Vancouver, British Columbia, January 22, 2023 — The BC Métis Federation (BCMF) is disappointed in recent coverage of the 2024 Coastal Conference by Global News which was misleading and provided a platform for others to promote a false narrative about Métis in BC.
This response seeks to clarify that:
- BCMF did follow protocols when organizing the event;
- BCMF is not attempting to establish any territorial claims on BC’s coastlines;
- BCMF has not received “huge grants” related to the TMX pipeline.
- BCMF used the official channels to contact Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations when organizing the protocol welcome for the event and members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation were scheduled to attend and provide the welcome (see BCMF letter to Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh for further details).
- The request from the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations to cancel the event was received less than three days before the start of the event. BCMF responded in writing with clarifications and seeking further dialogue but no follow up response was received.
- In the end, Gabriel George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation provided the welcome protocol at the event on stage with Chief Wayne Sparrow of the Musqueam Indian Band, Khelsilem, Chairperson of the Squamish Nation, and Chief Jen Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.
- As agreed upon at the conference, BCMF looks forward to meeting with Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations leadership to build a stronger working relationship in order to foster better relations and to avoid future misunderstandings.
- The Coastal Conference agenda had absolutely nothing to do with making territorial claims. The objective of the conference was simply to raise awareness of environmental issues affecting BC coastal waters and to engage participants to take action to protect the coastline for future generations.
- BCMF is not seeking, in any way whatsoever, to establish any territorial claims on the land or water of BC.
- While Métis have received funding as a result of the TMX project, what they have received is less than 1% of what First Nations have received.
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The BC Métis Federation (BCMF) is a non-profit association that works with Métis communities to ensure the well being of BCMF members. Through grassroots efforts, BCMF advocates on behalf of its many members, living all across the province.
Keith Henry, President, BC Métis Federation
P: (778) 388-5013
Global News coverage – January 20, 2024
BCMF media release on the day of the conference – January 20, 2024
First Nations Leadership Council news release – January 19, 2024
BCMF letter to Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh (PDF) – January 18, 2024
Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh letter to BCMF (PDF) – January 17, 2024
2024 Coastal Conference agenda (PDF)
Coastal Water Protectors website