New Consultation Guidelines Approved by Board

In 2009, the British Columbia Métis Assembly of Natural Resources (BCMANR) and the MNBC Board approved the Métis Nation British Columbia Consultation Guidebook, which included Consultation Guidelines and a Métis Traditional Knowledge Policy. The legal landscape has significantly changed since the original guidelines were drafted, and new guidelines were required to reflect these changes.

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 (MRRCE) sessions to provide a forum for input and suggestions from Citizens. Based on this feedback, a first draft was created, and was posted online for two rounds of further community feedback. BCMANR met with MNBC staff to review the received submissions and finalize the Guidelines, which was presented at the MNGA in 2020. The Guidelines were approved by the Board in June 2020.

MNBC desires a practical consultation process, with government and industrial partners, that avoids or minimizes impacts on Métis rights and land use, and creates opportunities for Métis Citizens. Our objective is to build a Métis specific approach which will improve working relationships throughout the province.

The recently updated MNBC consultation process is intended to produce better communication, stronger relationships, and easier resolution of issues between government, industry, and MNBC, including our Communities. These guidelines acknowledge the obligation of governments to consult with and accommodate Métis interests within the BC Métis community and provide a collaborative and non-adversarial means for fulfilling that obligation. These guidelines are to be used as a mechanism to further the growth of the relationships that we have built and to provide a certainty of purpose and intent that will invite and enable new partnerships and relationships. It is an invitation to work together with the full, up front, and transparent knowledge of our needs and expectations.

It is important to note that these guidelines do not constitute a blanket approval for land, water, and resource decisions that have been made in the past in which MNBC did not participate. Those decisions, and the interests that have been created from them, need to be dealt with through individual processes involving MNBC, the responsible governments, and the various stakeholders in our community.

We are pleased to provide these Consultation Guidelines to MNBC Citizens, governments, businesses, project proponents, and individuals that may have interests within the BC Métis community. The MNBC Consultation Guidelines are based on our asserted Métis Aboriginal rights and interests within BC, and our relationship with the land. Our Elders have taught us that we have a responsibility to steward and share the land.  We have been marginalized over the past 150 years, and it is our intention to reverse that pattern and once again fulfill our obligation to take care of the land and share its resources.

For more information about the Guidelines or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection please contact Leona Shaw at lshaw@mnbc.ca.