(Kamloops, BC) – The BC Métis Federation continues to support our members and partners throughout British Columbia to celebrate Métis culture. In a surprising turn of events yesterday an event scheduled in Kamloops has partners who pulled out due to politics.
A National Aboriginal Day celebration was being planned for Sunday, June 21st, 2015 with several Aboriginal agencies in Kamloops. These agencies all provide a variety of services including the Friendship Center, White Buffalo Métis and Aboriginal Health Society, and Lii Michif Otipemisiwak. Late yesterday afternoon the Friendship Center and Lii Michif Otipemisiwak decided to pull support for the National Aboriginal Day celebration scheduled for Sunday, June 21st because allegedly of the branding on an advertisement which included BC Métis Federation branding.
BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “These actions by these agencies in Kamloops who allegedly are non political are very disturbing. The situation speaks to distorted views of agencies that use their programs to manipulate and politicize cultural events. The National Aboriginal Day event was being supported already as BC Métis Federation’s Vice President agreed to attend and provide Métis fiddling as part of the event. ”
BC Métis Federation President Henry added; “The ad in question was a late request this past week to support the costs as neither of these agencies agreed to provide funding. As such BC Métis Federation agreed to generously support the ad costs to ensure there was public awareness for the event for all partners. The BC Métis Federation brand, which seemed to be the justification to pull last minute support, was simply our requirement to justify our financial contribution costs and was only meant to assist.”
BC Métis Federation further added; “We have a number of members in the Kamloops area not to mention an agreement with Lii Michif Otipemisiwak signed an agreement in 2013 to support Métis culture and services for our members. The actions of the Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Executive Director specifically speaks to the lateral violence and her inability to be fair and non political on such an important day that should transcend any politics. Do we feel agencies like this can provide fair and objective services for our members if needed? Absolutely not, especially considering the agreement signed with Lii Michif Otipemisiwak which speaks to our agreement to work together on Métis cultural awareness in the Kamloops area. The ad and support only reinforced tangible efforts BC Métis Federation is taking to honour this agreement and as such why would the agency use an excuse which is contrary to our agreement?”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “We are proud of our work and the actions by these agencies are incredibly unethical. At a time of truth and reconciliation I cannot understand how any efforts to increase public awareness for National Aboriginal Day could be so distorted but only for agencies playing politics. These agencies were invited to contribute to the ad and did not agree to contribute that is what caused this issue to begin with. This is truly a sad day in my view and these agencies do not reflect Métis or any Aboriginal culture values in any true form by such actions. The event on the 22nd will carry on regardless but the 21st is now off , a very sad outcome.”
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[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-June-20th-2015-Politics-in-Kamloops.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download this press release in PDF format.[/ilink]
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-and-lil-Michif-Signed-MOU-September-9-20132.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download the Lii Michif Otipemisiwak MOU.[/ilink]
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/WHITE-BUFFALO-NAD-June-21st-20151.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download the National Aboriginal Day ad.[/ilink]