I went home last night after hosting Métis Coffee Talk and speaking about the recent interview from Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) President Bruce Dumont on APTN. I left feeling frustrated and confused about how governments and industry can manipulate Métis people so easily.
As many of you know MNBC is the “other” Métis provincial representative organization in BC. MNBC has continued to use Métis people and their communities to secure money and hold onto power with no ethical rationale in our view. Consider the APTN interview and statements made by MNBC President Dumont. He stated that MNBC represents the majority of the 70,000 Métis people in BC. He stated that the large majority of Métis in BC support the expansion of tar sands in Alberta despite the clear environmental impacts and large majority of First Nations opposition. He even went on to say that MNBC confirmed the support through numerous consultations held by MNBC with Métis people and communities across BC.
So ask yourself why would he say this? Mr. Dumont is aware that he does not represent all Métis people or even the majority of Métis people in BC. He is aware that Métis people have significant environmental concerns and the large majority opposes tar sands and pipeline expansion through BC.
I strongly believe it all boils down to MNBC’s desperate need for money and control. I have attached the 2012-2013 MNBC Financial Statements those points out the realities of MNBC which continue today. MNBC is insolvent by more than $5.6 million as of March 31st, 2013. MNBC was provided $1.3 million in the last fiscal year through the Federal Government and specific industry proponents seeking their support such as Powley (schedule 5 and 6), Enbridge (schedule 30), TransCanada (schedule 40), and BC Hydro (schedule 35). According to the MNBC statements only $1,361.00 which represents less than 0.001% of these funds can be identified to allegedly assist communities.
In the interview MNBC leadership suggests they consult with their members but how? The money only goes to support MNBC wages, their travel, no culture, and no community engagement for projects that will have very real impacts to Métis communities and families.
I cannot understand how MNBC gets away with this but I am confident that through time and research supported by facts, our communities will say enough. MNBC will not change, never have and never will. They are controlled by government and industry to sell their membership on whatever the political whim is for their financial gain. MNBC is unable to lead because they do not control their destiny. MNBC President Dumont said it plainly, the decision is with government. I disagree.
There will be those who disagree and I accept that but I hope these people standing by and allowing this MNBC mess to carry on realize there should be money and capacity for Métis communities but unless there is an immediate and drastic change, it never will.
As I continue to state, the choice is ultimately up to you.
Encl. MNBC Financial Statement for 2012-2013
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