Dear Minister Valcourt,
BC Metis Federation writes to express our continued disappointment with the manner in which the Federal Government is creating policy and public engagement particularly in light of the Métis Nation Protocol Agreement along with Appendix A Governance and Financial Accountability Accord. These agreements were negotiated and signed April 29th and already it is clear there is no commitment by the organizations to honour their commitments.
BC Métis Federation disputes the representative role of the Métis National Council (MNC) and in particular that of the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC). Our members (several thousand in BC) do not vote in the MNC process and many of our members and communities do not recognize MNBC. Consequently BC Métis Federation has continued to advance our human rights complaint for many reasons and has refrained from contacting your office as the claims have been accepted by the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission and we remain committed and determined to seek a legal remedy.
Having said this we felt compelled to write to your offices to question what, if any, steps will be taken to ensure agreements you have signed with Métis organizations purporting to represent Métis people, such as the MNBC and MNC, are followed? For example, under Appendix A of the Governance and Financial Accountability Accord MNC and their members, such as the MNBC, are required to post their financial statements within 120 days of the fiscal year end. These organizations have been in existence for years and some decades and should have well established financial processes. However neither the MNC nor MNBC have posted any financial statements for fiscal year 2012-2013 although the fiscal year end was completed March 31st and it is over 120 days later. Each of these organizations was provided millions from the Federal Government last fiscal year and complete transparency should be immediate.
Despite the fact that BC Métis Federation, partner communities, and members do not recognize these organizations as legitimate Métis governing bodies, they continue to benefit from federally supported Métis public funds. Ironically MNBC has taken a step backwards in the midst of years of financial mismanagement and removed posted financial statements from previous fiscal years when their website was recently changed. It is their own actions that continue to prove their inability to be fully transparent and accountable.
Therefore as Métis people who pay taxes from British Columbia we want to understand what actions are being taken to provide full public disclosure of all Métis public funds being spent by MNBC, an insolvent organization in BC?
BC Métis Federation continues to seek resolution and a relationship with all levels of government to represent the interest of our constituents but the ongoing dismissive actions must be addressed. We have raised six key issues regarding MNBC for years and despite undeniable proof, clear MNBC financial mismanagement, and ongoing sustainability challenges there has been no action. MNBC is a vacant organization and has done nothing to support Métis culture or community capacity yet millions are wasted each year to support their massive debts. These failed commitments negatively impact the innocent Métis communities and families and we urge immediate action and full public disclosure of all Métis public funds being provided to MNBC.
Keith Henry, President
British Columbia Métis Federation
Suite 300-3665 Kingsway
Encl. Métis Nation Protocol
Governance and Financial Accountability Accord
cc Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister, Government of Canada
Premier Christy Clark, Province of British Columbia
Honourable John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Honourable Doug Donaldson, Critic for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Federal Liberal Aboriginal Affairs Critic
Honourable Jean Crowder, NDP Aboriginal Affairs Critic
BC Métis Federation Board Members
BC Métis Federation Members
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-letter-to-AANDC-Minister-Valcourt-August-7th-2013new.pdf” style=”download”]Download this letter in PDF[/ilink]
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/Métis-Nation-Protocolsignedletter1.pdf” style=”download”]Métis Nation Protocol~signedletter[/ilink]
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/Governance-and-Financial-Accountability-Accordsigned11.pdf” style=”download”]Governance and Financial Accountability Accord[/ilink]