MMF supports First Nations in denouncing Métis colonialism in British Columbia

June 28, 2023

Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Recently, Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) and the First Nations Summit (FNS) passed mirrored Resolutions, which BC Assembly of First Nations will consider at their next assembly, (linked below). Among other things, these Resolutions deny the claims made by Métis Nation of BC (MNBC) and BC Métis Federation (BCMF) that they possess collective and constitutionally protected rights to harvest within BC, and their assertions that self-determining and self-governing Métis communities historically existed and continue to exist within the interior and coast of BC. UBCIC and FNS went so far as to call the claims "false, unfounded, and deeply offensive".

History has shown that, to date, our traditional territory exists within the Historic Northwest, and this we can prove without a doubt. MMF has had a dialogue with the First Nations in BC and understand the struggles they face in BC. The Red River Métis commits that we will not make attempts to lay claim to traditional territory beyond the Rockies - as there is no proof of any such claim existing - and we wish to express that we respect the sovereignty that the First Nations in BC have over their ancestorial lands.

The MMF also disavows the colonial and invasive positions statements being made by these so-called Métis organizations in BC and stands in support of the First Nations as they vigorously fight to protect their traditional territories from illegitimate claims made by outsiders. Our People settled there after effective control, and there is no evidence we are aware of that can say otherwise.

The Red River Métis is a distinct collectivity with a vibrant and well-documented history filled with struggles, triumphs, and sacrifices throughout our Red River Métis Homeland. Although we may have common histories, as allies and adversaries, with First Nations, we are the distinct Indigenous People historically known as Lii Michif, la Nouvelle Nation, and Manitoba Métis. We have our own identity, language, culture, institutions, and way of life throughout the Historic Northwest. We stand proud and are not part of any other Indigenous Collectivity.

As an Indigenous People, the Red River Métis have had and continue to have inherent rights of self-government, which extend to those living outside our Homeland and extend beyond arbitrary and artificial colonial borders that are not of our making and not of our choosing.

The MMF wholeheartedly denounces the wrongful assertions made by MNBC and BCMF based on their misunderstanding of law, history, and identity. As of this release, there is no credible written evidence, nor oral traditions from our families, of established and continuous Red River Métis settlements beyond the Rockies.

The Red River Métis Homeland does not extend beyond the Rockies, and the Red River Métis do not have claim to territories outside our Homeland. Rather, the MMF is hoping to work with the First Nations in BC to negotiate a sheltering protocol that individual Nations may sign onto that will respect their inherent laws.

The MMF looks forward to having meaningful and respectful dialogue with First Nations in BC to work together and understand how our relevant Red River Métis rights outside our Homeland can co-exist in their province in a manner that upholds both First Nations and Red River Métis long-standing inherent, constitutional, and human rights, as well as the systems of governance, titles, jurisdictions, and laws of the First Nations in BC.



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