Fw: Organizing/contact help needed

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMtao.ca
Wed Feb 14 01:33:49 MST 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: Dan Kruk <chumboy at axion.net>
To: <project-x at sfu.ca>


Please forgive me for using the project x listserve for my extra-curricular
organizing, but since this is a convient tool for "getting the word out", I just
could not help myself. That said, please consider the following.

The current political scene in Metis British Columbia is in a somewhat precarious
position. After a court ordered election, three false starts at attempting to hold an
election, and a voter registration process that closely resembled Zimbabwe's election
process (including one incident of pre-election violence reported in the Province
newspaper), our people finally were given the chance to vote for a new executive.

Despite the fact that there are, according to the 1996 federal government census,
26,000 Metis people in B.C., only a paltry 1800 people voted out of an approximately
11,000 eligible voters! This produced an executive that essentially views progressive
politics as an irritant.

Dr. Howard Adams, a prominent Metis activist, and myself, are in the process of
organizing a left oriented Metis caucus to act as the opposition that the current
Metis Provincial Council of British Columbia (MPCBC) so desperately needs. It is
absolutely crucial that rank and file Metis people have an effective, organized left
opposition to force social issues onto the table that the current MPCBC is loathe to

Since the election on November 18, 2000, Metis people in British Columbia have heard
no word on the current state of finances (except that the MPCBC is in a deficit
position and is being forced to pay back HRDC monies) and there are no official
reports from the new administration on this situation. All that Metis people know is
that HRDC is beginning to free up funds for employment training programs but nothing
is being discussed about possible social programs that are needed desperately by
Metis people. The little information that appears to leak out is only given to those
"hang around the fort" Metis.

This state of politics is unacceptable given that the new administration ran on a
platform of accountability, integrity and inclusiveness. Unfortunately, there is
nothing inclusive about the current MPCBC. This has further discouraged Metis people
from trying to change things in their own nation.

When the president and vice president are sent letters about what their agenda is for
the upcoming year, and asked specifically about electoral reform, an independent
voter list/registry process, land sovereignty action for Kelly Lake (near Dawson
Creek), the provincial crown and their pursuit of Metis hunters exercising their
Section 35 charter rights (the past MPCBC administration refused to support their own
hunters and I wanted to know if they would reverse the previous council's decision),
I was told by the vice president to take it up with my regional representative who is
currently on sick leave and I have yet to hear from the president.

Despite these challenges, there is a commitment from dedicated Metis activists to
take on the MPCBC. It is hoped that progressive Metis people throughout British
Columbia can come together and force the newly elected MPCBC to implement an
electoral reform commission, advocate for a land claims treaty process for those
Metis in Kelly Lake, and an open and transparent self government process.

Please help us locate those Metis people who want to fight for progressive change in
their provincial organization. If at all possible, please forward this email to
friends, colleagues and other like-minded people.

For those who wish to contact us, please call (604) 681-9749, or fax (604) 681-9775

In solidarity, Dan Kruk

"...From their dominant positions the collaborators smother all new and potential
leadership among the masses...They are far removed from the actual circumstances of
the masses of native peoples who live in poverty and wretchedness. The real function
of the these collaborator leaders in the government's view is to prevent any mass
radical movement from developing and to check social action that would embarrass or
threaten the government."

Dr. Howard Adams, Prison of Grass: Canada from a Native Point of View (1975)

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