MÉTIS NATION BRITISH COLUMBIA GRADES HORGAN GOVERNMENT

surrey, B.C. (August 6, 2021) – Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) has produced a follow up to a report produced last year, A Tale of Two Nations, which highlighted the inequities of the treatment of the Métis in BC. Ignoring the Métis Nation has been a consistent and long-standing policy of successive governments in the province. A Tale of Two Nations demonstrated where the historic and current imbalances in provincial funding for the Métis Nation exist, the lack of recognition for the Métis Nation, and examines the rationale provided by the provincial government for this current reality.

As a result of slow progress on the advancement of our relationship with BC, MNBC has issued a report card for Premier John Horgan’s government comparing him to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, on their respective work with Métis governments. The results are not impressive. While BC deserves praise for their work in Advanced Education and Skills Training, the rest of categories show clear discrepancies, with the worst offender being the Ministries of Health and Mental Health. Out of a population of nearly 15 million, there are over 120,000 Métis in Ontario. In comparison to BC, where there are 5 million total inhabitants, there are 90,000 Métis.

“Our relationship with the province has improved in recent years,” says Lissa Dawn Smith, MNBC Acting President. “However, there is clearly a lot of work still to do to get it at a level that is at a comparable with other Métis governments in Canada. Representing 90,000 Métis people in the province, we will continue to fight and advocate for our inherent rights and the promises that the Premier committed to when passing legislation in support of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” 

This is the first time MNBC has issued a report card on the government’s performance but will commit to doing so regularly as our relationship evolves and grows. The report card follows up on an open letter where MNBC highlighted the lack of jurisdiction we have over our children in care. There also remain a number of significant issues, unrelated to funding, that the province must address as part of the truth and reconciliation process in B.C.