(Vancouver, BC) The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) held their recent Annual General Meeting in Abbotsford, BC this past weekend. The British Columbia Métis Federation (BCMF) board accepted and promoted a policy to not attend the MNBC AGM and many of the BCMF members chose not to attend. BCMF has had a number of reports and interesting discussions as follow up from statements and developments during the recent MNBC AGM.
BCMF President Keith Henry stated; “The MNBC AGM was a failure exhibited by the leaders who attended for the Métis people they purport to represent. MNBC leadership and their supporters boasted about their ability to ensure the Provincial and the Federal Governments continued to support MNBC. MNBC has reported there were about 300 delegates in attendance and by all accounts to BCMF this number seems grossly exaggerated. The speech provided by MNBC President Dumont which is now posted on the MNBC website is filled with ridicule and spite and this style of immature leadership has been the reason MNBC has been placed in the worst debt in the history of any Métis organization in the country.”
BCMF President Henry added; “I was sent a number of emails from delegates who was shocked at the reactions by from MNBC and their supporters when opposing views and questions were raised during the deliberations. Here is an excerpt from a community leader who could not believe how unhealthy MNBC had truly become:
As you know Keith I attended the AGM and once again was amazed at the attitude of some of my brothers and sisters, telling some of the speakers to sit down and shut up and applauding the fact the mike was shut off. I will be holding our weekly meeting as soon as possible and will be telling my board I cannot support this type of behavior any longer. The rats are jumping the sinking ship is a phrase that comes to mind when I hear of the people who no longer will be at the next AGM. If my local does not support decision so be it. I will still be a Métis who is proud of who I am and always will be. I always believed we lived in a free country and should not be afraid to speak our minds. NO ONE has the right to say you are no longer a Métis and our (my) ancestors died for that reason.
BCMF President Henry further added; “To make matters worse MNBC puts a special resolution forward to enable the MNBC board to have unlimited authority to borrow money. Remember MNBC posted the resolutions that had gone through due process of MNBC governance on the MNBC website prior to the AGM. This special resolution was never posted and was not discussed at their previous MNGA. All of a sudden a new special resolution that was not posted on the MNBC website nor was MNBC members provided an advance notice was brought forward by the MNBC board. The MNBC AGM delegates in attendance blindly approved and have further enabled the board to borrow more money to enable MNBC to pay the outstanding taxes and consolidate the loans. This will not solve the MNBC financial situation in any meaningful manner as MNBC already had a great debt financing rate. Therefore MNBC will try to consolidate loans they cannot afford already but are just delaying the real issues of financial sustainability. Furthermore the lack of good governance being supported when we see these situations is incredible. Ironically MNBC should have followed this process before they bought the school and borrowed $3 million in 2009 so why the sudden change of tactics?”
BCMF President Keith Henry concluded; “Despite the immature rhetoric of MNBC and their supporters I can assure Métis people in BC that the BCMF will carry on because the people want us to. We do not wait for governments to validate our existence. We began as volunteers who understand the real support for our culture and communities is paramount to our future. We continue to process membership and communities continue to ask for our assistance. We have continued to submit proposals for community capacity and people will see our legitimate efforts in the near future when communities BCMF works with showcase their benefits. By contrast MNBC demonstrates time and time again that all they want you to do is support their agenda. They use community numbers to squeeze governments and industry for money that never reaches the communities. They buy votes by paying delegates to attend MNBC meetings. MNBC limits information and I question whether or not the MNBC AGM chairperson read the letters from Quesnel and Vancouver who made it clear they wanted their letters read so AGM delegates better understood their decision? ”
Important notice that the BCMF hosted Coffee Talk will air this week at a special time on Friday, September 30th at 7:30 PM. This week the show will discuss the recent MNBC AGM and get your reactions. Call in to discuss your views 1-778-388-5013.
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-September-29th-2011.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download this press release in PDF format.[/ilink]