What is the future for Métis in BC?

(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation has been watching the ongoing Métis public outrage within British Columbia as a result of the actions by the Métis National Council (MNC) at their recent General Assembly in Ottawa in November. The MNC General Assembly approved the homeland map which suggests Métis people only come from a historic west central track of land within Canada and northern US as well as other decisions such as probation of one of their Governing Members, Métis Nation of Ontario. Adding to the Métis public frustration is the efforts by the MNC to trademark the Métis flag, suggesting under the guise of “Métis Nationalism” that the MNC as a non for profit organization somehow can assume ownership of a flag which was believed to first be used as early as 1814.

For BC Métis Federation the question we ask ourselves is how did the MNC and their Government Members get to this place? BC Métis Federation is proud to stand independently but there is no question the current Federal Government seems to guide Métis policies exclusively through the MNC and these decision and statements affect us and our members.

BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated, “It is hard to ignore these actions by Métis organizations that are misleading the general public and many levels of Government and their departments. The fact is this so-called Métis Nationalism is for an exclusive small group whose only interest is to ensure their financial well being and limit Métis research or education and identity throughout Canada.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry added, “These actions are all top down by a handful of Métis individuals. That somehow grassroots Métis community organizations and their own Governing Members are somehow accountable to a small group of 55 people through the MNC General Assembly. I do not believe such an undemocratic style of Indigenous governance reflects Métis values or respects the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I have been involved and watching Métis politics since the early 1990s and I do not believe this current MNC situation was ever the idea behind Métis governance or self determination. It is reassuring to know we are not alone in our opinions as we are now witnessing new academic reporting and legal experts discussing the flaws publicly.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “I felt the need to make a statement as BC Métis Federation does not support or endorse these MNC General Assembly decisions. We do not believe the MNC Homeland Map is complete and is missing significant research from British Columbia and we do not support any idea that MNC owns the Métis flag. We are not part of that organization and while their members decide the fate of their policies, we are being affected. I assure our members that we continue to advance real issues and policies driven by you and your decisions, not top down. The closing question I have is what more will it take for the Federal and Provincial Governments to stop believing the MNC and their Governing Members are exclusive representing the Métis? They are not.”

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Media Inquiries

Keith Henry, President
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
Office 1-604-638-7220
Cell 1-778-388-5013
Email K.Henry@BCMetis.com

You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on Twitter @KeithHenryMetis You can follow BC Métis Federation on Twitter @BCMétis

Click here to download this press release in PDF format.

6 Responses to What is the future for Métis in BC?

  1. Dale Haggerty December 7, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

    thank you Keith we need you to lead us through this bullshit that the MNC has started

  2. George and Terry Goulet December 7, 2018 at 6:15 pm #

    The MNC should be required to read and study paragraph 17 of the 2016 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC)in the Harry Daniels case. In brief that paragraph (unanimously approved by all 9 SCC judges) stated that there is no one exclusive Metis People in Canada, and referred specifically to historical Metis in Nova Scotia. To espouse a position re Metis that is contrary to Daniels is to ignore the Canadian Constitution set forth in Daniels, and the words of Haeey Daniels himself.

    As well, MNC’s self-fabricated (in two sensed of that word) map entirely excludes anyone whose Metis ancestry is West of the Rocky Mountains, as well as 80% of Ontario and all the rest of Canada east of the Ont/Quebec border and most of Northern Canada.

    Many more relevant points can be made, but it would require a paper to include them all.

    LONG LIVE THE

    • Keith Henry December 7, 2018 at 9:19 pm #

      Thank you George and Terry,

      We hope you do a paper we can share. This is such an important communication to share with all Metis people. So many people don’t understand these issues and your opinion is so respected and valued.

      If you do a discussion paper and want to share please let Me know. Happy to post as well throughout our networks.

      Thank you

      Keith Henry
      President

  3. Jim Stritzel December 7, 2018 at 9:11 pm #

    I agree with Dale’s message above. I have signed the petition concerning the Metis Flag. It belongs to ALL Metis!

  4. Sharon Eyford December 7, 2018 at 9:43 pm #

    I agree with all of those above. Just what we need,,,,,more fighting among ourselves within

    Canada!!! Who does MNC think they are?? They think that all Metis should listen to what they

    have to say and that we should all think like them!! I am a very proud Metis, and I include all my

    relatives, that the Metis of Canada can think for themselves and we follow what we know and

    feel what is right. Who says that MNC are always correct in their thinking, who put them in

    the governing capacitiy to think for all of us ???

    Metis Elder

  5. Bob Stevenson December 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm #

    I am very supportive of what Keith Henry , George and Terry Goulet as well as the others above have said about those stupid so called not so National Metis people at the MNC have done again and again . There are many ,many Metis people within each of the Provinces that they profess to represent who DO NOT agree with them at all ! For many years we have not agreed with them . Hopefully the Government officials will smarten up too some day . Now you know why I quit trying to reason or work with them many years ago !
    Harry , Louis , Gabriel and many of our other Metis leaders that have passed are probably now rolling over in their graves totally disgusted with these so called “leaders” of the MNC !!!!
    My best wishes to you all for this holiday season and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones . Take care , cheers , Bob Stevenson , Independent Metis and proud to be !

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