BC Métis Federation Stands With the Musqueam First Nation on Arthur Laing Bridge in Vancouver

(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation continues to support the Musqueam First Nation as they call on the Provincial Government to address the situation at 1338 Southwest Marine Drive in Vancouver, BC (the Marpole Midden). Musqueam First Nation continues to call on the Province to intervene in a proposed commercial development that was a known historic site and burial ground for thousands of years for the Musqueam people, in fact dedicated as a known historic site in 1933. As previously reported the developer was provided permits last December when the Musqueam First Nation offices were closed and without knowledge or consent by the Musqueam First Nations. The developer immediately uncovered in tact remains confirming the claim that this was burial grounds.

Last month the Province announced the appointment of a negotiator but despite this, there has been no progress. Yesterday the Provincial appointed negotiator stepped away from the negotiations table leaving the process in limbo. The Musqueam First Nation members and supporters have peacefully demonstrated for weeks, not only on location but at the legislature in Victoria, Premier’s office in Vancouver, and other locations downtown to raise awareness. The lack of progress forced the Musqueam community to take increased action and this morning about 200 protesters stopped all traffic on a major bridge between 7:30 AM and 9:30 AM by closing the Arthur Laing Bridge.

BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated; “Our Vice President Daryl Piper and I were proud to stand shoulder to shoulder this morning with the Musqueam and several other First Nations leaders. This was one of the most powerful expressions of nationhood I have ever witnessed.”

President Henry added; “I cannot understand why this Provincial Government has not taken serious steps to resolve. Musqueam First Nations have offered solutions but where are the Provincial Government solutions? Imagine if a project threatened a cemetery for one of their families, or a project was proposed to be built in another minority’s cultural location. I am sure there would be outrage.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “I am proud of our VP Daryl Piper for standing in the pouring rain and supporting the Musqueam First Nation. We see governments doing nothing to address our concerns in our Métis community today so this is a standard behaviour. I ask everyone to ask themselves does this relationship with Aboriginal people seem right in this day and age? I certainly do not think so. Call your local MLA and demand the Premier Christy Clark, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Mary Polak and Minster Steve Thompson bring a resolution to this situation.”

For more information about the BC Métis Federation please view the website.

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

[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-May-31st-2012-Musqueam.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]

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