MNBC Illegal Electoral Steps – When Will Governments Act?

The following letter was sent by the BC Métis Federation today to Prime Minister Harper and Premier Clark…

Monday, July 16th, 2012
Right Honourable Stephen Harper          Honourable Christy Clark
Prime Minister                                               Premier
Government of Canada                                Province of British Columbia

Re: MNBC Illegal Acts Continue – Election Manipulation
Dear Premier Clark and Prime Minister Harper,
The BC Métis Federation writes today to bring continued attention to increasing mismanagement and improper governance within the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC), an organization that your governments have continued to recognize as representative of Métis people in British Columbia.

This latest issue is very serious in terms of MNBC governance. Central to any legitimate representative governance is proper democratic elections for the people. The Métis people across Canada have witnessed many electoral challenges to ensure proper representation and actions by MNBC representatives last week add to the growing calls for immediate action for governments to immediately sever any relationship with the MNBC.
On Thursday, July 12th at the end of the day the MNBC Executive Director Mr. Dale Drown sent an internal memo to the Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) members requesting approval of two resolutions by the end of today (July 16th). The resolutions requested MNGA members to approve the MNBC 2012 General Election Chief Executive Officer and that the upcoming election scheduled for September is by mail in ballot only. I have attached copies of the MNBC correspondences.

According to the MNBC constitution and legislation this MNBC action is absolutely illegal and speaks to support the view by many that MNBC has become completely dysfunctional. I draw to your attention the attached MNBC constitution and have highlighted Article 32 that requires a thirty day notice for the MNGA. I have also attached the MNGA Act that defines how MNGA members vote on resolutions set out in Article 4. Finally I have attached the MNBC Electoral Act and draw attention to Article 26 that described how mail in ballots is only to be used for Advance polls. There are several other relevant sections but we present these few facts to ensure governments have been acutely aware of the increasing dysfunction.

In this situation we question why MNBC political leaders are not signing off these correspondences? More importantly MNBC must provide 30 days notice and should have provided adequate time for the chartered communities to review, discuss, and consult with their members. The MNGA would only be able to be properly held on or after August 11. The proposed resolutions require substantive changes to existing MNBC governance and as such must adhere with their stated processes. Anything less is illegal.

BC Métis Federation continues to question why neither government has taken any real tangible steps to ensure the interests of Métis people are protected, such as responsible governance? MNBC is clearly breeching their own laws and is now attempting to rewrite electoral processes without any consultation with their own members. How can either government continue to support such undemocratic measures by any organization? MNBC has proven itself of incapable of managing money, failed at the debt recovery plan, and much more. Now Métis people who remain members of MNBC will be disenfranchised and government support must be strongly questioned in light of this new development.

MNBC actions now jeopardize any legitimacy for their MNBC General Election in September. The “kangaroo governance” is clearly getting worse and is not in the best interests of Métis people. MNBC governance was to ensure their Electoral Act was followed as their law, it is not supposed to arbitrarily be redefined by some staff or the MNBC board. MNBC are illegal according to MNBC laws so how can MNBC remain a legitimate representative voice for Métis people? When will governments finally take action? If such electoral issues were infolding anywhere else in Canada or the world, immediate sanctions would be taken. So why are Métis people being allowed to be subjected to such deplorable acts?

In closing I draw attention to a report recently released by the Federal Government, “The Aboriginal Economic Benchmarking Report” produced by the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board in June 2012. One of the underlying indicators for economic success for Aboriginal groups is governance. This is not surprising. However what is surprising and most disappointing is that when serious issues of governance are identified, such as what has been unfolding at the MNBC for years, no action is taken to protect the larger interests for all Métis people. In this case it appears the federal and provincial government’s political will to stand by MNBC no matter how undemocratic, mismanaged, and functionally bankrupt they are is more important. Where is the consideration for the fiduciary duty for Métis people in BC? Where is the honour of the crown when the fundamental rights for Métis people to vote are being manipulated?

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


  • Peter Cunningham, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
  • Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
  • Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  • Honourable Scott Fraser, Critic for Aboriginal Relations
  • Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Federal Liberal Aboriginal Affairs Critic
  • Honourable Jean Crowder, NDP Aboriginal Affairs Critic
  • BC Métis Federation Board Members
  • BC Métis Federation Members
Download this letter in PDF format Download the Memorandum to MNGA Members regarding the 2012 elections in PDF format Download the first Resolution document in PDF format Download the second Resolution document in PDF format Download the highlighted MNBC Constitution in PDF format Download the highlighted MNBC Electoral Act in PDF format Download the highlighted MNBC MNGA Act in PDF format



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10 Responses to MNBC Illegal Electoral Steps – When Will Governments Act?

  1. Marlene July 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Perhaps this letter should be sent to all the ministers of government surely some one out there will see that there is something amiss and is geared towards non inclusiveness of all Metis. In saying this I am hoping there are honest ministers out there.

  2. Dean Lenglet July 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    I am wondering if any of the BCMF letters or calls have ever been answered by the respective recipients. I realize that the job of most politicians is to first, get re-elected at whatever cost. Second, it is to look after those who got them elected in the first place. A very distant third, hopefully, is to do what is right for the province and its people. It is this kind of pecking order that ruins our country, province, and society in general. Most likely, no politician is going to say or do anything about our situation in case it rocks the boat. First, they would quietly get someone to do a study and perhaps float a trial balloon to see if there are enough votes for them if they act. If not, well, you see what is, or in this case, is not happening. I doubt very much that any politico has the intestinal fortitude to do anything. There is no photo op or huge announcement to the media here,only the people funding this joke hiding their heads in their collective alimentary canals.

  3. Joe Desjarlais July 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    This is very serious and this issue far eclipses “internal” Metis politics. It has to do with how we view and act toward each other in this place we share together. It appears that Metis people and governments in Canada have very different goals in mind for our future in Canada. Metis people and their communities are caught between a lawless minority interest ( MNBC) and a mainstream majority (governments and society-at -large) indifferent at best or evidently intent on assimilation games, judging by government inaction. It appears OK for them to legitimize a broken service delivery led by a bn organization that is “illegal according to MNBC laws” as stated above by Keith.

    Nonetheless, the honor of the Crown and the historic trust relationship are at stake for governments. Don’t forget that the Crown is the ‘people’. The real question to consider is how Metis people will be “remembered” in Canada as we attempt to co-exist. Canadians and their governments have a choice to make.

  4. Earl Belcourt July 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Keith your actions are exemplary and brave to say the least. As hard as I have tried to bring these issues to light in the past, I failed where you have stood out.
    Hats off to you and your Board and please don’t ever forget that I will stand, always, by those that stand true and strong.
    Earl Belcourt

  5. Free Metis July 16, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    You missed the MNC, MNA, MNS, and MNO in your CC list.

    As most of MNBCs funding comes via the MNC contribution agreements they should be made aware of this sham!!

  6. Ted McNicol July 17, 2012 at 2:42 am #

    Is there a reason this isn’t being sent to the media as well? Politicians won’t take any action until there’s public pressure. If it looks like something that will make them look bad (like they aren’t doing their job, continuing a little over 150 years of tradition), suddenly they will take an interest and instruct their public servants to take immediate action.

    An investigative reporter would likely find a lot of valuable information posted on the BCMF website (and neglect on the MNBC one).

  7. April McLean-Collart July 17, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    I agree with all who have written above….Having said this, who, among the citizens left will take a stand? Who will directly question the authority of the MNBC in breaking and ignoring rules, articles of the Constitution, Electoral Act, the MNGA Act, etc. There is no governance being utilized by either the MNBC or by the various Metis communities. The majority of the citizens in the Métis communities have no knowledge of the various Acts or the articles in the Constitution that address the issues that are arising. There are several communities not in good standing with the Societies Act, there are many more communities who have no meetings whatsoever. I would hazard a guess that the majority of the communities have a president who travels to the various meetings for the social aspect alone and these presidents have no clue what their community members want as they have shared no information with them! This is the sorry state of governance within the MNBC….again, I ask, who, as a citizen, will take a stand? Please let us know so we can share your concerns!

  8. Free Metis July 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    The MNBC Acts are a sham….at the end of the day the organization is nothing more than a society, under the Societies Act of BC…you can bet Gereluk has informed them as much, the Legal entity is MPCBC….sorry to tell you this but they are only loosely obligated to follow the Societies Act of BC.

  9. Tim St. Denis July 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    The Harper government scrutinizes elections around the world. Surely they will not let this sham take place within our own borders. They may justify it by passing it off as Aboriginal.
    In the past their mantra was that the MNBC BOD was a duly elected government by the BC Metis people. I would not wish to be part of a new council living with four more years of ridicule for being illegally elected from day one.IMO

  10. Richard Lucier-larson July 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Tansi all:
    Why am I not surprised, it has been refereed to as ” Deja Poo” , same old crap.
    Richard Lucier-larson

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