The historic Metis community in Kelly Lake has sent a letter to the Federal and Provincial Minister’s addressing Aboriginal issues earlier today in response to the latest MNBC fiasco where the President’s wife was awarded employment and training funding. The Kelly Lake letter stresses the concerns about the role of elders and overall how this latest MNBC matter has been poorly handled.
BC Metis Federation continues to explore next steps in this situation.
Monday, March 4th, 2013
Honourable Ida Chong
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Province of British Columbia
Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Government of Canada
I am writing as President of the Kelly Lake Métis Settlement Society (KLMSS) in response to the recent situation and firing of a staff from the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC).KLMSS is the only historic Métis community resident in British Columbia. There are many Métis people throughout BC but many have only become resident in the last few generations, unlike our families in Kelly Lake which has lived and practiced our traditional Métis culture since the early 1800s.
Why neither of your governments have not seriously intervened in response to the situation within MNBC for years is nonsense. MNBC is a provincial non-profit organization who claims to represent all Métis in BC and I can assure you they do not. MNBC has no historic connection and their recent actions further demonstrate that MNBC leadership and their management do not posses any authentic Métis culture or values.
The MNBC fired a staff member after information become public about how the MNBC President’s wife received employment and training funding in November 2012. The former MNBC employee put out a letter last week explaining the situation that has infuriated our Métis elders and community members. In this latest situation an elder took action to address the abuse of employment and training funding by MNBC’s leadership. It appears the MNBC President’s wife did not qualify for employment and training funding and in our culture elders should not be intimidated or fearful for taking action to correct such wrongdoings. In fact our elders are infuriated how this situation can continue and want to know how any government can believe a relationship with MNBC is in your interests. It is an embarrassment to the Métis people throughout this province and in the end governments continue to look terrible supporting MNBC who is not respecting our traditional values and culture.
KLMSS has been discriminated against for years by government policies that have misled industry consultation and program support for our community right in our territory. KLMSS is affiliated with the BC Métis Federation because they represent true Métis culture and values and fight against such MNBC actions that are unethical and greedy.
The MNBC should not be funded for any program delivery, industry consultation, or representative funding because they have proven repeatedly that they are unethical and lack Métis cultural values. This Métis elder who exposed this situation should be protected and supported because she did the right thing. The former MNBC staff should never have been fired.
What each of your governments are enabling is shameful.
Lyle C Letendre
Kelly Lake Métis Settlement Society
cc Keith Henry, President, BC Métis Federation
Enclosure Letter from Crystal Easton
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/KLMSS-Letter-to-Governments-March-4th-2013.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]