(Vancouver, BC) The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) announced on May 26th that this provincial non-profit organization had taken an equity position on behalf of all Mètis people in British Columbia regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. This MNBC correspondence has raised significant concerns within the Mètis community throughout BC considering some of the statements made by MNBC. For example, on May 26th MNBC stated that;
“It was also recognized that Metis citizen and Metis community input on the proposed project has been underway since 2009 through a process facilitated by MNBC staff.”
The BC Métis Federation has provided a public response to the MNBC claims that we believe are not legitimate as representative of the Métis voice in any manner. Several other Métis communities are also talking action to clarify such inaccurate information as well with similar correspondences.
The North Cariboo Métis Association (NCMA) is located in Quesnel, BC and has a long standing and proud Métis community with several hundred members. NCMA leadership reacted quickly on May 31st, 2012 by submitting a letter to MNBC and various Métis community organizations in response to the MNBC correspondence asking a number of pertinent questions and concerns based on the recent announcement by MNBC regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project. The NCMA letter disagrees and contradicts claims by MNBC about Métis community input or consultation into serious question. In fact the NCMA letter suggests there has not been even one conversation by MNBC or any of their employees with the NCMA members or Métis community in Quesnel about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project.
BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated; “Here is more undeniable proof of the false claims and misleading information by MNBC about support and consultation for Métis people regarding the Enbridge project. A few months ago MNBC representatives suggested there would be a provincial meeting to enable the Métis community leaders to vote for or against the project. The only meeting in May was what MNBC and Enbridge called a Community Advisory Meeting. There was no resolution presented by MNBC to support the project or not and we know some of the Métis communities did not attend.”
President Henry added; “MNBC appointed Mr. Sid Peltier from Terrace, who one might consider in a direct conflict given his helicopter services in the past with Enbridge, and Kim Hodgson from Smithers who is on the MNBC board to represent MNBC with Enbridge in September 2011. Where is their accountability to the grass root people of this province? Where are their meeting notes or information to the Métis people of British Columbia given the significance of MNBC support and equity signing for this project? ”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “I congratulate NCMA for speaking out and clarifying that any claim by MNBC to suggest they have consulted with Métis people throughout BC is not correct. I also like that NCMA has gone further to ask MNBC for any minutes of the recent MNBC/Enbridge meeting. Moreover NCMA makes it clear MNBC does not speak for their members without a proper mandate. NCMA points out that they signed a Charter Agreement with MNBC to ensure there was a legal process in place to protect the interests of their members. MNBC has continued to ignore any such community requirements despite language in these agreements to ensure MNBC did not make decisions without Chartered Community input. NCMA now joins the BC Métis Federation, Cariboo Chilcotin Métis Association, Cowichan Valley Métis Nation, Kelly Lake Métis Settlement Society and many others who have never provided any mandate for MNBC to sign any agreements or improperly represent their interests. I hope other Métis communities speak out as well. Despite the request by NCMA, I am sure MNBC President Dumont will never answer NCMA although the Chartered Community agreement signed between MNBC and their Mètis community associations requires these fundamental and democratic rights.”
For more information about the BC Métis Federation please view the website.
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-June-5th-2012-NCMA1.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/NCMA-lette-to-MNBC-re-Enbridge-May-31st-2012.pdf” style=”download”]NCMA Letter to MNBC re: Enbridge[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/MNBC-Memo-to-Presidents-May-26th-Support-for-Enbridge1.pdf” style=”download”]MNBC Memo to Presidents May 26th Support for Enbridge[/ilink]