Métis Nation BC Builds Walls Instead of Bridges Between Métis

Monday, January 29th, 2017

Métis Communities
BC Métis Federation Members

Re: Métis Nation BC Builds Walls Instead of Bridges Between Metis

Members and Partners,

The BC Métis Federation continues to assert representation on behalf of over 2500 card carrying members located throughout British Columbia. BC Métis Federation was formed in June of 2011 after a number of Métis people under the former Coalition of Concerned Métis Citizens (CCMC) decided there was no other options. Prior to June 2011 the CCMC spokespersons and supporters were all members of the Métis Nation BC. This coalition hey brought forward legitimate concerns identified through 6 major issues that were all documented and shared in public forums throughout British Columbia.

  1. Lack of Métis Nation BC Governance

a. Annual Public Operational Plan – No progress 7 years Later
b. Debt Recovery Plan – Métis Nation BC Millions in Insolvency plus Long Term Debt

  1. Métis Nation BC Electoral Reform – No Electoral Reform 7 Years Later
  2. Improper Purchase of the School in Abbottsford – School Sold in 2014 – lost millions
  3. Catering Business – Meetso Catering – Despite claims no revenues realized and closed after 1 year
  4. Role of Legal Council – Unclear what role of Métis Nation BC lawyer is.
  5. Cultural Awareness – Despite millions in annual funding the organization remains with minimal investments.

Solutions were created by the CCMC with 8 major recommendations including a debt recovery plan but these steps were all ignored. Unfortunately, at this time Métis Nation BC leaders and supporters took many strategies to deflect the issues and unfortunately today Métis Nation BC is millions in debt, has not designed proper business planning and their lack of transparency and public accountability for all Métis public funding continues to be evident.

Despite this issues BC Métis Federation sent a letter this past month of December to meet and begin to consider ways to work together. Late last week Métis Nation BC President Clara Morin Dal Col responded in what can only be described as inflammatory and bridge burning. Métis Nation BC President Clara Morin Dal Col responded to BC Métis Federation overtures to work together in a response with familiar narrow refrains of false populism, oppositional ‘identity politics’ and a shocking lack of vision for Métis-Canadian reconciliation.

Métis Nation BC President Dal Col states they will not work with BC Métis Federation people and partner communities because they falsely claim “previous negative actions” of one man. Their response is based upon supposed personal attacks by a ‘villain’ of the nation, BC Métis Federation President Mr. Keith Henry.

The letter seeks to reduce the legitimate concerns of 1000’s of BC Métis Federation members and partner communities to that of a ‘disgruntled’ former employee. They attempt to justify their response based upon “outrageous claims and accusations” of one man.

Métis Nation BC President Morin Del Col ‘heroically’ states they “work hard at representing interests of nearly 70,000 people.” Yet these self proclaimed ‘champions’ for Métis people sidestep the mountains of historical evidence detailing a clear path of systemic Métis Nation BC discrimination, lack of transparency and accountability to communities, broken finances and ignoring their own governance. This, in an age when accountability and consultation are demanded of their leaders, whether Métis, First Nations, and of all Canadian leaders.

Métis Nation BC President Dal Col states about Mr. Henry that, “you have been an almost constant critic of MNBC.”

She seems to say that only false loyalty to the group is acceptable, not speaking out, not asking questions. But, as John Ralston Saul once stated, “the mark of loyalty in a democracy is disagreement and that if you can’t disagree you are not loyal to the public good and are not a real citizen!”

Métis Nation BC President Dal Col’s comment is telling as right now Canada is entering a time of national dialogue and negotiations on Métis identity and reconciliation. Reconciliation takes citizenship engagement, unfettered language, research partnerships, and sustained critical thinking and ongoing dialogue between Metis communities/nations, First nations, Inuit and all Canadians.

Métis Nation BC President Dal Col takes pride in their “very constructive working relationship” with governments but seems to appeal to a false “inevitability” that only Métis Nation BC has the legitimacy to represent and ‘regulate’ Métis people because they are ‘recognized’ by governments. In other words, Del Col arrogantly infers that ‘ we know what’s best for Métis’ and that Métis people and communities can only exist (and thrive) because of Canada and Métis Nation BC.

Métis Nation BC continues to foster division through elite ‘recognition politics’ and rights based jargon which dismisses public accountability to Métis communities and Section 35 inherent rights of Métis communities to choose and control their own associations and representation. In the process Métis Nation BC is subverting the collective right for communities to exist ‘in their own right’ and to self determine.

Métis Nation BC President Dal Col states, “You have attempted to disrupt… certain of our funding streams.” This comment demonstrates Métis Nation BC decisions are more about a preservation of ‘status’ and a ‘fear of loss.’ This makes one wonder about their view of reconciliation, which appears as ‘zero-sum politics’ and ‘competition for scarce resources’ and ‘handouts ‘ by governments.

It is sad to see the personal cost of the ideology in this letter on Métis in communities.

Instead of building walls through coercion, the BC Métis Federation is committed to facilitate wellbeing and to build bridges between people and communities.

As an alternative to exclusive ‘identity politics’ by Métis organizations like Métis Nation BC and governments that support their actions, the BC Métis Federation calls for a negotiated co-existence with Canada, a new future that looks to wisely engage all Métis Nations, governments, industry, First Nations and Inuit, and Canadians in a hope-filled dialogue.

An “Assembly of Metis Nations” approach that recognizes the cultural capacity, the intellectual resources, and the historic imagination that will be required to relate to each other in a ‘pluralistic association’ that makes possible the well-being of all self-determining Indigenous Nations.

Métis Nation BC will never change and their results during the past number of years, as President Del Col was a former board member, has been clear. This limited thinking is why that organization remains millions in debt and fights against all BC Métis Federation is trying to accomplish.

Encl. MNBC Letter to BCMF January 2017

[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Response-from-MNBC-January-27th-2017.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download the BCMF response letter (above) in PDF format.[/ilink]

[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/MNBC-Letter-to-BCMF-January-2017.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download the MNBC Letter to BCMF (below) in PDF format.[/ilink]

MNBC Letter to BCMF January 2017

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