BC Mètis Federation Official Statement – Open Letter to the Métis Public

Métis Community Leaders
Métis People of BC

Attention Métis leaders and Métis people of British Columbia;

Over the course of the last few weeks the BC Mètis Federation board seriously contemplated legal action to address what we believe is an improper Métis election conducted illegally by the current Mètis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) board, MNBC management and current MNBC Chief Electoral Officer. Over the past week our board debated how to address the MNBC General Election that we believe will enable the MNBC and governments alike to claim a false mandate from the Métis people of British Columbia after September 15th. The Federal and Provincial Governments have continued to ignore calls for action to address a number of MNBC issues for years and both governments have refused to acknowledge the role and needs of the BC Mètis Federation and our Métis communities and members given our free informed decisions to move away from the MNBC as our provincial representative organization.

Today there is no denying the MNBC Chief Electoral Officer has not been properly mandated by the MNBC’s governing assembly, there are major geographic, youth and women representation gaps in MNBC governing structure, the Chief Electoral Officer has misled several of the MNBC members about why there is a lack of polling stations in communities, etc.
The BC Mètis Federation has been publicly challenging MNBC to take serious legal action given the ongoing MNBC electoral misconduct. As BC Mètis Federation leadership we understand the risks associated with the Federal and Provincial government’s lack of efforts to address long standing and very serious issues within the MNBC. We assume governments will continue to ignore calls to take action under the idea that the MNBC General Election was fair and will now somehow continue to support MNBC as having a legitimate mandate from Métis people throughout BC. It is clear this MNBC General Election has been improperly and illegally conducted and will not solve the MNBC issues.

Despite these major MNBC issues the BC Mètis Federation board met and has decided not to pursue legal action to address the MNBC General Election issues through the courts. The BC Mètis Federation has built itself with a vision that we would rebuild a proud and strong provincial Métis representative structure that listens and supports Métis communities and families. An organization that made sure Métis culture was a priority through community cultural events where families could reunite and support being proud of who we all are as Métis people.

BC Mètis Federation did not want to use the tactics and strategies we have all witnessed enacted by MNBC leadership and their representatives over the years. BC Mètis Federation representatives have been threatened with legal actions by MNBC and in some cases MNBC tried to take action with no results. The BC Métis Federation has pride in our organization by showing class and strength in standing on our own and speaking against government and MNBC injustices. Métis families and communities continue to lead by example by increasing support for the BC Mètis Federation and we know this is truly our strength and not that of the courts.

The BC Mètis Federation will continue to encourage MNBC members and associated MNBC communities not to participate in the upcoming improper and illegal MNBC General Election. This is a very effective way Métis people can exercise their democratic right and expressions. The choice each of you has is that by voting you have chosen to support an illegal and improper MNBC election. The BC Mètis Federation respects that some individuals feel you will be attempting to make change within the MNBC. Unfortunately the issue is that these same individuals will in effect be support a tainted election resulting in governments hiding behind this notion that MNBC speaks for all Métis people in BC. The other choice is that by staying away from the MNBC General Election governments will see how few Métis people MNBC represents. The BC Mètis Federation believes this is a much stronger message to send to governments and Métis people throughout BC.

In closing BC Mètis Federation has led by several great examples in only our first year. We have demonstrated the abilities of a dedicated team of Métis leaders to support Métis culture and meaningful community engagement. We have exposed the past and ongoing injustices, and we have stood up for Métis rights with industry. We have a clear vision we will share with Métis communities and families to regain hope for the future and the BC Mètis Federation Annual General Meeting in Williams Lake on Saturday, September 22nd will showcase our future plans. We know there is a better way and given the years of MNBC failure within we welcome all of you to join our team for a better tomorrow.
We wish you all the best in your considerations and hope you will relate and support the vision and principles the BC Mètis Federation stands for and has shared in this statement today.

Join us in making a difference and we look forward to seeing many of you in Williams Lake.

As I always state ultimately the choice is yours.

Thank you,

Keith Henry
BC Metis Federation President

[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Letter-to-Metis-People-September-6th-2012.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Draft-AGM-Agenda-2012-FINAL1.pdf” style=”download”]Download the Updated September 6th 2012 BCMF AGM Agenda[/ilink]

Become a Member