Important Update from MNBC President to Citizens
Dear MNBC Citizens,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has sent me emails and phoned me since my letter to you on January 11th.
I have received several hundred emails already and more are coming in every day expressing support for my position regarding Métis Nation Ontario’s (MNO) suspension from the Métis National Council (MNC) because of them allowing non-Métis to be registered as Métis Citizens. You have also communicated very clearly your outrage at the move taken by the Group of 9 on the MNBC Board of Directors to remove my national responsibilities from me as your President, and have the MNBC Vice President Lissa Smith assume my national Ministerial roles and replace me on the Métis National Council (MNC) Board of Governors.
The constant message that runs throughout the emails is that non-Métis should not be part of our Métis Nation and there is a real fear that this move by the Group of 9 would also lead to non-Métis coming into MNBC. There is very strong support for my suggestion of putting the question to MNBC Citizens through a referendum.
Many of you also say in no uncertain terms – how dare this Group of 9 try and remove my responsibilities which in effect is overturning the electoral decision of the MNBC voters of just over three and a half months ago. Some have even called it a coup and hostile takeover. And you are asking how can we deal with them?
I am trying to personally respond to each and every email that I have received but it is taking a while to accomplish that task so I would ask for your patience as you await my response. To answer your important questions, I have attached a separate document to this letter that I would encourage you to read.
The latest move by this Group of 9 since my last email to you is to attempt to limit my ability to send out communications to you. I have absolutely no intention of giving in to such intimidation and bullying tactics. As President I will communicate with our Citizens when I so choose to because you have every right to know what is going on.
I will never support allowing individuals to become Métis Citizens unless they meet our national definition of Métis. The risks of doing so are enormous – it will put our future funding at stake, especially as we attempt to negotiate funding for healthcare for Métis people. Another big risk will be to our s.35 Métis rights. Having non-Métis in our ranks will present an enormous issue and problem in our future negotiations.
The Group of 9 wants the suspension of MNO from the MNC to be voided which if allowed to happen would in effect condone MNO’s registering individuals who do not meet the national definition of Métis. This is the same position taken by what is called the Tri-Council, an organization established in January 2020 by Métis Nation Alberta, Métis Nation Saskatchewan, and Métis Nation Ontario. The Group of 9 supports that position. I will not.
Going forward, based on your feedback, I am calling for:
- A referendum question on the MNO issue to be held by mail-in ballot to all MNBC Citizens no later than April 15, 2021
- A referendum question to be held by mail-ballot to all MNBC Citizens no later than April 15, 2021 on the question of being able to recall members of the Board of Directors who pursue such issues as salary increases, and other issues that are counter to the interests of MNBC Citizens and were not part of their mandate from the last election; and
- Each current MNBC Board member to provide a copy of their genealogy by January 31, 2021 that fully meets the national definition of Métis as verified by an independent third party.
Again, thank you so much for all of your support. During these challenging times, it makes me proud to be your President. Please continue to let me know your thoughts by emailing me at [email protected]
President, Métis Nation British Columbia
Attachment – Key facts for MNBC Citizens