(Vancouver, BC) – The BC Métis Federation is very pleased that the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) has accepted the human rights claim filed against the Federal Government, as represented by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. The claim focuses on the following issues:
1. Current Policy on Industry Consultation – At issue is the ongoing misrepresentation by the Federal Government that suggests they only recognize the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC). MNBC does not represent all Métis people in BC.
2. Administration of the Aboriginal Skills, Employment, and Training Strategy (ASETS) and the ongoing efforts by MNBC to only provide employment and training support for MNBC cardholders or their Mètis Chartered Communities. – At issue is the reality that there are several community Métis organizations that choose not to affiliate with MNBC. In addition MNBC received a formula based funding to support approximately 60,000 Métis people in BC and there are only about 8000 card carrying MNBC members.
3. Administration of the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth (CCAY). With support of the Federal Government MNBC continues to invest these programs funds only through Métis Chartered Communities they work with. The public tendering process is vague and MNBC has pre-drafted proposals to use as political leverage to assist their communities and keep them supportive.
4. Participation in the Off Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan (ORAAP). With support of the Federal Government MNBC continues to suggest they are the only representative who will participate in the coordination and program delivery of five pilot communities in BC. At issue is the lack of participation for BC Métis Federation members and partner communities who have legitimate mandates in these locations.
BC Metis Federation President Keith Henry stated;”I am very pleased with this next step in the review Canadian Human Rights Commission process. We have been calling on the Federal Government for years now to address the issues of Métis representation, program delivery and policy in BC. The lack of action or accountability for publicly funded programs has been frustrating to watch. My question now is who is accountable for the MNBC situation. MNBC has significantly increased debt, increasingly losing Métis public support, and outright discriminated program and service access against BC Métis Federation and anyone who opposes them by using as political weapons in BC. The people being hurt the most are our youth in need, our communities who need capacity support and are being impacted by industry who believe whatever MNBC tells them about alleged engagement with various proposed industry projects.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry added; “This Canadian Human Rights Commission acceptance continues to further vindicate BC Métis Federation. MNBC has continually attempted to suggest our issues were personal against MNBC, that we are all just a small group of dissidents. This is nonsense and we represent the legitimate concerns of approximately 6500 members from all across British Columbia who demand immediate change. They have freely chosen to have representation that will get results and ensure their views are communicated.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded; “The BC Métis Federation will ensure that our rightful place to represent the interest and needs of our membership and communities is achieved. This is another important step and today the BC Human Rights Tribunal and Canadian Human Rights Commission have both decided the issues brought forward are justified and will be addressed. We welcome these important steps and the Federal and Provincial governments should take a very serious look at their dismissive actions and collective efforts with MNBC. We have well documented situations to support our claims and I am surprised that the governments would want to take a position that supporting discrimination against Section 35 Métis people in British Columbia is okay. I hope this is not the case but we are fully prepared.”
For more information about the BC Métis Federation please go to 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=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-June-7th-2013-Human-Rights-Claim-Accepted-CHRC.pdf” style=”download”]BCMF Press Release June 7th, 2013 Human Rights Claim Accepted CHRC[/ilink]
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/Letter-May-31st-2013-CHRC-Acceptance.pdf” style=”download”]Letter May 31st, 2013 CHRC Acceptance[/ilink]