Métis Nation British Columbia Statement on Release of United Nations Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan
April 7, 2022 (Surrey, BC) – Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) is pleased to see the Province of B.C. release the long-awaited action plan dedicated to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration).
“MNBC is pleased to see Métis recognized as a distinct People in the action plan, in recognition of our Nation’s Indigenous status under the Constitution Act, 1982,” said Lissa Smith, President. “Previous government policies have included Métis under a pan-Indigenous label. Recognizing the distinct, constitutionally-protected rights of Métis people is an important step forward. The Province’s ongoing commitment to a distinctions-based approach is positive overall. Our cabinet is pleased to see the Province acknowledging the specific rights, interests, priorities and concerns of our Nation, while respecting and acknowledging that Métis people have unique cultures, histories, rights, laws, and governments.”
There are a number of other positive actions in the plan, including supporting the development of a Métis post-secondary institute, prioritizing endorsement and implementation of the Métis Justice Strategy, obtaining jurisdiction over child and family services, securing jurisdiction over child care, and mostly importantly, advancing a collaborative, whole-of-government approach in the partnership between Métis Nation British Columbia and the Province of B.C., respecting Métis self-determination and working to establish more flexibility and sustainability in capacity and program funding. However, details on how this work will be actioned remain to be seen.
“This is a positive day for reconciliation,” added Smith. “But our government continues to be challenged by a lack of core funding to facilitate ongoing engagement with the Province on distinctions-based policy development, and to support key initiatives in each of our 39 Métis Chartered Communities throughout B.C.”
MNBC is also pleased to see support for Métis Chartered Communities in the action plan. MNBC has long advocated for stable, core funding for our Chartered Communities, and will continue doing so.