BCMANR (BC Métis Assembly of Natural Resources)
Métis citizens of British Columbia desire sustainable use of our natural resources and sustainable use is said to include:
- Managing natural resources to meet present needs without compromising the needs of future generations;
- Providing stewardship of natural resources based on an ethic of respect for the land;
- Balancing economic, productive, spiritual, ecological and traditional values of natural resources to meet the economic, social and cultural needs of the Métis peoples and other aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities;
- Conserving biological diversity, soil, water, fish, wildlife, scenic diversity, and other natural resources; and
- Restoring damaged ecologies.
The implementation of the BC Métis Assembly of Natural Resources (BCMANR) should be, in principle, based on the success of the Métis people in the 1700-1800's. The "Buffalo Assembly" and the "Laws of the Prairies" were established by the "community" way of life. These communal commitments ensured the survival of the Métis people during tough times. The basic principles were; no "individual" way of thinking and "that strength was generated from the collective group". These principles were the basis of the historic Métis culture; therefore the present day infrastructure and principles should honor the past.
BCMANR Provincial Captain Assembly
Each of the seven MNBC Regions appoints a highly-respected individual to represent their natural resource needs on a provincial level. There are eight non-political regional Captains of Natural Resources that form the BC Métis Assembly for Natural Resources (BCMANR). The Captain's selection process is highlighted in BCMANR Policy and Procedures.
The government of Canada is actively engaging Métis in Consultations related to projects under Federal control. This includes Federal Agency projects (like Species at Risk) and private industry projects that require a Federal Permit to proceed. Canada consults with MNBC because they accept MNBC assertions of Métis Rights and Traditional Land Uses in British Columbia made on behalf of our citizens.
The Province of British Columbia continues to ignore MNBC assertions and have not engaged in consultations with MNBC. This is a reflection of BC's position that BC Métis have not proven Rights in Court. This is an obvious contradiction to the directions of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Haida /Taku decision. In Haida/Taku the SCC stated that "The obligation to consult does not arise only upon proof of an Aboriginal claim ... [it] arises when a Crown actor has knowledge of the potential existence of Aboriginal rights and title and contemplates conduct that might adversely affect them", and also says "so the trust-like relationship and its concomitant fiduciary duty permeates the whole relationship between the Crown, in both of its sovereignties, federal and provincial, on the one hand, and the aboriginal peoples on the other. One manifestation of the fiduciary duty of the Crown to the aboriginal peoples is that it grounds a general guiding principle for s. 35 (1) of the Constitution Act, 1982".
It seems clear that the Province of BC should be consulting with the MNBC as the representative of Métis in BC. It appears that the Province would prefer to risk the potential of a Métis court challenge of a Provincial decision where we were not consulted.
The MNBC Ministry of Natural Resources will continue to provide written notification of asserted Métis Rights and Traditional Land Uses to the Province of BC for all projects which we become aware of. In cases where any potential exists for a BC government decision to impact Métis, the Ministry will inform government that a potential impact exists, that MNBC has not been consulted and that if government proceeds, MNBC will look for redress in the courts at the appropriate time. It seems clear that Métis Rights will continue to be defined in future court cases. Once Métis Rights are affirmed in British Columbia, MNBC will be in a position to take the Province to task over their refusal to consult.
The MNBC Natural Resource Act became MNBC Legislation on September 27, 2008
BCMANR Definition of Métis Traditional Knowledge
Métis Traditional Knowledge is that body of information, values, beliefs and practices passed from one generation to another by oral means or through land-based experience that pertains to the identity, culture and heritage of the Métis people and their respect for the land and its resources.
The following chart is a summary schematic of the entire consultation process. It consists of seven distinct and detailed phases which ensures an effective and meaningful consultation.