In the 2021 Speech from the Throne, the Government of British Columbia committed to “share decision making and prosperity with the Indigenous peoples [of B.C.]”, renewing commitments made in previous Throne Speeches. The 2020 Throne Speech specifically mentioned the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) as a significant milestone in the reconciliation efforts of the B.C. Government.
While the B.C. Government has underlined their focus on Indigenous reconciliation in each Throne Speech since being elected, there have been few specific mentions of reconciliation with the Métis Nation in B.C. One instance where a specific reference was made of the Métis Nation of B.C. was in the 2018 Throne Speech, where “Indigenous Peoples, be they title-holding First Nations, Métis, Inuit, or those living on- or off-reserve, must be involved in the decisions, programs, and policies that affect them.”
While the Constitution is abundantly clear that the Métis Nation of B.C. holds Section 35 rights in British Columbia, and that these rights are equal to the rights of First Nations and Inuit peoples, as clarified in the Isaac report, this is not reflected in the actions and funding amounts that we receive from the B.C. Government.
The 2022 Métis Nation British Columbia Budget Submission is an opportunity for the B.C. Government to make the first concrete steps in advancing real reconciliation with the Métis of B.C. The total amount requested in this budget submission is $100M, to support the much needed programs and services Métis people require from their government.