BC Metis Federation Response to Provincial Assistant Deputy Minister Peter Cunningham

Letter Sent Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Peter Cunningham
Assistant Deputy Minister
Province of British Columbia

Re: Letter Dated January 25th, 2013 Reference 31181 VIA EMAIL

Dear Peter;

The BC Métis Federation thanks you for your recent correspondence dated January 25th, 2013 in response to our letter concerning the Off Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan (ORAAP).

I believe there is a misunderstanding in your response in terms of what BC Mètis Federation was seeking. BC Mètis Federation continues to remind you that our position is not to remove MNBC. If the Provincial and Federal Governments want to support an insolvent organization such as the MNBC, then we respect that although as tax payers we question the rationale. The greater community in British Columbia is becoming more and more aware of the serious issues facing MNBC, such as how their bank (RBC) is now responsible for provide student support costs. This would appear to be almost third party management but MNBC can perhaps clarify.

Once again BC Mètis Federation reminds governments that you have a constitutional section 35(2) legal and fiduciary responsibility to all Mètis people in British Columbia, not just a select few at MNBC. BC Mètis Federation and our member communities continue to assert our Mètis rights to self governance and meet the needs of our members. Although it might be easier for governments to work through one organization such as the MNBC, this does not meet the needs of all Mètis in British Columbia, or the five pilot communities in the case of ORAAP given the manner in which MNBC decides membership.

Therefore BC Mètis Federation is once again requesting proper representation through any ORAAP process. BC Mètis Federation and our member communities and aligned service delivery partners support thousands of Mètis in the five targeted pilot projects and call for our participation in any ORAAP planning process.

The question for the Province is how much funding for capacity participation was passed to MNBC for their participation in the ORAAP process despite the fact MNBC does not represent the majority of Mètis people in the five areas? More importantly we have serious concerns by language in your letter suggesting the MNBC will decide community participation in this process considering their continued actions to date. I want to illustrate the difference in good Mètis governance advocated by the BC Mètis Federation in our rebuilding Mètis governance process. By contrast BC Mètis Federation would have advocated that any ORAAP capacity funds would be divided equally to support the actual Mètis community organizations and partners to meaningfully participate. Please clarify how much was provided to MNBC for this new process so we can better understand.

I continue to welcome an opportunity to meet and identify solutions.

Thank you,
Keith Henry

cc BC Mètis Federation Board
BC Mètis Federation Statement of Cooperation Communities
Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Honourable Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development
Honourable Ida Chong, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Honourable Moira Stillwell, Minister of Social Development


[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Letter-to-ADM-February-6th-2013-Response.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download this in PDF format.[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/MARR-ADM-Letter-January-25th-2013.pdf” style=”download”]MARR ADM Letter January 25th, 2013[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Letter-to-Governments-ORAAP-December-20th-20121.pdf” style=”download”]BC Metis Federation Letter to Governments ORAAP December 20th, 2012[/ilink]

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