(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation board members met on Wednesday, April 24th, 2012 and during their board meeting passed a resolution to oppose the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project on behalf of their members and Métis communities.
The BC Métis Federation is a provincial Métis representative organization established in 2011 and has signed cooperation agreements with Métis communities from Fort St. John, Surrey, Vancouver, North Saanich, and Kelly Lake. BC Métis Federation has also reached agreements with the Métis Veterans Association – BC and other service delivery organizations. The BC Métis Federation launched a provincial membership card in September 2011 and continues to receive membership applications from all over British Columbia while recognizing thousands of members within each of the Métis communities working with the BC Métis Federation, recognizing that some will be directly impacted by the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project.
BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “This project has been a contentious conversation topic within our Métis community for the last few years. We began to review our position carefully after we heard growing frustration and concerns about the lack of proper consultation for Métis people, many of which could be directly impacted if the project proceeds.”
President Henry added, “We completed months of community meetings, provided an opportunity for an online poll where over 480 Métis people participated, and utilized our online Métis Coffee Talk show to share project information. The results of the significant BC Métis Federation process provided a clear mandate for our board to draft a resolution that we believed reflected the majority voice for our Métis members. ”
President Henry concluded, “The MNBC has been provided significant resources to consult with Métis people and only now they are organizing a meeting in early May to review this project. They have failed consultation and not provided timey information to the Métis people. This has led to serious questions about how MNBC used these resources and why this sudden meeting in May. This has also led to an overwhelming majority of Métis people against the project because many do understand the project details. Despite the failures of MNBC consultation Métis people have made their own determinations and BC Métis Federation will ensure Enbridge and the regulators are informed how many of the Métis people feel in BC. The BC Métis Federation resolution provides a number of reasons why the unanimous vote; respect for First Nations law, lack of proper Métis consultation, the potential adverse impacts far outweigh any proposed benefits, questions about who would really benefit if MNBC has already signed an equity stake, etc. We want to be sure Métis people throughout BC know the BC Métis Federation will take action and ensure their majority voice is heard. I strongly feel one of the most compelling reasons for the strong resistance by Métis people today is due to the manner in which this project is being sold to Métis people. Some Métis people say the government will force this project through anyways so why not support? This is very dangerous thinking and many of us know that the Federal Government has a very long road ahead legally should they try to force this project through. Métis people are deciding to oppose the project because they will not feel forced by any government. If the Federal Government tries to force the project through, a least Métis people will know that we did all we could to protect our traditional lifestyles and right to self determination. It is not just about money.”
For more information about BC Métis Federation please review the BC Métis Federation website www.bcmetis.com.
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis