Last April, BC Métis Federation released the executive summary of the Knowledge Partnership Project report to the public. This decision to release the report this week was due to the recent Métis National Council debates about homeland and Métis identity which also impacts BC. The BC Métis Federation has been stating the need for more research due to such poor Métis education and history in BC, and this report is the latest research to demonstrate the importance.
The fact is governments were sent this report and have had six months to read the full report but this has not changed public policy despite the growing concerns about Métis in Canada and especially BC.
The stakes are higher than ever for all Canadians. In Canada a fixed notion of ‘being Métis’ has developed to service a particular political institutional purpose but has led to a violent mischaracterization of Métis in actions, behaviours, and relationships.
We feel that perceptions by Métis, First Nations, Inuit and all Canadians have shifted even in a few months and the Métis National Council (MNC) – Federal Government framing story is breaking down despite media portrayals.
Since this report was released, the MNC and affiliates have been criticized by leading indigenous legal scholarship for signing watered down agreements with the Federal government. The MNC has recently been deeply criticized on social media for revising a map of their ‘nation’ that ignores diligence and community knowledge and without consulting Métis nor First Nations communities.
No longer can others stand by and dismiss the challenges as “internal Métis politics,” as current short-sighted decisions and status-quo historical interpretations by Métis national organization MNC deeply impact Métis, First Nations, Inuit and all Canadians.
Now is the time to call for a national conversation about alternatives to the MNC – Federal government framing story by releasing the full report for members and others to consider. The BC Métis Federation reminds readers that a new historical narrative of partnership is required that enables unique Métis communities to build the knowledge capacity to defend their uniqueness and renew their historical connection to the Crown, First Nations, and other self-determined Métis communities.
It is our sincere desire that the full report sparks meaningful dialogue across Canada and provides wisdom and insights to support ‘a new narrative of partnership’.