(Vancouver, BC) The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) consists of eleven (11) board members who manage and are responsible for the financial affairs and operations of programming contracted by MNBC to assist Métis people in BC. The majority of the MNBC funding is for employment and training activities. MNBC has remained silent and faced considerable challenges in terms of financial sustainability and proper governance representation for Métis people in British Columbia. The BC Métis Federation has evolved because of the MNBC dysfunction and called on governments and Métis people to take immediate action to force the MNBC to be fully accountable. Unfortunately to date there has been no action to properly address the MNBC growing debt and clear mismanagement of public funds. Today, and despite repeated warnings by the BC Métis Federation to governments, industry and Métis people, MNBC continues to exhibit signs of an organization that is self destructing.
Last week the BC Métis Federation reported to the Métis public about the internal letter from one of the MNBC committees, the British Columbia Métis Assembly of Natural Resources (BCMANR), who reinforced that MNBC was not properly consulting with Métis people on key projects, such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines. The BCMANR letter provided further evidence of the MNBC growing dysfunction and further proved MNBC does not represent the interests of Métis people in BC on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project. This week there are new revelations that the MNBC Executive Director Mr. Dale Drown has resigned and the Métis Skills and Employment Center (MSEC) is closing its doors. There are also rumors that one of the MNBC senior staff Mrs. Victoria Pruden has also moved on.
BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated; “What a week of interesting events unfolding within the MNBC. The alleged closing of MSEC and resignation of their Executive Director Mr. Dale Drown are substantial. Where is the communication from MNBC? Is this true?”
President Henry added; “The BC Métis Federation is not surprised by the destructive situation. We have forecasted MNBC mismanagement will come to a head soon and when it does, the Métis people will be hurt much more than they realize. This is classic when politicians try to get in the middle of the programs and services. Where is the government oversight for the programs contracted by MNBC for Métis people as this board went millions into debt in the last four years? Do these same people not read papers such as the Harvard Project on American Indian Development? This has been touted for years as a great template for Aboriginal community economic development. One of the key recommendations in the project is to separate politics from business. This is exactly why MNBC is continuing to self destruct as the MNBC board themselves think they need to be running all MNBC operations and are by their nature making political decisions. Worse yet, the Federal and Provincial governments and industry continue to support MNBC by continuing contracts and wasting millions that were to support our Métis culture and people who face real issues while going further into debt. The MNBC board has yet to take responsibility ever for their actions.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “I hope MNBC themselves clarify the situation and what exactly is going on once and for all. One by one their MNBC staff leaves and there is no progress to support our people. This is why the BC Métis Federation must be considered a real option for all to rebuild and move our Nation forward.”
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
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