Attention Métis leaders and Métis people of British Columbia;
The BC Métis Federation writes today in our efforts to ensure timely communication about issues that affect Métis people.
This past weekend the MNBC Board and communities aligned with the MNBC co-hosted a forum entitled the MNBC Community Advisory Meeting regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. The BC Métis Federation has been quite outspoken about the merits and validity of this MNBC meeting to be assumed any MNBC decisions are reflective of Métis people in British Columbia. We know the large majority of Métis people do not support this controversial project for a variety of personal, environmental, and community reasons. Despite the growing opposition MNBC leaders celebrated an alleged new $50,000.00 labour market agreement last Friday night in support of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. MNBC leaders use excuses to convince and maintain support such as “well we cannot stop the project so we better take what we can get”. Clearly MNBC leaders are not aware of the long and challenging legal road ahead for this project through the courts and otherwise by First Nations, municipal, and other levels of government in BC. Moreover what does this really tell Métis people about the real values of MNBC and the manner in which decisions are made?
It is unfortunate that despite this significant decision MNBC leaders have not posted any public information about the new deal which is now a week later. MNBC has also not disclosed the financial support Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines provided MNBC to cover the costs for this meeting, or other contributions this last year.
Ironically this past weekend MNBC also suddenly announced that as of May 26th they will host a series of information sharing and consultation sessions with the first scheduled in Cranbrook. The stated objective is to share aspects on all MNBC’s operations and programs, plus other matters. Refer to the attached letter for reference.
As the BC Métis Federation we are disappointed that MNBC did not invite our organization to attend their meetings. We certainly have been open and welcomed MNBC to any of our regional sessions. We are particularly surprised that MNBC would announce such regional meetings only months away from their next MNBC General Election scheduled for September 2012.
I encourage Métis people and leadership to see what MNBC continues to do to mislead the Métis public and manipulate all processes. Suddenly MNBC wants to have regional sessions with their next MNBC General Election right around the corner. Just another indirect way to support pre-election campaigning for some of the MNBC current board members we suspect. Where was the MNBC leadership and accountability the last four years? Where is the MNBC debt recovery plan status reports? Why is there no more support for Métis community infrastructure? Why did the MNBC board run the organization millions into debt during the last four years? Why does MNBC continue to support the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project? There are so many other issues that remain unresolved.
The facts today speak for themselves and BC Métis Federation is currently working with several other Métis communities who have an agreement with MNBC but are moving to the BC Métis Federation because they view the BC Métis Federation as an organization that represents the true spirit and intent of good governance, where they have a real voice. Watch for a number of announcements in the near future.
In closing, I encourage all Métis people to show solidarity and unite with the BC Métis Federation. The BC Métis Federation is becoming the recognized Métis representative organization of choice in our own Métis community, the business community and with government officials and elected representatives. Do not let MNBC representatives continue their deception any further. The MNBC track record speaks for itself and the issues that are of importance must be addressed. MNBC will never be in a position to fight for Métis rights, Métis community infrastructure, Métis cultural support, or take tough stands on industry projects when they are desperate for money to survive because of the years of MNBC mismanagement.
Ultimately the choice is yours.
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis