Métis Federation of Canada

BC Métis Federation sent a letter to the Métis Federation of Canada in an effort to clarify recent issues.

Monday, June 8th, 2015 
Robert Pilon 
President 
Métis Federation of Canada 

Re: BC Métis Federation and Métis Federation of Canada MOU VIA EMAIL 

Dear Mr. Pilon

I want to start by congratulating the Métis Federation of Canada (MFC) for the recent recognition as intervenors in the Daniels Case. This is a very important recognition of the legal standing of the MFC to represent Métis people in Canada.

On June 12, 2014, the BC Métis Federation and the Métis Federation of Canada entered into a Memorandum of Understanding. This document signaled a desire of BC Métis Federation to establish mutually recognized relationships with other Métis organizations in order to support our mandate to facilitate and assist our member organizations/community/nations in their movement toward self determination, self government and self sufficiency.

To this end, we mutually affirmed a commitment to explore a language of partnership and to ideas around mutual learning and collaboration. We also committed to principles of historical difference, autonomy, as well as ongoing negotiation between communities and nations leading to interdependence and mutual partnership agreements. Finally we committed to exploration of a deeper meaning and purpose for Métis beyond standard discourses that limit, misrepresent or subvert Métis identity.

As you are aware, the BC Métis Federation has been in recent discussions with the Métis Federation of Canada exploring the idea of an agreement. Negotiations have been discontinued because of an impasse over the importance of a ‘national registry’ that would regulate Métis identities. We stand by our statement that we cannot become willing partners in a regulatory system that places Métis communities at risk of coersion or marginalization by other Métis and/or provincial or federal governments.

Since our meeting, the BC Métis Federation has been disappointed with a lack of support to the principles of our MOU, evidenced by some of the comments apparent from MFC founding members on social media that have resulted in disputes intent on politicizing discussion about identity, misinformation and even personal attacks on leaders.

We desire to create a shared future with Métis political organizations that are open to creating policies that translate competing interests into cooperative action in order to open up possibilities and opportunities for all Métis communities and nations within Canada. This means educating other Canadians how to speak in the language of partnership (nation to nation).

Included within our original document is provision for dispute resolution and I want to seek your immediate participation in this process we agree to that states as follows:

Dispute Resolution 

1. The Parties are committed to resolving any differences or disputes informally that may arise under this Agreement in a timely, practical and respectful manner. 

 2. If differences or disputes under this Agreement cannot be resolved within a reasonable period of time, it will be referred to the President of the BC Métis Federation and the MFC President for resolution by them. 

 To this end, we invite you as an organization to clarify in timely manner your commitment to the principles of our original agreement as the basis for continuing in partnership in writing. We are also arranging a meeting in July and once a date has been established we hope MFC will participate in a conversation with our board.

Thank you, 

Keith Henry 
President 

cc BC Mètis Federation Board

Enclosures:

1. BC Métis Federation MFC MOU

[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Letter-to-MFC-June-8th-2015.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download a PDF version of this letter.[/ilink]

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