide giving the opportunity of the majority of its members to be apart of its formation? In retrospect, the registry did not exist yet to verify if the players or a majority of the members of the Metis Nation were actually of Metis ancestory and apart of the Metis Nation. I like the thought of regional sessions so everyone can participate in its development, how is the BCMF figuring on provincial ratification.?

  9. Keith Henry January 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Good follow up Earlene,

    The current MNBC constitution was ratified in 2003 in Nelson, BC (Kootenay Region) after some form of a process led by consultant Dave Kennedy under the direction of MNBC President Harley Desjarlais during 2002-2003. I was new to BC when this occured and to this day there remains views about a previous constitution from Kelowna in 2000 and a lack of clarity about the consultations that created the current MNBC document.

    As many of you know I was the CEO for the MNBC from August 2003-September 2008 and I was able to support follow up drafting and consultation on legislation identified in the MNBC constitution; namely the Senate, Citizenship, and MNGA Acts. I can say with confidence that we completed about 35 community meetings during 2004-2005 to get input and feedback. As a result the legislation was ratified by delegates at the MNBC AGM in September 2005. Shortly after as MNBC we set out to support capacity building and we held work shops on financial management and communications in 2006-2007,

    In my mind this was only the beginning of the work to build community capacity, engagement and self governance. I cannot believe since this time I do not see any further governance support by the MNBC leaders. The ideas were simple; regular regional governance council meetings (3-4 a year), consistent Metis community meetings, and drive the information to the MNBC board. None of this is occuring. The MNBC regions do not have regional governance council meeetings, communities are not engaging their members, etc. It has completely fallen apart from the original intent and no one made a stand to correct or get the trrue self governance back on track.

    Too many people today at MNBC act like MNBC and communities are a club, a union. This was never the intent with work I supported and contributed to. Yes there were things to fix but I know our initial work was only a framework and MNBC leaders have failed to understand Metis self governance from day one.

    BCMF will make sure we get a clear sense of how to have community and families in the decision making process from the very beginning. As you see you cannot leave anything to chance when. MNBC today is a classic example of people geting involved who do not understand or have the capacity to understand Aboriginal governance.

    MNBC is broken, blame to go all around, time to bury it and move on.

  10. Metis Dawson January 22, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    When doing a aboriginal traditional knowledge report for industry, dawson creek sends one guy out for a field visit that has no knowledge of the area. He collects 1000.00 bucks and goes home. No consultation with any of the community NA..DA..! No wonder we have the development in our backyard with idiots like this selling us out. Traditional knowledge belongs to the community.

  11. Earlene Bitterman January 22, 2012 at 12:57 am #

    Development of a framework is the first start to self governance I agree, but colonial style governance is outside and foreign to traditional roots of our governance, for too long governance has been built from the top down enabling dictators. Seems like a MNBC Acts and Legislation are wielded to oppress the community, as witnessed by past MNBC letters. That is why I cut up my citizenship card. That is also one reason I never obtained my hunters card giving the Harvesting act, developed and ratified by only a select few, any credibility.

    The challenge is the community leaders we grassroots empower within governance understanding the vision and rights of our communities. The citizen base has to be engaged and I must say Beverly Lambert is a great leader in that respect as culture is the base of our soul and community spirit. That is the foundation of self governance is the family. Traditionally when issues effected the community as a whole a community meeting was held and discussion commenced, followed by traditional music and dance. Although we need to somewhat create a bridge for negotiations, we cannot mirror government, it has not done well for us in the past and wont work for us now.

    I must also say not everyone is a professional but grassroots individuals. many that live a traditional way of life. The world is changing around the people- new pipelines, development affecting our way of life, enabling the community to self govern and self determine our future, encompassing traditional past practices would be a model to success.

    The challenge in most of our communities is the resources to enable professional development. I was impressed by the implementation of the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) in your term, they spoke Aboriginal grassroots governance. I believe our community leaders need the expertise and capacity to enable the grassroots to build a foundation. Leaders we elect are conduits of our voices, and take a oath of office to serve the community, somewhere that gets lost in self interest and greed after someone gets into a position of power. Governance needs to have stringent rules on abuse of office. That is why the ‘Captain of the Hunt’ laws were so successful they were a defined set of rules and everyone understood them, defined laws meant that the community’s very survival was protected as a collective if suddenly someone chased all the buffalo away.

    The MNBC has lost this vision, and has their cart before the horse participating in the Joint Review hearings without grassroots engagement, they are not using the framework and continuing to build – I agree. There has been no regional governance council meetings, nor open community meetings. Reading the minutes of the Joint Review panel MNBC is not taking a stance on the pipeline and referring it back to the MNGA. I agree with Christine that many of these presidents sit at the MNGA tables that have absolutely no mandate from their community. A true position via community sessions before the hearings should of been taking place a long time ago even before MNBC is standing there as a intervenor, after all they received funding to perform this task. Between you and me, I believe those community engagement funds went into general revenue, not community engagement. We have no defined set of rules to protect our community against this tyrannical leadership besides revoking our citizenship cards and not participating. If we still followed our ‘hunt rules’ there would be a lot of bridle-less horses and some with some lashings.

    Thanks for the BCMF least we have something to build upon as citizens.

  12. keith henry January 22, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Metis Dawson,

    This is a very serious issue that many of us know goes on and will continue if we do not get our governance house in order. This 100% unethical and certain industry players are getting away with false support and developing projects withouy community support.

    I cannot stress enough that whether it is about the current MNBC practice of borrowing millions without a clear mandate, or community associations and MNBC giving approval without informed community consent, we have to rebuild!!

    Take care

    PS NEMA the MNBC recognized Metis Chartered Community in Dawson Creek is not even a legal corporation any more.

  13. Christine January 22, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Thank you for your comments. Somewhat I am elated to hear similar stories across our province that I am not the only one experiencing this, and saddened at the same time that we have such a problem. This is a serious issue when resource deals are being made without the community knowledge or participation. The Nation has lost it connection with the community base for sure. Why are they at the table when the have not done any due diligence in consultation with the community.

  14. Earlene January 22, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Dawson Creek NEMA is not a registered corporation anymore? Funny that is where I was a member until I was told I owed 5.00 and was no longer. One of the oldest families in the neighbourhood and born in Pouce Coupe being told my membership was denied for 5.00. hmmm I guess that is one way to deny my participation after I drew attention to a MNBC Senator’s involvement in community politics.

    Are you sure? Someone just told me that they had a AGM a month ago, that no one knew about and elected a new president Judith Desjarlais. How old was the corporation search?

  15. Keith Henry January 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Earlene,

    We have a copy of the actual corporate search and in fact NEMA has lost corporate standing since the fall of 2010, quite some time.

    NEMA may be having meetings in some form but the fact is they are not legally incorporated as a non profit any further. Therefore the meetings are not legal. This also raises issues on a number of fronts; industry giving money for legal consultation to NEMA, recognition by MNBC as a Chartered Community, etc.

    NEMA is one a a number of the 35 that are not in good standing. Not like this has ever mattered consistently, only when MNBC wants to use as an excuse to remove certain communities.

    We will provide a copy publicly shortly.

  16. Richard Lucier-larson January 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    First I wish to re-post quotes from those who posted ahead of me:

    Joe
    “Whats the alternative? Métis people need ethical leaders in order to link democracy to our structures. A functioning democracy, then, requires structures and systems that are clearly understandable, that work, and work to include people as participants.”

    Christine
    ” We need to bring the community and our families at the center and have decision making at the grass roots level”

    Daryl Piper
    “Almost 3 years now and still no accountability from the MNBC leadership, both levels of
    Government, and the Royal Bank. Enough is enough and its time to rebuild our Nation. I have made my choice and I cut up my MNBC citizen card in disgust and joined the BC Métis Federation and am ready to take back my Nation.”

    Earlene
    “ May I suggest, The BCMF ‘statements of cooperation’ need to be revamped to ensure that communities are following consultation guidelines with their members on important issues that are effecting them. It is time that those that profess to be our leadership actually get voted in by the community rather than a private backroom deal.”

    Keith
    “Take for example the Northern Gateway Project. This project will affect a number of Métis families who continue to practice traditional harvesting and land use. Ask yourself how many Métis families have actually been consulted about their views and had a chance to understand the impacts and potential risks?”

    Keith
    “Too many people today at MNBC act like MNBC and communities are a club, a union. This was never the intent with work I supported and contributed to. Yes there were things to fix but I know our initial work was only a framework and MNBC leaders have failed to understand Métis self governance from day one.”

    Metis Dawson :
    “When doing a aboriginal traditional knowledge report for industry, dawson creek sends one guy out for a field visit that has no knowledge of the area. He collects 1000.00 bucks and goes home. No consultation with any of the community NA..DA..! No wonder we have the development in our backyard with idiots like this selling us out. Traditional knowledge belongs to the community.”

    Earlene Bitterman :
    “Development of a framework is the first start to self governance I agree, but colonial style governance is outside and foreign to traditional roots of our governance, for too long governance has been built from the top down enabling dictators.”

    Christine:
    “The Nation has lost it connection with the community base for sure. Why are they at the table when the have not done any due diligence in consultation with the community”.

    So I see most of my thoughts are already out there, This was the mantras of several of the of the Metis who wished to form a Metis nation in B.C back in the 1990s.

    We made mistakes, one of the biggest was trusting some of the up and coming Metis leadership hopefuls, Lets not make the same mistakes again.

    I would like to suggest we start the process at the BCMF council meeting on Jan 28th 29.
    As there still seams to be a ” We have to obey colonial inspired laws and rules and regulations”,
    Lets open our minds and ask ourselves why do we try to work with outside the Metis nations structure at all, Isn’t it time to start acting like the Nation we claim to be ?

    Richard Lucier-larson
    Surtout Liberté

  17. Earlene Bitterman January 23, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Keith
    I had figured as much, as on February 27th 2010 the AGM was kiboshed by Dan Pope and his brother Senator Gerald Pope. The pope just received a slap on the hands for interference with a communities election process.

    Senate Decision:
    http://mnbc.ca/senate/pdf/decisions/Pope%20Conflict%20of%20Interest%20Decision.pdf

    After this time I never heard the excuse I was not a member for 5.00 until just last year when Sharon Payou was in the office.No notice was sent I owed any membership dues..:) This last AGM was definitely not widely advertised to members who are on NEMA’s membership list that is for sure. Since I was born in Pouce Coupe, both my grandparents, are buried in the Dawson Creek Cemetery, and my aunt and uncle buried in Kelly lake Cemetery. My ancestors worked and traded in the Peace country Forts- Rocky mountain portage (Hudson’s hope) and Fort st John in 1880-1894, you would figure we would be valued long time members in this peace country.

    We started a charter in Hudson’s hope called the Red River Metis Society a few years ago because of the travel distances to participate to other communities for HH Metis. For people to understand where Hudson’s hope is in the River Block it is 60 miles from Fort st John or from Chetwynd and 2 hours from Dawson Creek. The Red River Metis society was finally excepted into the MNBC as a charter but quickly dwindled due to the non support from the MNBC.

    That is interesting information in regards to not being a legal society although NEMA is still listed as a chartered community and performing ongoing land use studies. In my quest of trying to find out what is going on in my birthplace, I have quite a few land studies and documents as NEMA is listed as participants of arc studies during this period.

    I like the idea of starting a new charter in the north under the BCMF perhaps we can finally get some honest, accountable governance up north here. We’ll have to discuss community options at the next meeting, now that I seem to be a Metis in limbo without a registered charter.

    To Metis Dawson you can email me if you wish at ebitterman@email.com i would like to discuss these issues with you.

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