MNBC 2012 General Election a Complete Sham

The following is an open letter to the Métis people of British Columbia…

Attention Métis leaders and Métis people of British Columbia;

The BC Métis Federation was provided copies of the latest steps by MNBC yesterday in terms of the 2012 MNBC General Election scheduled for September 15th, 2012. MNBC Executive Director Dale Drown signed off a letter dated July 12th, 2012 addressed to the Members of the Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) accompanied by two resolutions. The first resolution is requesting MNGA members to approve that the MNBC 2012 General Election is to have only mail in ballots. The second resolution isfor MNGA members to appoint the Chief Electoral Officer. The resolutions have a stated deadline of July 16th, 2012. The three MNBC documents have been attached for your review.

The BC Mètis Federation has been calling on governments, industry, Métis Chartered Community leaders, and Métis people throughout BC to immediately terminate any association with MNBC for a number of reasons, including their mismanagement of governance approved and mandated by their members. The MNBC has a number of specific processes that are to be followed and it is not up to the MNBC board or management to redefine because they decide. This is exactly what they are doing in this latest dictatorship. For example, the MNGA Act describes the process for how an MNGA is assembled, how resolutions are required for presentation, and how voting is to take place. The MNGA Act requires a 30 day notice, MUST be in person, and voting is only by roll call where every MNGA member has to state their vote for public record. There is no allowance for a vote by proxy. Yet despite a clear direction for MNBC board and management they ignore and send out directives that are completely contrary to their own laws. This is a very serious challenge to what the MNBC board and management are now doing as the process they are forcing dismisses any 30 day notification, dismisses the requirement for voting by roll call, and dismisses any proper review by MNGA members of the proposed resolutions with only a 4 day notice during the summer when MNGA members may or may not be in a position to review this MNBC email.

The most offensive act by MNBC board and management is this sudden complete dismissal of the MNBC Electoral Act that has been properly mandated by their members for years. This is extremely relevant as the Electoral Act clearly described the legal requirement for how MNBC was to conduct proper democratic elections. The Electoral Act described that eligible voters have a right to vote in person at a polling station to be established in each of the Métis Chartered Communities, in addition to a mail in ballot process. There are several other MNBC requirements in the Electoral Act that are now in serious question. There is no grey areas here, the Electoral Act is well defined and it is not up to management and the MNBC board to change on their own.

This latest tactic by the MNBC board and management is a complete sham. The MNBC is not following their legal mandate established by the hundreds of Métis people and community leaders who approved the various levels of MNBC governance processes over the years to ensure public transparency. The MNBC letter from Executive Director Dale Drown makes no explanation why MNBC once more throws out MNBC internal rules such as the MNGA Act or Electoral Act. This is yet another sign of the suffering financial state of the MNBC and we all know this. The MNBC board and management knew there was an MNBC Election required in September 2012 and should have set aside resources to ensure the proper delivery of a democratic process. It is clear now that the MNBC 2012 Election will be without merit or proper legal mandated authority and governments and Métis people must stop pretending there is not a very serious matter here.

Our recommendation is for MNGA members not to sign these resolutions as this is not a proper legal process. Moreover we urge MNBC citizenship card holders and Métis Chartered Community board members to realize how extreme this situation is becoming should you continue your association with the functionally bankrupt MNBC. The MNBC General Election in 2008 cost approximately $130,000.00 and despite recent MNBC claims that they are managing, this alleged $12 million dollar organization cannot afford to run a proper election? Most concerning is that fact that this MNBC election will disenfranchise thousands of Métis people from voting. The MNBC General Election in 2008 included a mail in ballot
process as per the MNBC Electoral Act, the mail in ballots were less than 50.

The MNBC is not being transparent and the Métis people deserve governance that is open and transparent. I urge everyone to read the MNBC governance documents on their website to review the specifically the MNGA Act and Electoral Act to better understand how illegal the MNBC board and management processes have become.

As I always state ultimately the choice is yours.

Thank you,

Keith Henry
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, V5R 5W2
Office 1-604-638-7220
Cell 1-778-388-5013

You can follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis

Download this letter in PDF format Download the internal memorandum to MNBC in PDF format Download the first Resolution document in PDF format Download the second Resolution document in PDF format


11 Responses to MNBC 2012 General Election a Complete Sham

  1. Dean Lenglet July 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Ultimately, the choice is apparently NOT ours. The whole MNBC is and has been a sham for the followers of Mr. Dumont. MNBC used to be a respected entity, but now, it has been driven into disrepute. Yep, nothing like showing non-metis people what “stereotypical” aboriginals do when they get money. This is so embarassing it’s indescribable. I cannot believe there are still people out there who believe in these jokers.

  2. Earl Belcourt July 13, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    As I have always said, the Metis people of BC and/or Canada are not and never were a part of the MPCBC or the MNBC. If we were their lawyer Mr. Gereluk would need to resign if the MNBC Board insisted on going ahead in this illegal manner.
    The MPCBC and the MNBC function through the Societies Act of BC and can also act under a Constitution if the Board elected were honest and truly wanted to build a Nation of BC Metis people instead of simply collecting a salary for doing nothing. The intent of the MPCBC and the MNBC was always to build a Nation. Unfortunately we haven’t had “one” honest Board to date. Maybe one day we will be fortunate.

  3. Joe Desjarlais July 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    This is what happens when these so called leaders lose their way, they get caught up in all manner of dysfunction and at the end of the day, Metis people lose out. This is truly a discrace and a hindrance to any sort of meaningful democratic process. I keep saying that they have failed as leaders. Its been more about crass opportunism and clinging to shreds of power at any cost. Their technocratic approach can be summarized as ‘ if you give us power, you give us the right to do whatever we want for 4 years”

    This election sham is an example of exercisigng power without responsibility…

    Just look at the mess…. Metis citizens have had no avenue for a public voice, a dialogue, now we see there is a bogus election process that doesn’t function within its own laws..

    As well, what kind of message are mainstream Governments who legitimize this sham making to Metis people and other Canadian voting citizens about their own leadership and management capabilities? Then there is the whole issue of the fiduciary responsibility and management responsibilities to indigneous people, which never goes away……..

  4. Laura McLennan July 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    This is very disappointing. What actions can we take ??

  5. Richard Lucier-larson July 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    Tansi All;
    Once more is another reason that many of us had lost faith in the mnbc.

    This is just a small part of the many reasons many of us decided to form the British Columbia Metis Federation.
    This is the ultimate embarrassment and as a result a lot more of Metis people have lost faith in the Metis Nation.
    It will be a long hard road to restore the Nation up to the level it was 12 years ago.

    If you still believe this is possible, attend one of the Metis Cultural events like the Kelly Lake Gathering Aug 10, 11, and 12th. many of us who still believe there is a future for the Metis nation will be there to celebrate our culture.


    Richard Lucier-larson
    A proud member of the BCMF

  6. old guard watching July 14, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    I would like to know everyones thoughts about after the MNBC election, and they have a new slate of people wanting to make changes and claim they can make these changes to put the MNBC back on track. No Bruce, No Dave, and a complete change of Director’s. Has the BCMF talked with the MNC? Thanks for your comments.

  7. Free Metis July 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    No big surprise….tell me when they’ve had an open and honest election? How do they let registered Metis know there is even an election happening?

    All this tells me is that the PIGGY BANK is empty and they don’t have the resources available to at least put on a good show.

    You’d have to be some great big fool to run for office in this election, they don’t want to ride the sinking ship and have patsies all ready to climb aboard……

  8. Keith Henry July 16, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Dear Old Guard,

    This has been discussed in my circles by many. The issue is MNBC is not financially able to be saved. MNBC is functionally bankrupt and even the best candidates cannot change that, not too mention they could face personal liabilities in light of the most recent legal opinion we shared.

    Given the manner in which MNBC is now changing the rules for their 2012 Election one must question why anyone would want to save MNBC? BC Metis Federation believes the MNBC board should either file or be forced into bankruptcy. Then Metis communities can reform and reunite together under a new provincial organization and move forward with new terms of engagement.

    This is my opinion, trying to save the MNBC given the serious financial debt is a bed business decision, let along terrible politics.

    Just my thoughts…

  9. s.daniels July 16, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    How can we as Metis citizens, be sure that the mail in ballots have been accounted for in a honest manner, given what as been going on within the walls of MNBC, are we not putting trust back into the hands that have led us to destruction, we need to stand up has one, and say no to this by pass of a election.

    The Metis of BC have a right to speak and see all delegates that are running for a position in a forum in their communities, so they can ask questions to each delegate about theirs positions, and WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO TO BETTER THE NATION

  10. Tim St. Denis July 16, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    An election? What for? Rescue is no longer the issue here. Send in the recovery team. A buffalo head, a few sashes and a few portraits of our past president. Really, this negativity is getting old.
    Soon they will be gone and we can get on with a more positive outlook. Their replacements will be on a volunteer basis doing their best to recover the scraps and bones left. I can only wish the new people well. IMO

  11. Richard Lucier-larson July 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    Tansi Old Guard Watching:

    Your ” Has the BCMF talked with the MNC? ”

    My own opinion: What a waste of time.

    Now about something vastly more important, Where is that Coffee you owe me?

    Richard Lucier-larson
    A proud thinking member of the BCMF.

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