(Vancouver, BC) On Wednesday BC Métis Federation Vice President Rene Therrien, Secretary Joe Desjarlais and Treasurer Betty Fisher and operational staff member Sherry Daniels met with Honourable Minister Amarjeet Sohi along with Cheryl Cardinal, Director of Indigenous Relations and reconciliation and other staff from the Office of the Minister of Natural Resources.
BC Métis Federation Secretary Desjarlais explained to the Minister that BC Métis peoples and communities seek a positive relationship, a new relationship. He described past and ongoing efforts by the BC Métis Federation to ensure that Métis people are properly represented with direct meaningful engagement and more member participation. He discussed some challenges including a lack of confidence in the process, lack of support for community knowledge capital, and lack of real opportunities for BC Métis Federation members, and reviewed further challenges and recommendations as laid out in the recently completed BC Federation Trans Mountain Employment and Procurement Community Engagement report.
Minister Sohi stated that building relationships is important, and they haven’t done a good enough job in the consultation process. Minister Sohi discussed their intention to take a more active role with indigenous peoples, working toward meaningful dialogue and consultation and common solutions.
BC Métis Federation leader Joe Desjarlais stated, “The meeting was relational in nature and BC Metis Federation was warmly received by the Minister’s office. This is a new day for BC Métis Federation and signals the Federal government’s clear shift toward partnership – the recognition of unique needs, interests, knowledge and perspectives of BC Métis Federation members and partner communities. We look forward to shared solutions going forward as we begin to meaningfully address the challenges – as ongoing partners in Canada’s future.”
Keith Henry, President
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
Office 1-604-638-7220 Cell 1-778-388-5013