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BC Métis Federation Questions Off Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan Announcement

The following letter was sent by the BC Métis Federation to the provincial and federal governments…

Dear Federal and Provincial Representatives;

The BC Métis Federation writes to your attention to request clarification regarding the announcement yesterday under the title; “First Communities Announced for Off Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan.” This announcement comes as a surprise provided a number of key points we write to bring to your attention that will be described herein.

First off any effort by governments to support urban Aboriginal people address serious socio-economic challenges is an important and positive step. However, the governance and who represents the Métis community in the five identified first communities requires immediate clarification from governments. The communities of Vancouver, Surrey, Duncan, Kamloops, Duncan, and Prince George each has a significant Métis population but the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) does not represent the interests of many of these Métis people. Moreover the press release is once again incorrect as MNBC does not have a community who works with MNBC in Vancouver, one of the five key locations. In fact the Vancouver Métis Citizens Society chose in September 2011 to disassociate with MNBC. The MNBC press release suggests MNBC has “chartered communities” in each of these locations which is simply not true.

Second BC Métis Federation has connected with governments on several previous occasions to inform about the shifting Métis governance political realities in British Columbia. BC Métis Federation has partner communities in Vancouver (Vancouver Métis Citizens Society), Surrey (nova Métis Heritage Association), Prince George (Northern Interior Métis Cultural Society), and several members and agreements with agencies who support the socio-economic interests of Métis people. This includes Kikino Métis Child and Family Services in Prince George, White Buffalo Aboriginal and Métis Health Services Society, and Prince George Urban Aboriginal Justice Society. We question why BC Métis Federation, our partner communities, and partner service delivery agencies are not included in this new initiative.

Third and very important final issue is the clear role with Métis children and family needs yet the Provincial Government, through Minister of Child and Family Development Honourable Stephanie Cadieux, has yet to explain why the Phase Three of the Métis Child Welfare Service Delivery Framework has not been funded by the Province? BC Métis Federation still waits for follow up from the Minister’s letter dated November 6th, 2012. Our expectation was for reconsideration to fund the framework. We question why the Provincial Ministry is now involved in this new planning process after such extensive previous investments and work throughout British Columbia has already been completed to assess the needs? The implementation of the framework plan would also contribute to meeting the needs for Métis children and families in these five locations. There is a existing Métis child and family agencies in the lower mainland Prince George, Kamloops who are working together with the Métis Commission for Children and Families of British Columbia. Métis child and family needs are paramount to addressing socio-economic gaps that remain without support by MNBC at any level. Today MNBC has not met effectively or consulted with the Métis service providers while now playing a key role in this process which appears to be a replication of significant work already completed? To that end BC Métis Federation has appointed Métis Commission Deborah Canada as our new Métis Children and Family advisor. Dr. Deborah Canada is well known Métis children and family services expert and is intimately involved in the professional service delivery.

There are solutions that we urge are immediately reconsidered; engage the proper Métis community leadership in this process, recognize the legitimate self governing role of BC Métis Federation as mandated by our membership to support their socio-economic interests, and have the Métis service delivery agencies at the table to enhance and better align strategic ways to better serve all Métis people in these locations. There also needs to be immediate funding by the Province to support Phase Three of the Métis Child Welfare Service Delivery Framework.

Overall we urge immediate action to be more inclusive as MNBC is a political entity who does not have the mandate to represent all of the Métis interests in these locations. MNBC membership is political in nature and MNBC has continued to discriminate existing services which questions their ability to represent the total Métis populations in these locations. If MNBC chartered communities from the four other locations (Surrey, Kamloops, Duncan, and Prince George) have mandated their participation we respect this. However we question what any MNBC role is in light of their current political and financial sustainability challenges in British Columbia.

Ultimately BC Métis Federations wants to ensure all Métis people are supported and there are already a number of Métis agencies who can make a difference. MNBC politics cannot be allowed to interfere in meeting the needs of all Métis people.

I welcome an opportunity to meet with your officials and identify solutions.

Thank you,

Keith Henry
President
BC Métis Federation

Downloads:

Click here to download this letter in PDF format. Click here to download the MCFD Letter to BC Metis Federation – November 2012. Click here to download the MNBC ORAAP news release.  Click here to download the Government press release.

 

5 Responses to BC Métis Federation Questions Off Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan Announcement

  1. Keith December 22, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    I am putting up an email message from Wayne Lucier of Williams Lake. He is also on the BC Metis Federation board and is a Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association member from Williams lake.

    Thank you Wayne for your courage to keep speaking out and I am happy to post as you have requested.

    I hope others will also post now as well:

    From Wayne Lucier:

    To all concern Metis

    It is a sad and defeating day to see how our own people can take the pride and values of a nation and throw it to the dogs. Cultural genocide still happens today with government encouragement and approval. the only way proud people can be recognized is via government created entities. Hard to believe Canada is a free country and this is happening to the Metis people. All people have the right to be heard and voice opinions whether it be against elected officials or government.

    Ministry of child and families have encouraged and funded Metis Nation of B.C. to become a component of the government supported Friendship Centers. In the meanwhile First Nations and Metis organizations are denied recognition and funding. In the case that transpired between MCFD and MNBC and Friendship centers five pilot projects were identified to set up Metis services for Child and families. Two areas identified already have Metis organizations that service Metis families. Were they consulted, one of them has already verified they were not.

    In all good consciousness how can we let this genocide happen to our history, values,and culture. Does MNBC think we are not capable of delivering our own services? Do they think we are too stupid for this task? Does MNBC actually think someone else besides Metis organizations can understand our needs better? Does MNBC think they are helping Metis by signing away jobs? We need to stand up and stop these insane actions. They are throwing away everything are Elders have fought hard for.

    • Michael du Frane December 26, 2012 at 1:55 am #

      Aho…..Count Me in….throwing my sash in the Arena!!!!

  2. Christine G December 23, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    I could not agree with you more Wayne Lucier. Governments would rather align themselves with those that follow the 200 year plan. The Indian act and all the subsequent policies were meant to “take the indian out of the child”, including all the residential schools in concert with the churches. We are still in conquest mode. MNBC is a entity that has sold our our people, it does not represent any community values as they do not connect with the grassroots. Connection with the grassroots would involve community meetings, supporting the locals, and communication. Sure they put out a pretty newsletter, but it was full of propaganda with cherry picked news items not the reality our Nation is facing with the enormous debt.

    How can we let this genocide happen? Our Nation has been downtrodden so long that as soon someone throws a few dollars our loyalties and pride in our Nation flies out the window.

  3. Beverly December 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    As a Grassroots Metis citizen and Cultural Promoter,.MNBC has not represented the people in an honest accountable manner for quite awhile ,and that is why,many Proud Metis walked away.Some districts even formed New Metis locals not associated with MNBC .and in the districts that you mentioned in your letter.They have signed MOU with BC Metis Federation and want nothing to do with MNBC
    Are you really saying we have to accept this corruption and just give them more money to waste,,,NO WAY.The Trust has been broken for many communities…so really you are going to leave out many families and children in our Nation, if you so choose to do this.
    We are a proud people and have the right to stand up for ourselves and are informing YOU ! who we trust………..and want to walk hand in hand with
    MNBC is no longer representing all of us.
    The BC Metis Federation is a trusted organization and the people have spoken…now pay attention….I don;t want to hear the words…well we didn’;t know what was happening.
    Shame on you for playing games with our children s future.
    Thanks for listening
    I do care what happens to our future,so I will respectfully remind people to stop using the word politics as an excuse to stand by and watch this happen.If you truely care and want to make a things right.Do It. Thats how we make the world a better place.

  4. Daryl Piper December 25, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    It is ridiculous how the Federal Government continues to openly discriminate against Metis communities that are not in support of the MNBC. The Metis Nation of BC are corrupt and has proven time and time again they do not serve the needs of their own members and they clearly do not represent all Metis.

    The Federal Government continues to support corruption against our people and this is unacceptable. Its time for our people to make a stand in the best interests of all Metis people because we can no longer be the victim. We do not have to accept this type of treatment from the Government or the MNBC.

    The BC Metis Federation continues to fight for Metis rights and will never accept discrimination or any other form of injustice against our people.

    Proud Member of the BC Metis Federation

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