The following open letter to Métis people was sent on September 10 by Prince George Métis Community Leader Patrick Pocha…
Many of you have know I have been quite involved in my Métis community in Prince George and have served many volunteer roles, including the former leaders of the Prince George Métis Community Association (PGMCA), which is affiliated with the MNBC. I was a founding board member of PGMCA and served on this board until recently. I remember working on our community bylaws and constitution with MNBC representatives years ago.
I have been watching the Métis politics unfold, especially the issues regarding the MNBC. I have been a strong defender of MNBC but over the last few years I have come to the conclusion that MNBC does not represent our Métis community in Prince George properly.
I have decided to make this statement today to reinforce the issues so many have been saying about how wrong the MNBC has become. Last week I read MNBC President Dumont’s note to the new Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Ida Chong and I was infuriated by his statements. He mentioned in this note that he looked forward to working with the new Minister in helping Métis communities. I can say after years that MNBC has done nothing for us in Prince George but cause dissension and split up our community. PGMCA has been and continues to face internal issues but when I asked for help from MNBC President Dumont he said that they couldn’t get involved with the locals. This was further reinforced when I asked out MNBC Regional Director Annette Maurice and she stated that she couldn’t take sides as our board was at odds.
However, MNBC absolutely took sides. MNBC went ahead and held a teleconference with the PGMCA board members that submitted their prior resignations and made an arbitrary decision to accepted these individuals back on our PGMCA board. This was not held properly in accordance with our bylaws or with the awareness of our PGMCA membership and some of the board members who resigned and are now in place, have taken what little resources PGMCA had with no accountability. Our PGMCA board members had deemed these individuals as not in good standing because of this. I have the financial records to prove this.
What MNBC leaders have done by interfering in PGMCA and inserting their supporters and friends is wrong. These same individuals are now supported by MNBC and have a sense they are justified taking money from PGMCA without accountability and because MNBC leaders supported them, it is okay. Well it is not and to allow these people to get away “scott” free is wrong.
This is one of many reasons many of us Metis people in Prince George are walking away from the MNBC. They do deliberately interfere and their MNBC programs are a waste of money. For example the Blade runners is paying two (2) full time employees for a intake of three (3) times a year plus the participants to the Blade runners are not Metis. Yet MNBC has a mandate to serve our Métis people and when our Metis want to take a class it’s always full ? There is no accountability but to the staff and MNBC themselves, no real community involvement or engagement.
I have decided to speak out now because our Métis community in Prince George has been divided long enough by MNBC. We are reforming as the Northern Interior Métis Cultural Society because we have seen what MNBC has done to destroy our sense of community time and time again. I listened to their name calling and blaming, meanwhile many of the criticisms at them I have learned are true.
Well I say enough is enough and we all have to stand up and stop this corruption.
I hope Métis people will read my open letter and be open to hearing the truth as I see it. MNBC has failed and I supporting rebuilding and moving on and we will be working with the BC Metis Federation.