Letter from Susie Hooper to BC Metis Federation

Dear Susie;

I am writing to thank you for your letter dated June 12th sent to me in response to the BC Métis Federation press release posted June 7th entitled “Another MNBC Representative Resigns as a Result of Support for Enbridge Project.”

You claim that you did not make your resignation public. I disagree with your statement as you sent this correspondence addressed to Mètis Nation British Columbia Representatives. It was not marked confidential in any manner and considering you held a public position within the MNBC, I find your claims interesting that any resignation should not be made public? Apparently the Mètis women of Northwest BC can publicly elect you, but you think your resignation has no public accountability? I feel that you should know I was sent this letter from a few sources, including members of Tri-Rivers and women who elected you and felt your resignation further supported one of the BC Métis Federation reasons for opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project; that being lack of proper Métis consultation.

In terms of the request to remove your picture from our website we will respect your request. BC Mètis Federation did not breech any privacy laws as you have provided public access to your facebook pictures, no different than anyone faces today with social media but we will honour your request and remove shortly.

I find it unfortunate that the only struggle you now claim in resigning from the MNBC on May 27th was apparently blamed on me and the work of the BC Mètis Federation. Perhaps you should reread your letter as your resignation clearly was about your personal admittance and frustration that MNBC did not consult with the grass roots Mètis people about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project prior to signing and support the project announced May 26th. I would encourage you to you rethink your accusations here. You letter of resignation seems quite clear and in fact the BC Métis Federation supports your views.

I have no issue with the Hodgson family; however I know many Métis people and community leaders in British Columbia who raise serious questions about the number of close personal family members and friends on the MNBC payroll. My point during last week`s Métis Coffee Talk show and recent correspondences was simply an acknowledgment and sincere personal belief that any decision to resign from MNBC with such close family connections must have been difficult for you. Regardless I do not understand why you and so many others within the MNBC cannot be politically mature enough to remove personalities. Fundamentally I completely disagree with the MNBC management, MNBC leaders, and supporters who have stood by to allow the current MNBC board and staff to create a major debt, allow a foolish purchase of a school, failure of Meetso Catering, and now support of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines under the impression that MNBC speaks for all Mètis people. In saying such I can assure you this is not personal and many of us were shocked you resigned as you have been steadfast in support of MNBC through years of MNBC mismanagement.

In terms of the MNBC election process with MNBC I agree. I did strongly support MNBC and did my best at that time to assist and ensure MNBC sustainability. It is my strong opinion today that MNBC no longer has a legitimate mandate from Mètis people in BC any further after years of their own mismanagement and complete abuse of the MNBC governing processes that were designed to ensure community input BEFORE decisions were made. For example, a letter in May sent by the BC Mètis Assembly of Natural Resources (BCMANR) called the MNBC decision to support Enbridge an “illegal“ act because of no consultation. BCMANR is within the governance structure of MNBC and should have played a key role on such an issue as Enbridge. Also consider the number of Métis communities who have a Charter Agreement with MNBC and have written letters publicly stating clearly that MNBC did not consult with them prior to this Enbridge decision. We are aware that today there has been correspondences from six of the MNBC Chartered Communities plus others forthcoming. As such the BC Mètis Federation is finalizing an amendment to our submission of opposition and seeking further intervener standing regarding the Enbridge Joint Review Panel to ensure a proper voice for Métis people is presented before the regulators make a final decision.

Susie in closing I can assure you that we mean no personal disrespect. Unlike the MNBC we present the facts after careful research and analysis. In this case the BC Mètis Federation reviewed your statement of May 27th carefully before we made our statement. It continues to be convenient for MNBC leaders and supporters such as you to somehow put forward a notion that it is personal for me and anyone involved in the BC Mètis Federation against the MNBC. It is not.

BC Mètis Federation focuses on issues relevant to our members and communities we work with. We continue to build a real democratic alternative for all Métis people in BC. We continue to visit Métis communities throughout BC, we have successfully assisted projects, we are continually implementing Métis culture support, we focus on issues of importance and we fight for our rightful place as a provincial Mètis representative organization because MNBC continues to claims they represent the collective will of all Métis people in BC. This is no longer accurate in any manner and is very relevant in light of the recent MNBC support allegedly on behalf of all Métis people for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project. MNBC and their supporters continue to pretend all is well; that there will be some mystical answer about millions of dollars and promise of new jobs. I know that Enbridge provided MNBC a complete binder identifying the procurement opportunities and the annual income for the Northern Gateway benefits. Has this been made public now or presented to the MNBC members that MNBC has signed on? Why not? The fact is MNBC leaders and their supporters want to keep this sort of information, as another example only, for them to ensure their financial interests are met well ahead of the communities and other Métis entrepreneurs they claim to represent.

MNBC is now holding regional meetings and presenting a sales pitch about how great it is despite of their repeated failures. MNBC uses current federal and provincial programs as political tools to keep support by making statements that Métis people and communities cannot serve two masters and if so
Métis people will somehow lose any and all Métis programs. MNBC is holding their next regional meeting on Vancouver Island this weekend and does anyone in attendance honestly believe you will get real answers? MNBC has this travelling road show right before their next election. This is all too convenient and I believe strongly that MNBC created this road show as a strategy to plant ideas about their next board members. Therefore MNBC is once again using government and industry funding to support a pre-election campaign and after the fact consultation. By contrast BC Métis Federation has been throughout the province on two major initiatives in only that last 18 months, no government or industry support. We paid our own way and presented our ideas. How any Métis person, including you, cannot see what is going on within the MNBC is beyond my explanation?

MNBC efforts to hold these regional meetings now are all propaganda by a desperate group who is clinging on to power. There is a new MNBC election in September and what does any new MNBC board think they can do? The current MNBC board has financially ruined their non-profit organization, they have put themselves in direct conflict with many strong First Nations in BC as a result of Enbridge support, and there is no true democratic process or public accountability.

I wish you well in all you do Susie.

Thank you,
Keith Henry
cc BCMF Board of Directors
BCMF Members
Métis People of BC

[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Letter-to-Susie-Hooper-June-14th-2012.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/Mr-Henry-Response-June-12th-2012.pdf” style=”download”]Mr Henry Response June 12th, 2012[/ilink]

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