This morning BC Métis Federation President, Keith Henry, wrote to British Columbia Premier Horgan and his key BC Government team members including Deputy Minister Carole James (who also has Métis ancestry) and Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Honourable, Scott Fraser.
The BC Metis Féderation correspondence today speaks to disappointment that Métis were not invited to the announcement of Bill 41, which is to implement the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). On the surface, this legislation is important but to ignore one of Canada’s three resident Indigenous people in BC, our Métis community, for such a historic occasion in the BC legislature in Victoria last week was wrong.
The following introduction was included:
Good morning Premier Horgan, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and Deputy Minister James;
It is with a heavy heart that I write with our response to the new legislation Bill 41 and the Province of BC’s efforts to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
The legislation is important for Indigenous peoples but the announcement and ceremony seems to have missed any inclusion for our Métis community in BC. This fact alone speaks to why we must strive for a new meaningful relationship for all Métis people in BC, not just the one Métis organization you seem to politically prefer to work with. In fact, UNDRIP supports this right for our Métis people to decide their representation.
All we have ever asked for is a respectful and meaningful relationship for our members and partner communities with your Provincial Government. This has failed us and there has been past and ongoing consequences to many serious issues.
We hope our letter is read and considerations are made by your Provincial Government to address a better way forward for all Métis in BC.
We hope a meeting with our leadership and a new relationship can be created to move forward.