Open letter to Mètis people,
BC Metis Federation is providing a statement in light of continued public media coverage of the issues confronting the Métis National Council (MNC).
The Canadian Press continues to misrepresent this perception that the MNC and their governing members which includes the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC), Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA), Métis Nation of Saskatchewan (MN-S), Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), and Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) represent all Métis people in the country. This is not true and has been an inconvenient truth within our Métis communities across the country for decades since the Métis were included in the Constitution in 1982.
These organizations represent a segment of the Métis population in their provinces and in most cases govern without proper mandates or open governance and have been set up as nonprofit legal entities. These institutions are a creation of the Federal Government and the accountability has only been to themselves and that of funding departments in the Federal and Provincial Governments. There continues to be no clear Federal legislation to address the legal or socio-economic interests of the Métis people.
There is significant unrest across Canada because the MNC and their governing members have been ineffective, mostly insolvent, and the support for Métis communities and families is almost nonexistent. The millions of dollars provided to these organizations has made little to almost no positive impact on the lives of the everyday Métis families seeking support and cultural awareness. For worse is the damage these organizations enact by using their relationships with the Federal Government to secure millions of dollars in resources and then ignoring real governance; open, transparent, accountable, and inclusive.
The latest MNC situation is not new in any form, perhaps once again in the public eye because a sympathetic reporter has finally taken a moment to evaluate the injustices being forced on the Métis people across Canada by organizations who claim to represent Métis people. In fact this is simply history repeating itself time and time again.
The Métis community has been calling on the Federal Government for governance and program reform for years but many of the very Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) staff assigned to work with Métis programs are ex-employees of the MNC and their governing members. Take British Columbia for example, the BC Métis Federation has been calling on governments to end the reckless mismanagement that was created for years by MNBC, who is a part of the MNC. Today they are millions in debt and they continue to get support despite over 140 letters to the Federal Minister since 2009 to address concerns. In this latest article MNBC President Dumont has no credibility to call on the MNC when he leads one of the worst examples of Métis financial mismanagement in the country with the loss of millions under his leadership. The MNBC has refused full public transparency and outright made false statements about stimulus funding to hold on to power on a number of occasions. He, along with others in the MNC, will do and say what they think will keep power regardless of the truth.
Despite decades of Federal and provincial government investments the MNC and their governing members are responsible for millions in debt that will be paid off the backs of Métis people across this country if it is allowed to carry on.
The media can call this infighting. However, many of us in the Métis community understand that democracy and our traditional values have taught us to take responsibility, be open and transparent, allow for differences of opinion, address tough issues, but find solutions. The MNC and their governing members clearly do not hold these values and their leadership for years has led to this toxic and undemocratic system of dysfunctional Métis governance fully funded by the Federal and Provincial government who do not take the time to really understand the issues.
Things must change.
cc The Canadian Press Editor
APTN National News
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Letter-to-Metis-People-March-20th-2014-BCMF-Statement-on-MNC-Collapse-1.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Article in PDF[/ilink]
News Coverage on MNC
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/infighting-erupts-among-m%C3%A9tis-national-council-leadership-1.2580294″ style=”download”]CBC News Infighting erupts among MNC leadership[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Infighting+erupts+among+leadership+Metis+National+Council/9640743/story.html” style=”download”]Ottawa Citizen Infighting erupts among MNC leadership[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/national/Infighting+erupts+among+leadership+Metis+National+Council/9640743/story.html” style=”download”]Calgary Herald Infighting erupts among MNC leadership[/ilink]