(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation formed in June of 2011 after years of efforts to try and force change within the Métis Nation BC. A group of like minded individuals called themselves the Coalition of Concerned Métis Citizens (CCMC) and they began to publicly call into question a number of key issues they were concerned about related to the leadership of the Métis Nation BC from 2009-2011.
This past weekend Métis Nation BC representatives continued their public relations attempts to discredit the volunteer efforts of the former CCMC and what BC Métis Federation has become today. The Métis Nation BC script to deny, blame, and deflect was the exact same as it had been since 2009. Métis Nation BC representatives use loaded language that BC Métis Federation is trying to “tear the Nation down”, or “working to take money from the Métis Nation BC”. Métis Nation BC representatives make these statements to grass roots Métis community members at local meetings, to industry, First Nations, and all levels of Government despite the fact that BC Métis Federation is publicly on record about our policy.
The BC Métis Federation policy is clear, Métis Nation BC had every right to advocate and represent the interests of their partner local Métis communities and citizens, but Métis Nation BC does not have any mandate or right to speak for the BC Métis Federation or our members. BC Métis Federation has been open to meeting with Métis Nation BC for years and this past December 2016, the organization posted a public letter of invitation to Métis Nation BC to meet. Unfortunately, the Métis Nation BC continues to decline these invitations.
BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated; “I feel it important to comment on this ongoing issue as I continue to reflect on what Métis Nation BC leaders, supporters and their staff perpetuate. Information that is wrong and incorrect. That is why we are going to re-post the document produced by the former CCMC, which involved many of the current BC Métis Federation leadership, in an effort to correct Métis Nation BC, not tear anything down. This document was released in February 2011 after many public discussions and engagement was held throughout BC. The document was entitled the “The Blueprint Document – Building a New Foundation for Our Future – A Recommended Strategic Plan Developed by the Coalition of Concerned Métis Citizens.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry added; “Sadly Métis Nation BC leadership and their supporters politicized this strategic plan to fix Métis Nation BC. Ironically some of the recommendations identified have been forced on Métis Nation BC regardless. This document proved then, as it does now, that my past work with many other dedicated volunteers was to correct and fix, not tear down. Had this plan been implemented we found an economic way to clearly demonstrate Métis Nation BC debt recovery, investments in local Métis communities and many other important cultural investments. The plan included a clear financial plan based on figures provided in Métis Nation BC public audits.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded; “What I saw on the weekend was Métis Nation BC representatives cannot see a better future. One that we all work together rather than at odds. I do not believe this is a better way forward for our people and I hope people continue to force change. We will always be stronger together and doing the same thing over and over truly meets the definition of insanity. Lets all hope for change for our culture and people in British Columbia.”
Keith Henry, President
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
Office 1-604-638-7220 Cell 1-778-388-5013