(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation was informed that Mrs. Susie Hooper from Smithers and a member of the Tri-River Mètis Association, one of the community organizations working with the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC), resigned in a letter dated May 27th, 2012.
Susie`s resignation came only one day after MNBC announced their support of Enbridge Inc. for the equity deal offered to support the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. Susie was the Northwest regional women`s representative for the MNBC and sat on a provincial Mètis women`s committee as part of the MNBC structure. More importantly Susie is a niece of current MNBC Vice President Dave Hodgson. Susie joins the latest backlash of Mètis community organizations and individuals who call into question any deal approved by the MNBC Board of Directors without a proper mandate or proven consultation. Her letter speaks volumes about the internal governance dysfunction within the MNBC and continues to prove the BC Mètis Federation correct in our stance about opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. The BC Mètis Federation passed a resolution in April opposing the project for three reasons and one of the most important was the lack of proper Mètis consultation. Susie`s letter reconfirms this point given her former role within the MNBC and significant family connections.
BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated, “The MNBC continues to implode, they are even dividing within their close family members. Susie is a close relative of MNBC Vice President Dave Hodgson so one can only imagine the struggles Susie had in writing this letter only 24 hours after MNBC announced support for the controversial Enbridge project. Regardless Susie’s letter reconfirms the fact that MNBC has not ensured proper Mètis consultation or inclusion in a decision making process about the Enbridge project. MNBC was provided hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) as well as Enbridge to support community information and consultation since 2009. MNBC has implemented a number of processes that describe how MNBC was to ensure community and grass roots decisions are made. Therefore how come MNBC did not follow their own stated processes, where is the accountability of how these Enbridge consultation project funds were spent by MNBC? Where are the minutes from any alleged meetings or Métis community support?”
President Henry added, “On June 1st, 2012 MNBC posted a section about the Northern Gateway on their website after three years and significant consultation funding. MNBC is only now having community meetings with after the fact discussions and consultation about Enbridge and other issues. MNBC is now using Mètis funding they manage to have their board and staff try to reassure their Mètis people all is well, an important point as the next MNBC election is in September. How convenient this all seems.”
President Henry further added, “The First Nation relationships will be put under more and more strain by the MNBC decision to support Enbridge. The Coast First Nations are making public statements and I expect this to increase as this issue becomes more public and the perception is that all Métis in British Columbia must support the project if MNBC approved. Many of us Métis people know MNBC does not represent all of our communities and people but there is growing anger, frustration, and confusion within First Nations who are now paying attention to this alleged overall Métis support. The BC Métis Federation recognizes that the relationships and respect for First Nation protocol is extremely important and we continue to discuss and provide information to various First Nation leaders to clarify the differences.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “I congratulate Susie for being honest about her perspective on how MNBC reviewed the Enbridge project resulting in the MNBC support on May 26th. Her letter now joins a growing outcry of Métis community and individual correspondences proving that MNBC does not have a proper mandate nor any credibility in their support of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. I wish Susie well in all of her future endeavors and I urge her and all other Métis people to join the BC Mètis Federation. Susie’s letter further proves it is time to rebuild proper Mètis representation in BC.”
For more information about the BC Métis Federation please view the website.
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-June-7th-2012-Susie-Resignation.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/Northwest-Regional-Women-Representative-Letter-May-27th-20121.pdf” style=”download”]Northwest Regional Women Representative Letter May 27th, 2012[/ilink]