BC Métis Federation Statement on Métis National Council September Newsletter

Click here to view the Métis National Council September Newsletter

Métis National Council (MNC) ‘Homeland’ Dogma since 1983 and supported by Federal government is unravelling.

Recall that a fixed notion of ‘being Métis’ has long served a particular political institutional purpose. Funding and research models, the political structures and the policy incentives for Indigenous peoples have supported a ‘particular’ understanding.

However, this MNC – Federal government ‘political ideal’ is at-odds with the complexity and fluidity of Métis on-the-ground in communities.

In the September MNC Newsletter it appears MNC leader Chartier is being forced to admit to fact that the Province of Ontario and MNO recognized 5 new communities outside of their long-touted ‘homeland’ definition. According to Chartier, “it is in the best interests and survival of the Métis Nation, and the integrity of its geographic homeland and related citizenship that this new development be dealt with in an expeditious manner.”

It appears from this release they want to quickly deal with this by further entrenchment into a form of Métis Act guaranteed and apparently funded by Canada.

MNC has long attempted to dominate and regulate a restrictive homeland identity and an exclusive relationship with Canada.

But this status-quo is at odds with the complexity and fluidity and needs of Métis in the ground in sovereign communities.They have never been interested in what is right/best for communities and support for the vitality and well-being of local Métis community formation and repatriation.

Nor have they established dialogue and protocol with First nations, but instead are caught up in ‘politics of recognition’ and exclusive ‘identity politics’ with governments. In Ontario as example, First nations academics have been recently deeply criticizing the MNO (affiliate of MNC) over this very issue.

In fact MNC affiliates MNBC have subverted community governance and harmed members like SS.

Meanwhile other Indigenous peoples such as many First nations are moving toward jurisdiction, land and development rights, nation-to-nation equal partnerships.

As Indigenous legal philosopher John Borrows states, there is no “essential” Indigenous identity that requires Indigenous people to think and act in unison.

This is instructive for the Métis situation in diverse and fluid communities in BC and across Canada. A 2013 Senate report calls for governments to collaborate with all organizations and communities for knowledge partnerships and research.

Instead of one-window ideological approaches to Métis identity and governance, governments and government bureaucracies must work better with those who dissent and disagree and institute better processes and a plurality of options in partnership with ALL Métis organizations and communities.

The 2013 Report of the Senate Standing committee on Métis identity interestingly states, “Many communities and organizations across the country have made maximum efforts to document this history with minimal support from outside sources.“

The (Senate) committee also states that any comprehensive research program on the Métis must incorporate oral histories and other methods of ascertaining the Métis’ own views of their histories.”

One of the more exciting elements of the Senate Report’s ‘strategy’ is the recognition that there must be a strong “appropriately resourced” research component that must include Métis voices and input.

Of course, the challenge here is to interpret these resources and oral histories in ways that supports the vitality and well-being of local Métis community formation and repatriation.

In light of UNDRIP and the recent UN report and the Senate report, all governments must negotiate protocol with all legitimate groups including BC Métis Federation and communities.


4 Responses to BC Métis Federation Statement on Métis National Council September Newsletter

  1. Sharon Eyford September 6, 2017 at 1:25 am #

    I watch APTN all the time and I was embarrassed at how Chartier talked and his ideas of Metis!!

    Who is he to tell those Metis people in the East that they are not Metis? He needs to get a

    better education of all Metis in Canada !!!!

    Metis Elder

  2. Laura Langstaff September 6, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    We dont always agree….but you are absolutely correct. Personally I cannot live with the Federal Government determine who my leadership is. I decide the MNC are NOT my leadership because I wont associate with leadership whose laws restrict membership to residency in only five of ten provinces. The Charter guarantees my right of mobility in the Dominion, but the MNC erects barriers to the exercising because we have to choose our Charter rights or the inequitable political imbalance even within the MNC structure. I cant live with 45 Metis from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba having de facto veto simply because they are stuck wirhin the INTERIM STRUCTURE. acknowledged in the Letter Patens of the MNC Secretariat Inc. I will not cooperate with ANY legislation to entrench the MNC nonsense and will work robustly with those actively opposing.

    • Dan McArthur September 11, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

      Agreed, whole heartedly. Seems to be a round up and cull mentality going on to the benefit of a few while entire communities suffer and are left out. Sad to see just how quickly some are to cast aside history and in doing so entire communities. I too will work to oppose and work to promote the rich history of Metis so as it is not forgotten or reshaped into something it never was.

  3. Gina September 14, 2017 at 11:53 am #

    I agree with you all! Whether from the North, South, East or West, Métis are Métis…period!

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