(Hudson Hope and Vancouver, BC) Over the many years Métis citizens Earlene Bitterman and Daryl Piper have offered a variety of services, loyalty and unwavering support for Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) even when they felt deep down things may not be right with the way MNBC treats its citizens or their funding. This week this all came to an end when Ms. Bitterman and Mr. Piper cut up their MNBC citizenship cards and ended their long association with the MNBC.
In a letter of resignation Ms. Bitterman not only revokes her MNBC citizenship effective immediately but further adds that there will be no participation in the future at any time either basically slamming the door shut on the MNBC that in her opinion has lost the trust of a growing army of Métis people now looking to the BCMF for leadership and governance with integrity.
Ms. Bitterman went on to state; “Therefore this letter and attached information serves as my official notification of my demand for “Voluntary Removal From Registry” in accordance with the MNBC Citizenship Act. Our family does not recognize MNBC has neither legitimate authority nor right to purport to represent my interests as a legitimate Section 35 Métis person. Therefore please remove me from any current proposals to either the Federal or Provincial Government wherein MNBC uses to identified needs and benefits through delivering programs and services. “
Ms. Bitterman had been the subject of what almost everyone agreed was unjust treatment at the hands of MNBC who filed a frivolous lawsuit in 2010 regarding a youth camp she coordinated on behalf of the Fort St. John Métis Society in 2008. To date this case has not been resolved and Ms. Bitterman has continues to fight MNBC’s unfounded claim. Of course this action by the MNBC is an attempt to intimidate her because of her sharp criticisms of the financial crisis as it worsened at MNBC. In her letter of resignation Ms Bitterman makes reference to the legal issues perpetrated upon her by MNBC; “finally the Buffalo Hunt and youth camp that I had volunteered my land for its activities a few years ago leaves me dismayed at the outright legal wrangling MNBC has taken in this situation to intimidate me when I was an MNBC citizenship card holder. I have been dragged through the non-Aboriginal courts by MNBC who boasts about self governance. It has been a massive waste of MNBC funding that could be put to positive use and because of this and other issues such as the harvesting card our family will be refocusing on other initiatives that represent Métis family values.”
Mr. Daryl Piper, who is the Vice President of the Vancouver Métis Cultural Society, also made a decision to cut his MNBC citizenship card on June 26th, 2011. He is currently in the process of sending a letter terminating his MNBC citizenship card and that of his family members who also support this decision.
The British Columbia Métis Federation (BCMF) welcomes Earlene Bitterman and Mr. Piper as new members and urges Métis people wherever they live in British Columbia to find out more about the BCMF and what we stand for.
BCMF Founding President Keith Henry stated; “Earlene Bitterman and Daryl Piper took a courageous stand in cutting up her MNBC citizenship cards and I applaud their decisions not to associate any further with MNBC and to move forward like so many Métis people are doing in this province by joining BCMF. They and others are realizing the BCMF differs strongly in priorities for their members; Métis cultural revitalization, accountable Métis governance and inclusiveness. Métis people are realizing the BCMF can offer a time of new beginnings. Remember I cut up my MNBC citizenship card earlier in June and my family did not stop being Métis because of an MNBC citizenship card. The BCMF will showcase this on Saturday, July 9th at 6:00 PM with our commemorative celebration of the BCMF supported Métis Trading Post and Artisan Exhibit. ”
For more information about the BCMF please go to visit the website at www.bcmetis.com. Remember to watch the next “Coffee Talk” online show live at 7:30 PM @ www.livestream.com/metis.
British Columbia Métis Federation
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