Metis Nation of British Columbia speaks out!
Press Release - Saturday, November 3, 2007
Vancouver, British Columbia – Four of the Five Métis National Council (MNC) Board of Governors met this past week at the Delta Hotel in Ottawa, Ontario. The four MNC Board of Governors represented the Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Ontario, and Metis Nation British Columbia.
The informal meeting was held on October 31st and provided the opportunity to discuss current MNC challenges in relation to national governance. The court ordered MNC General Assembly did not meet the requirements in October and this situation has left the MNC without a National President or the ability for the MNC Board of Governors to hold meetings. Furthermore, the existing court order filed by Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) President David Chartrand and former MNC President Clem Chartier against the MNC Board of Governors still exists in the Ontario Superior Court. The court order required that the election for the MNC President was to be completed and many questions remain due to the failed MNC General Assembly.
The four Board of Governors continue to assess the situation. The four MNC Board of Governors made attempts to invite the remaining Governor, MMF President Chartrand, to discuss the situation on October 31st in spite of the current legal challenges. MMF President Chartrand sent a letter to the four Board of Governors dated October 30th stating that “I am prepared to meet if the purpose and object of that meeting is to give effect to the requirements of the Federal Government, that is, to get the issue before the court as quickly as possible…” MMF President Chartrand further stated in the correspondence that, “in light of the financial circumstances of the MNC, the five members of the BOG take place by telephone…”
MNBC President Dumont stated, “The MNC continues to face very serious challenges. I believe the MNC Board of Governors could have begun to discuss issues. MMF President Chartrand continues to seek court solutions and refuses to make any concessions or meet in person. Requests were made for the MMF President to attend the recent discussion on October 31st, 2007. He sent a response late, in fact, I did not receive until the day after the October 31st meeting, and then makes statements in his letter referencing financial circumstances for the reason to hold this meeting by conference call. The four MNC Board of Governors all made sacrifices to attend due to the seriousness of this situation. More confusing is his claim regarding MNC finances given the fact that the MMF President continues to assert court action that has already cost the Métis Nation over $90 000. I for one will not waste any more resources on a process that blatantly goes against our aspirations for Métis Nation self-governance. I also do not understand how the MMF President can continue to spend resources to support his action?”
President Dumont added, “The Métis National Council office has essentially closed operations and several of the MNC staff were laid off as a result of this entire situation on November 2nd. The October 31st discussion was an important opportunity for the MNC Board of Governors. Once again MMF President Chartrand continued to put his interests ahead of the families of the MNC employees and Métis communities throughout the Métis Nation Homeland.There simply are no resources to continue court battles and at this point the Métis National Council is non-operational.”
President Dumont concluded with, “MMF President Chartrand continues to address media as his method of presenting a misleading picture to Métis citizens. In fact an MMF Press Release dated November 2nd stated that our recent October 31st meeting invitation was insincere and a smokescreen. There could be nothing further from the truth. This was an emergency discussion and all MNC Board of Governors should have attended. I believe that the current situation is not only based on governance but also further developed due to financial questions. Métis Nation British Columbia demands accountability and transparency and will ensure that our concerns are addressed, our people deserve no less."
MNBC continues to review the situation in lieu of new developments from the October 31st and will be sending copies of correspondences this next week to the thirty-seven (37) Métis Chartered Communities in British Columbia."
Chief Executive Officer
Métis Nation British Columbia
Telephone: (604) 801-5853