Métis Woman from Surrey Called Wagon Burner and Half breed at City of Surrey

(Surrey, BC) Earlier this week a Surrey newspaper published an article entitled “Human rights complaint filed against Surrey, Métis employee says she was called “wagon burner” by her manager.” The story is about a Métis woman who has worked with the City of Surrey for over 20 years. She is a member of the Nova Métis Heritage Association and a Métis person.

BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “This situation is extremely disturbing given the tone and demeaning racial remarks in September 2010 should the allegations be proven through the Human Rights process. I have corresponded with Miss Laurie Merrick and I have indicated to her that this is not a matter to take lightly and the BC Métis Federation will support her in any way we can.”

President Henry added, “These remarks by a City of Surrey Manager were in very poor taste, racist, and would be degrading to any culture. As a Métis community we must speak out, support one another, and never allow such racist comments to be stated without consequences. Many of the Métis people face insecurities between two worlds as it is and these situations only further perpetuate this fear where Métis people are subject to stereotypes and negative images.”

President Henry concluded, “It is unfortunate this situation even occurred. However, it must be resolved and we will support Miss Merrick as we would any other Métis person who faces such discriminatory behavior. I think it is sad this situation happened in a municipal government environment and we would expect strong consequences to correct racist behavior. As Métis people we will ensure our children and future generations never face such despicable remarks. Miss Merrick should never have been called such derogatory names. We will support her through her Human Rights process to let her and her family know they have support.”

The next BC Métis Federation Regional Gathering is being hosted in Surrey tonight (Saturday, March 17th, 2012) at the Sheraton Guilford located at 15269 104th Avenue. The BC Métis Federation will broadcast the event live and encourages Métis people throughout the region to attend given the ongoing developments.

For more information about future BC Métis Federation Regional Gatherings being held throughout BC please view the BC Métis Federation website @ www.bcmetis.com.

Media Inquiries:

Keith Henry
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
Office 1-604-638-7220
Cell 1-778-388-5013
Email k.henry@bcmetis.com

You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis

[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-March-17th-20121.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download this press release in PDF[/ilink]

[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/Human-rights-complaint-filed-against-Surrey-March-13th-2012.pdf” style=”download”]Human Rights complaint filed against Surrey BC[/ilink]

[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/58_Merrick_v_City_of_Surrey_and_X_2012_BCHRT_58.pdf” style=”download”]Merrick v City of Surrey 2012 BCHRT[/ilink]

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