Community Leader in Prince George Patrick Pocha Speaks Out

The following open letter to Métis people was sent on September 10 by Prince George Métis Community Leader Patrick Pocha… 

Attention all,

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.

Patrick Pocha

 Click here to download Patrick Pocha’s letter in PDF.

 

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7 Responses to Community Leader in Prince George Patrick Pocha Speaks Out

  1. Rosie September 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    the very same thing was done with the Northwest BC Metis Association; Sid Peltier, Richard Hayden, Dale Dundas resigned from their positions. MNBC reinstated them during a teleconference in which 3 remaining board members were not invited too. I was one of them that was not invited and i have served differing positions over the years.

    Sad, Truly is sad being my Uncle, Frank Jerome, was one of the founding members of the NWBCMA, and now his family is all but ostracized from the very organization that we committed our time and efforts too.

    The rumors and innuendos have also split our community.

  2. Richard Lucier-larson September 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    Tansi All;
    Again we witness another Metis who has put in years of effort building the Metis nation cast aside by the mnbc control freaks.

    Is there going to be anyone left to engage in their mock election ?

    Patrick Pocha, I hope to meet you at the BCMF A.G.M. at Williams Lake.

    Again more than happy to be a part of the BCMF, we don’t do the power tripping thing.

    Richard Lucier-larson

  3. Kim September 11, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    WOW…

  4. Keith September 11, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Good morning all,

    Yes wow is a good way to describe but no surprise to many of us in the BC Metis Federation.

    MNBC has become also toxic and it is far beyond these bad politics, now the board and management have also financially ruined the organization as well.

    I mean there is an election and where are any candidate forums, where is the MNBC information about the financial statements from last year (2011-2012)?

    Bruce Dumont, despite an MNBC claim last December to cut board wages, continues benefit with a wage while campaigning throughout BC.

    Move in people, you are only being coopted to support complete dysfunction, deceit, and in the end MNBC will help no one but themselves and their wages.

    I hope more speak out to educate others and thank you Pat and Rosie for putting these statements out there. People need to hear the truth, if they do not want to hear it!

  5. darylpiper September 11, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    I commend Mr Pocha for speaking out because this type of behavior by the MNBC leadership is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated any longer. The former Coalition of Concerned Metis Citizen’s and now the BC Metis Federation has been saying this for several years and more Metis leaders need to speak out because this is not democracy.

    The MNBC bought a school in 2009 and since then have incurred a massive debt on your behalf without any prior community consultation and now anyone with an MNBC citizenship card is part of this debt. The MNBC stated they had sold the school and we now know this to be a lie and now the MNBC is still responsible for the interest payments and continue to fall deeper in to debt to the tune of an additional million dollars. The MNBC has no real economic development plan or revenue streams to pay for this debt because they are primarily a service delivery organization and so now the programs and services they deliver are in jeopardy.

    The MNBC has done absolutely nothing for the communities and have never invested in community capacity development, cultural, education, healthcare, and have never advacated for our Metis rights, and yet the MNBC has received around 12 Million dollars a year. Were did the money go because the money was supposed to go to the communities.

    The MNBC leadership has lied , cheated and have stolen from the Metis people and have breached their constitution, bylaws, election act and denied you your rights. I don’t care who runs in the next illegal MNBC election because the MNBC leadership is nothing more than a tin pot dictatorship who are pathetic with no ethics or morals and are corrupt. I am not sure if the Metis people realize the damage the MNBC has caused in our Metis communities.

    In the last year the BCMF has done more to support culture and the communities without federal dollars than the MNBC has done in the last 4 years and the BCMF has done this through volunteerism and the generosity of our members. The Metis people have begun the rebuilding process and we invite everyone to our first ever historic AGM in Williams Lake on Saturday September 22nd. We have a full agenda and we do have a exciting plan for our future. Please visit our website for the full details at http://bcmetis.com

  6. Beverly September 15, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Thank you so much Pat. I know that you have watched and listened before you said enough is enough. You have always dedicated countless hours and given most of your life to the Metis people. If there is one person who can bring people back together in PG it is YOU!and Rose.
    It takes strong leadership to do what’s right for the people not others. They are priority.
    We can all work together side by side.i thank you and grateful for you stand up and tell the truth. The old saying goes. The truth shall set us FREE. Lots of hugs to everyone in PG. now stand beside your New Leader.

  7. Dawn Neault October 11, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    These are the reasons I’ve hesitated in becoming involved in the Metis community.I would love to volunteer and work with leader’s to ensure a well rounded Metis community.Prince George’s tenuous on again off again organization only offer’s confusion and doubt to new member’s.I give Patrick Pocha cudo’s for his long struggle to keep our P.G.Metis Community on the map.I’m not interested in joining an organization so divided and dictated by outsider’s.We need a democratic group not a dictatorship.

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