Dear Métis Friends,
I want to take this opportunity as President of the British Columbia Métis Federation (BCMF) to reach out to Métis elders, youth, community leaders, veterans, and all other Métis people on recent developments among Métis people in British Columbia. The BCMF has evolved as a new Métis representative organization of MNBC citizens to consider the real needs of Métis representative governance for all Métis people in BC. In your role as community leaders and/or service delivery leaders, you are a vital link to the success of Métis individuals in British Columbia.
Under the current political situation in British Columbia, BCMF believe that your ability to meet the needs of your constituents, membership or clients is severely compromised due to the current MNBC situation. Please consider the following:
- The best interests of people in your care have been compromised by coercive identity politics and unbalanced power relationships.
- Status-quo relationships currently support a financially irresponsible and democratically unaccountable MNBC political regime. The result is that Métis individuals exist outside of the Rule of Law and both political and legal processes in their own communities.
- Your members and/or clients have been isolated, fragmented or divided into “in” groups and “out” groups because of false political and/or ethnic agendas.
- The current governments in Victoria and Ottawa appear to ignore the distinctiveness and complexity of Métis people and their histories and situations Métis people now witness at the MNBC compromise future relationships with all levels of government.
- Many leaders fail to connect the dots between current socio-economic problems and service delivery challenges we face and broader historical grievances that stem from colonial thinking and agendas and political strategies.
MNBC continues to provide you with assurances that they are doing a fine job for you, when in fact they have been overspending significantly on administration, reduced investments into the communities, and minimal cultural capacity support. The consequences are now becoming more apparent, inability to pay property taxes, alleged tuitions from 2010-2011 unpaid although approved this last year, outstanding payables to hotels at the MNBC, etc.
All of these issues directly affect how you function as a community president and/or service provider. We at the BCMF believe that you as leaders have an ethical obligation to the Métis people in your jurisdiction and you should care to ensure that Métis individuals and their families receive the very best representation possible. Access to Métis services should never be compromised, and you are in a position to effect positive change. It is undeniable that effective service delivery must be accompanied by a positive political environment and a proactive, honest, transparent leadership.
We strongly encourage you to recognize the serious nature of the situation and the potential of a shared future, a new beginning with the BCMF. The tide has turned in BC/Métis politics because a number of proud Métis people care about our future for our people. BCMF is leading a new vision and shift toward balanced, equitable, inclusive governance for all Métis people and a renewed relationship with mainstream Canada. This new beginning will translate into an explosion of creativity, innovation, meaningful partnerships, and of course, increased funding for proper governance, programs and services.
Respectfully the BCMF formally invites you to meet with our founding leadership, all of whom were MNBC citizenship card holders, and review the situation from an objective point of view. BCMF is confident that a better understanding of the facts will support your immediate consideration of signing a Statement of Cooperation with the BCMF to begin the healing process in our communities that will translate into changed lives for all Métis people.
In closing thank you for any future consideration and opportunity to meet. BCMF has launched our new website @ www.bcmetis.com and we strongly encourage each of you to review to meet our founding board of directors and volunteer staff. BCMF is also hosting the Métis Trading Post and Artisan Showcase this summer at the Klahowya Village in Stanley Park located in Vancouver. BCMF believes supporting Métis cultural awareness is paramount to our future and we encourage all Métis and non Métis people to attend the showcase open each day from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.
Finally BCMF is hosting a special event entitled Métis Days on Saturday, July 9th and Sunday July 10th as part of Klahowya Village programming. During the Métis Days BCMF leaders have organized a special reception on Saturday, July 9th from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM. We encourage each of you to consider attending this special evening event. The BCMF reception will feature Aboriginal cuisine and a ceremony to showcase a new beginning and revitalization of the Métis Nation through the BCMF.
British Columbia Métis Federation
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Letter-to-Communities-and-Service-Providers-29-June-2011.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download the letter in PDF format.[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Statement-of-Cooperation-Agreement-May-20111.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download the BCMF Statement of Cooperation Template.[/ilink]