Meeting in Victoria-What Can I Do?

Open letter to Mètis people, I want to thank the Métis people that joined me in Victoria this past weekend at the Solstice Café. This meeting with grass roots Métis people continues to demonstrate to me that people do care about what is going on in our Nation. Having said this it also reminded me that people can make a difference one person at a time.

The conversations centered about the current situation and what can we do to make a difference. I reminded people that BC Métis Federation has never swayed from the six issues we believed had to be addressed in our Nation:

1. Overspending and financial mismanagement by the other provincial Métis organization (MNBC) a. We know today MNBC continues to realize major annual debts after repeated assurances to MNBC members that this would not keep occurring. In fact MNBC consolidated loses each year have been recorded as follows:

i. 2008-2009 – $250,000.00 (est.)

ii. 2009-2010 – $1,300,000.00 (est.)

iii. 2010-2011 – $500,000.00 (est.)

iv. 2011-2012 – $978,000.00 (est.)

b. BC Métis Federation is confident MNBC will realize another debt in 2012-2013 ending March 31st, 2013 as the MNBC has been unable to sell the school, no including the fact that MNBC also has outstanding unpaid 2012 school taxes of $117,000, plus much more.

2. Métis School – MNBC improperly purchased this building and land in 2009 and this has been a disaster since. MNBC has been unable to sell the facility since 2012 and has borrowed approximately $4.6 million against the value of the property. MNBC has continued to suggest a sale is close without any proof or tangible evidence. Each month the additional costs in debt financing are almost $60,000 incurred by MNBC to maintain this debt load.

3. Meetso Catering Services – MNBC closed this operation in October 2011.

4. Legal counsel – MNBC continues to threaten Métis people with letters from various legal representatives when asked questions. This is not the Métis way.

5. MNBC Election Process – The most recent MNBC General Election held in September 2012 failed and had extremely poor voter turnout.

6. Cultural Awareness – MNBC continues to do almost nothing to support Métis culture and today several youth projects for fiscal year 2012-2013 remain in doubt with only 1 month before the fiscal year ends.

It was evident during the recent coffee in Victoria that people were angry, frustrated and wanted to know what more they can do. I say there is many ways you can assist BC Métis Federation. The first is to understand the six main issues we have been attempting to correct for years. Second get involved with BC Métis Federation; become a member, post comments on our website, join our facebook page, attend events, make a donation, etc. Third write to your local MLA or MP to let them know how much you believe that this situation must be addressed once and for all.

Thank you to those who attended for the kind donation of your time my Métis friends in Victoria on Saturday. We need to stand strong and demand change. We have the truth on our side and the MNBC is simply pretending and ignoring very real and serious challenges for the organization.

Keep spreading the word and join us to make a better future for our children and future generations.

Thank you,
Keith Henry
BC Metis Federation
President

[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Letter-to-Metis-People-February-24th-2013-What-Can-I-Do.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]

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