Natural Resources and Environmental Protection

CONSULTATION AND RESPONSIBLE STEWARDSHIP

Protecting our Natural Resources and connections

Learn more about your harvesting rights and apply for your harvesting card today!

Contact the Ministry

MAILING ADDRESS

Unit #107 – 5668 192nd Street
Surrey, BC
V3S 2V7

PHONE

Toll free: 1-800-940-1150
Phone: 604-557-5851
Main Fax: 778-571-9402 / Finance Fax: 778-571-9403

OFFICE HOURS

Monday-Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm

Introduction

The Ministry of Natural Resources promotes the sustainable use of natural resources in British Columbia through adequate consultation and responsible stewardship guided by Métis values and traditional knowledge.

The Ministry of Natural Resources is responsible for overseeing initiatives related to natural resources, land, and Métis traditional knowledge across all MNBC departments and Ministries. We also develop and implement programs that promote sustainable stewardship and monitoring of natural resources. Additionally, we represent MNBC in natural resource bodies and within the Métis Nation at a local and national level.

Within the MNBC Natural Resources Act, the MNBC “Ministry of Natural Resources” means the MNBC Secretariat department that is responsible for all natural resource issues under the authority of the Minister of Natural Resources (political), Director of Natural Resources (operational) and BCMANR.

 

The British Columbia Métis Assembly of Natural Resources (BCMANR)

BCMANR is a separate society that is affiliated with MNBC. Within the Natural Resources Act, “BCMANR” means the British Columbia Métis Assembly of Natural Resources which is a non-political committee that manages natural resources on behalf of the MNBC.

BCMANR is, in principle, based on the success of the Métis people in the 1700-1800s. 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, and the present-day infrastructure and principles honours the past.

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 (Region 7 is divided into 7a and 7b) that form BCMANR. The Captain’s selection process is highlighted in BCMANR Policy and Procedures.

Download Natural Resources Act

Download Policies and Procedures

View BCMANR Newsletters

 

CONTACT BCMANR Captains:

 

Rob Humpherville, BCMANR Co-Chair
Regional Representative (Vancouver Island & Powell River)
Phone: 250-713-3583
Leonard Laboucan, BCMANR Captain
Regional Representative (Lower Mainland)
Marlene Beattie, BCMANR Captain
Regional Representative (Thompson & Okanagan)
Phone: 250-309-4608

 

Mark Carlson, BCMANR Chair, BCMANR Captain
Regional Representative (Kootenays)

Phone: 250-231-1494

Madden Sarver, BCMANR Captain
Regional Representative (North Central)
Phone: 778-349-5427

 

Rene Lucier, BCMANR Captain
Regional Representative (Northwest)
Phone: 250-631-9514

 

Darcie Hohnisch, BCMANR Captain
Regional Representative (Omineca)
Phone: 778-349-4549

 

Rennae Sarver, BCMANR Captain
Regional Representative (Peace River)

 

Consultation

The Duty to Consult and, where appropriate, accommodate, emerges from the recognition and affirmation of Aboriginal and treaty rights in Section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982.  These rights are coupled with the Supreme Court of Canada’s recognition of the obligation to protect the honour of the Crown.  As Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin explained in the 2004 Haida decision, “[i]t is a corollary of Section 35 that the Crown act honourably in defining the rights it guarantees and in reconciling them with other rights and interests.  This, in turn, implies a duty to consult and, if appropriate, accommodate.”  Because this obligation applies only to those rights affirmed and recognized in Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, the duty to consult in Canada is associated with rectifying the imbalance of power that historically has existed in the country between the government and Aboriginal peoples.

Thomas Isaac wrote in his 2016 report, A Matter of National and Constitutional Import: A Report of the Minister’s Special Representative on Reconciliation with Métis: Section 35 Métis Rights and the Manitoba Métis Decision, that “there is no doubt, at law, the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal peoples applies to Métis”.  The Métis in British Columbia are Section 35 rights holders. These collective rights are represented by the Métis in British Columbia’s governing body, MNBC.

More than a decade ago, BCMANR and the MNBC Board approved the MNBC Consultation Guidebook, which included Consultation Guidelines and a Métis Traditional Knowledge Policy. During the 2017 Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA), BCMANR made a commitment to return to the next MNGA with recommendations, and, at the 2018 MNGA, a further commitment was made to have a consultation table at our 40 Métis Rights and Reconciliation Community Engagement sessions in order to solicit feedback from our community leaders and citizens.

MNBC and BCMANR present the following updated draft Consultation Guidelines as a result of the above feedback coupled with following best practices in place from other Section 35 Rights Holders.

Note: The Métis Traditional Knowledge Policy has not been updated yet.

References:

Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), [2004] 3 S.C.R. 511, 2004 SCC 73

Thomas Isaac, A Matter of National and Constitutional Import: A Report of the Minister’s Special Representative on Reconciliation with Métis: Section 35 Métis Rights and the Manitoba Métis Decision (June 2016), online: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada at 16 < https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/DAM/DAM-INTER-HQ-AI/STAGING/texte-text/report_reconciliation_1471371154433_eng.pdf

Download Consultation Guidelines – June 2020

Download Tom Isaac report 

Download Natural Resources Act

 

Harvesting – Harvester Card and Survey

The land, hunting, fishing, and trapping are important to many Métis peoples’ way of life throughout history, and remains important to Métis culture and identity today. There are active Métis hunters, trappers, fishermen, and plant harvesters found throughout every region in British Columbia. We desire sustainable use of natural resources, including: 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.

We gather this valuable land use data through our harvester database, where harvesting card holders fill out annual surveys of their land use over the year, and through Use and Occupancy Mapping data, where Métis harvesters sit down for a one-on-one interview and documents their life history of land use.

If you are an active land user, we encourage you to get your Métis Harvester Card and fill out our annual harvester survey.

All Applicants

  • If you do not have an MNBC Citizenship Card you will not be issued an MNBC Harvester Card. If your citizenship application is pending approval, you must wait until your card has been approved to be eligible to apply for the Harvester Card.
  • You must complete the application in full. Failure to provide the signed application and appropriate consent forms will increase the application processing time.
  • Be sure to provide your name exactly the same as it appears on your Citizenship Card.
  • If you have moved since you received your Citizenship Card, use your new address and your Citizenship file will be updated.
  • You are encouraged to sign the “Consent Form” authorizing the MNBC Ministry of Natural Resources to use your information for management purposes. MNBC is fully compliant with the Canadian Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). Your individual information will be kept confidential.
  • You must sign the “Agreement to adhere to the Métis Nation BC Natural Resource Act Articles and Regulations pertaining to the use of the MNBC Harvester Card”.
  • You must provide a passport size photo or a digital photo (head and shoulders) for use on your Harvester Card.
  • You will be required to complete an annual harvester survey to receive a validation sticker every year.

Harvester Card Without Hunting

  • Adult Applicant (18 years of age or older)
    • No additional information is required.
  • Youth Applicant (10 years of age or older and under 18)
    • Youth applicants must provide a fully completed and signed “Acknowledgement of Responsibility” from their parent or guardian.

Harvester Card With Hunting

  • Adult Applicant (18 years of age or older)
    • Adult applicants must provide proof of Hunter Safety Training and/or,
    • A copy of your BC Resident Hunter Number card.
  • Youth Applicant (10 years of age or older and under 18)
    • Youth applicants must provide proof of Hunter Safety Training.
    • Youth Applicant (10 years of age or older and under 18) must provide a fully completed and signed “Acknowledgement of Responsibility” from their parent or guardian.

Note: Youth Applicants who apply at age seventeen will be issued an adult harvesting card upon turning eighteen without requiring a new application.

Download Harvester Card Application

Download Annual Online Survey

Download Guide to Aboriginal Harvesting Rights

Use and Occupancy Mapping – Research

Land Use research plays a significant role in giving Métis a strong voice when it comes to consultation processes and demonstrating that the land is important to us. This type of data can also assist in wildlife stewardship and conservation initiatives.

MNBC has worked with a world expert on this type of mapping research to develop a new methodology to gather this valuable data. The new methodology is similar to past mapping projects, but is more powerful and scientifically sound. It has been designed specifically for Métis land use in BC and has the power to be more effective if this information were ever to be used in court to protect Métis Land Use or fight for harvesting Rights.

This kind of knowledge and information gives Métis a stronger voice at negotiation and consultation tables. It is a powerful form of research and mapping and demonstrates the importance of land to Métis in BC. As we document what you have done on the land,  (hunting, fishing, plant gathering, cultural use, etc.), the information we get is current, and cannot be ignored or tossed aside in negotiations or potential court cases. It is also important for promoting Métis culture and can demonstrate to others that Métis are out on the land using it.

The following Hodgepodge map is incomplete, as we have not interviewed all Métis harvesters in BC, but demonstrates strong Metis land use within the province.

Download Hodgepodge map. 

 

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Becoming a part of the Métis Nation is more than just an identity, but finding the support and information you need.