A New Chapter for the Métis Nation British Columbia
Posted by MNBC on
Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) began a new chapter this weekend at the Radisson Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond as it held its 20th annual general meeting and swore in its newly elected 11-member Board of Directors and Regional Representatives as the results of the September 10th, 2016 General Elections.
MNBC bade a very emotional and fond farewell on Friday evening to now former President, Bruce Dumont, and celebrated his twelve years of service to the Métis Nation. On Saturday morning more than two hundred Métis Citizens, Community people, friends and honoured dignitaries came together from across the country to witness the swearing in of the new Board. Oaths of office were sworn by President Clara Morin Dal Col, Vice President Lissa Smith, Provincial Women's Chairperson Victoria Pruden, Provincial Youth Chair Cassidy Caron, and Regional Directors (1-7) Michael Dumont, Gary Biggar, Daniel Pitman, Marilynn Taylor, Raynie Gervais, Susie Hooper, and Walter Mineault. Also taking oaths of office were Regional Representatives for Métis Women (1-7) Nancy Larkin, Lee Fraser, Cheryl Dodman, Wendy Favel, Dawna Short, Alicia Fernando, Gladys Ingram and Regional Youth Representative Shaughn Davoren.
Led by MNBC Ministry of Youth jiggers, Drew Nagao, Carrington Mitchell and Syenna Mitchell, the Grand Entry procession included Fiddler Keith Hill, Guitarist Rene Lucier, and the Métis Veterans BC - Color Guard. They were followed by a procession of the new Board of Directors and Regional Women and the Youth Representative, and a number of honoured dignitaries for the Grand Entry. Guest Speakers extended congratulations to the new President and Board of Directors, and paid respects and acknowledged the former President and past Board.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be your President,” said President Morin Dal Col in her opening comments to the Métis delegates, Veterans, Elders, Women and Youth at the 20th Annual General Assembly during the openingceremonies. “This is a momentous occasion, and yet for our Nation, a common place occurrence for the transfer of authority every four years. Thank you to former President Dumont and past members of the Board, who served this Nation so well these past 4 years. We thank them for their service and wish them well as they move forward in life...and now we begin a new chapter,” said President Morin Dal Col.
Provincial Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad gave a warm welcome to President Morin Dal Col and expressed his desire to carry on the good relationship with MNBC that had begun under former President Dumont. He also spoke about the mutual desire for renewal of the Métis .../2 Nation Relationship Accord which was signed 10 years ago and other areas that MNBC and his Ministry can work on for the betterment of Métis people in British Columbia.
The AGM was chaired by Bill Bresser, and over the course of the day on Saturday, many presentations were made to both former President Dumont, and President Morin Dal Col, and to Vice President Smith. Musqeaum Elder Debra Sparrow welcomed MNBC and Métis people to the Musqeaum’s traditional territory.
Highlights at the AGM included a number of presentations - McCreary Center presented the “Ta Saantii” Métis Youth Health in BC report, the report provided statistics on mental health, suicides and overall health of our Metis youth. Métis Citizen, Darrell Fox, from the Terry Fox Foundation addressed the assembly on the Terry Fox Story and Legacy, “Anything Is Possible If You Try”. Later in the day, the Métis Nation BC, Métis Commission for Children & Families of BC, and BC Minister for Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux signed a renewed relationship Memorandum of Understanding for the care and permanency of Métis Children & Families.
MNBC wishes to extend sincere appreciation to all dignitaries and presenters who joined the delegation to celebrate this significant milestone in the Métis Nation - Métis Nation of Alberta, President Audrey Poitras, Métis Nation of Ontario, President Margaret Froh, Dawson Creek Mayor, His Worship, Dale Bumstead, a very proud Métis Nation BC Citizen, Minister for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad, MLA for Mission-Maple Ridge and Métis Liaison for Government, Marc Dalton, and Darrel Fox of the Terry Fox Foundation, also proud Métis Citizens, McCreary Center, Jessica Tourand, Ferne Strain, the President of the Metis Commission for Children and Families of BC, along with Eva Coles from the Commission, the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations Opposition Critic, Scott Fraser; Ministry of Children & Family Development, Minister Stephanie Cadieux. Métis National Council President Clem Chartier was able to attend the meeting on Sunday to offer best wishes to President Morin Dal Col and also to update delegates on the Tom Isaac Report on Métis rights and other matters at the national level.
President Morin Dal Col in her closing comments to the AGM announced the appointments of ministerial portfolios for the MNBC Board of Directors that had been approved by the Board the evening before. The appointments, which take effect immediately are:
- President Morin Dal Col, Minister of Education and Minister of Housing.
- Vice President Lissa Smith, Minister of Métis Rights, Minister of Justice and Minister of Veterans.
- Provincial Women’s Chairperson Victoria Pruden, Minister for Métis Women.
- Provincial Youth Chair Cassidy Caron, Minister for Youth.
- Region 1 Director for Vancouver Island & Powell River, Michael Dumont, Minister of Economic Development and Minister of Sport.
- Region 2 Director for Lower Mainland, Gary Biggar, Minister of Natural Resources.
- Region 3 Director for Thompson & Okanagan, Daniel Pitman, Minister of Employment & Training, and Senate Liaison.
- Region 4 Director for Kootenay’s, Marilynn Taylor, Minister of Citizenship Registry. .../3
- Region 5 Director for North Central, Raynie Gervais, Minister of Culture, Heritage & Language.
- Region 6 Director for North West, Susie Hooper, Minister of Children & Families and Minister of Health.
- Region 7 Director for North East, Walter Mineault, Associate Minister of Natural Resources.
MNBC would like to thank the following AGM 2016 Sponsors for their partnership and support -Government of Canada, Province of British Columbia, Spectra Energy, Kinder Morgan and TransCanada.
Voted by the members of the 2016 AGM on September 25, 2016, the next Annual General Meeting for MNBC will be held in Dawson Creek, BC on September 22, 23 and 24 of 2017.
Métis Nation BC’ website www.mnbc.ca will have a photo gallery of the photos taken at the AGM and welcomes anyone who would like to share their memories for the album to contact MNBC Executive Assistant and Communications Officer Tracey Thornhill.
MNBC represents the majority of nearly 70,000 self-identified Métis people across the province of British Columbia to which there are over 14,500 registered MNBC Métis card bearing Citizens. MNBC is recognized by the Federal and Provincial Governments and the Metis National Council, as the only recognized provincial Métis self-governing organization of the province of British Columbia.