Once Again, BCMF Refutes Baseless Claims from Certain First Nations Leadership

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Vancouver, British Columbia, June 24, 2024 — The BC Métis Federation (BCMF) is once again refuting baseless and inflammatory accusations made by Tseshaht member Hugh Braker of the First Nations Summit, who states “the Métis” are trying to lay claim to territorial resources.

At a recent Ha’wiih Forum on Fisheries, Braker accused “the Métis” of “putting a big strain on available dollars” from the federal government. Terry Teegee, regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, added that he thinks BCMF’s receipt of federal funding for coastal conservation in B.C. is “ridiculous.” The reality is that the funding that BCMF receives from the federal government for conservation programs is negligible compared to what First Nations receive and has no significant impact whatsoever on their funding allocations.

These accusations follow Braker’s baseless claims in response to BCMF’s Coastal Water Protectors conference held in January. At that time, he spread disinformation, claiming that the conference was part of an attempt by BCMF to claim title on BC’s coast.

“I can only repeat what I’ve said many times before,” said Keith Henry, BCMF President. “BCMF is not claiming water jurisdiction, nor are we claiming land or territory from First Nations. We are simply following the mandate of our members and community to support environmental stewardship. That is all. Accusing us of doing otherwise is inflammatory and harms not only the good relationship we are attempting to build but also the reputation of Métis in British Columbia. It has to stop.”

BCMF is pleased that recent Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper coverage of the forum was respectful and presented the position of BCMF in a positive and accurate light. However, the claims made by Braker and some of the other First Nations leaders at the forum are harmful and spread a false narrative about the intentions of BCMF.

The BCMF Department of Conservation is dedicated to providing educational tools and resources for environmental stewardship to members and the public. It makes no claim to water jurisdiction nor resources and only hopes to help safeguard BC’s shores and inspire future generations to do the same.

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About BCMF

The BC Métis Federation (BCMF) is a non-profit association that works with Métis communities to ensure the well-being of BCMF members. Through grassroots efforts, BCMF advocates on behalf of its many members living all across the province.

Media Contact

Keith Henry, President, BC Métis Federation
P: (778) 388-5013
E: K.Henry@BCMetis.com

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