BC Métis Federation Files Discrimination Claim against Federal and Provincial Government

(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation took major steps this week to address issues related to current Métis program service delivery, policy development and consultation through a human rights claim based on discrimination against the Federal and Provincial Governments. BC Métis Federation board members voted unanimously to file the claims after it became more and more clear that governments were going to continue to discriminate against the BC Métis Federation leaders and our 6300 members regarding program delivery and policy issues.

The BC Métis Federation filed the discrimination claims with the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after years of the lack of meaningful action by either government to address allegations of Métis program delivery mismanagement and the lack of proper Métis consultation which today is significantly impacting Métis families and communities across British Columbia.

BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “We have repeatedly made every effort to address our serious issues internally with MNBC leaders. They ignored and deflected blame and refused to be fully accountable or work together. We sent hundreds of letters and even extended invitations to meet and work for the betterment of our Nation. Instead MNBC took unsuccessful legal action against some of our representatives, used government money to carry out political smear campaigns in our communities, and even went so far as to interfere in some of our professional lives. Yet governments have continued to work with MNBC as the one and only representative group for all 60,000 Métis in BC. This same organization who only had about 600 people vote in their last election in 2012.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry added, “The discrimination claim is filed against the Province as represented by the Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Honourable Ida Chong and the Minister of Children and Family Development Honourable Stephanie Cadieux. There are very important issues and unfortunately the Province is improperly drafting policies that guide all programs and industry that affect all Métis people without proper consultation or support. We met with Minister Chong last September who stated there is no reason why the Province cannot recognize and work with the BC Métis Federation. However, since this meeting the Province has continued to ignore the calls for program consultation and input.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry further added, “The discrimination claim is filed against the Federal Government as represented by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Honourable John Duncan. The Minister and his officials have outright refused to recognize or meet with the BC Métis Federation and the stance of MNBC to support Federal priorities such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project is with almost no support from grass roots Métis people in BC.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “This is not an easy matter but after years of effort and inaction by governments, our members and partner organizations demand action. Governments have stood supporting MNBC who is insolvent and does not consult with their members on any issues. Our Métis people have serious issues to address and government funneling money to enable MNBC to politicize program delivery, consultation and policy development is unethical and we will stand and fight. Ultimately we hope there can be a solution but this action demonstrates our resolve to address once and for all. Government rhetoric and contradictions will not be tolerated one more day.”

Media Inquiries:

Keith Henry
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 follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis

[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-January-31st-2013-Human-Rights-Case-Filed.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download this in PDF format.[/ilink]

Canadian Human Rights Commission Filing
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Canadian-Human-Rights-Complaint-January-25th-2013.pdf” style=”download”]BC Metis Federation Canadian Human Rights Complaint January 25th, 2013[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/AANDC-Letter-August-25th-2011.pdf” style=”download”]AANDC Letter August 25th, 2011[/ilink]

BC Human Right Tribunal Filing
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-BC-Form_1_Complaint_Form-January-25th-2013-FINAL-SIGNED-3.pdf” style=”download”]BC Metis Federation BC Form 1 2013[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Form_2_Representative_Complaint_Form_Group_or_Class-January-25th-2013-FINAL-SIGNED.pdf” style=”download”]BC Metis Federation BC Form 2 2013[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/Enbridge-letter-to-BCMF-December-11th-20121.pdf” style=”download”]Enbridge letter to BCMF December 11th, 2012[/ilink]

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