(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation was represented yesterday in a show of support to the Musqueam First Nation who has reserve land near UBC campus with a much larger territorial claim in Vancouver area.
Over the course of the number of months Musqueam leadership and members have become increasingly frustrated with a potential commercial development at an area referred as the marpole midden which is located at 1338 southwest marine drive. The issue has been how this development will impact burial sites and there has already been disturbances and remains found by the developers. The Province of British Columbia is responsible for issuing permits to an area that was known to have such historical significance to the Musqueam people. This has elevated the situation were Musqueam First Nation members are protesting 7 days a week, 24 hours per day to ensure no more excavation is completed without solutions being identified and agreed.
BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “This was a unique situation where Métis people came together in support of the Musqueam leadership and members. We were welcomed with open arms by Musqueam representatives who need all the support they can get.”
President Henry added, “This is such an extremely difficult situation for Musqueam First Nation community members. The supporters are sacrificing their time and emotional strength to stand up and not allow this development to happen without addressing how to address this serious matter. This is a sacred site where we now know there are buried ancestors. This is not acceptable and I call on all Métis people to join the Musqueam people and spend a few hours or as much time as you can to stand shoulder to should in support until this situation is resolved.”
President Henry concluded, “I am humbled to witness this kind of solidarity between First Nations and Métis. I hope our people understand that it is important to support First Nations in such important matters. We are all part of the Aboriginal community and although we have not always worked effectively together between First Nations and Métis, it must start somewhere. I think this is a great way to show support and start a new relationship with the Musqueam First Nation community as well as all other First Nation communities. Musqueam First Nations will be supported by the BC Métis Federation until this situation is resolved.”
For more information about the BC Métis Federation please view the website www.bcmetis.com.
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-May-9th-2012.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]