June 13, 2023
UBCIC Unanimously Passes Resolution Rejecting and Denouncing Métis Colonialism in BC and the Crown’s Past and Ongoing Facilitation of it
(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/ Vancouver, B.C. – June 13, 2023). The UBCIC Chiefs Council has unanimously passed Resolution 2023-39, denouncing Métis colonialism in what is now known as British Columbia (BC), and rejecting the false, unfounded, and deeply offensive assertions of the Métis that the Métis hold independent land and water-based inherent and constitutionally protected rights in BC, including related jurisdiction.
Métis representative organizations in BC, including the Métis Nation British Columbia and the BC Métis Federation, regularly engage in a form of Métis colonialism by employing tactics reminiscent of the dehumanizing Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius in order to benefit from the exploitation of First Nations territories. The federal and provincial governments, and proponents acting on their behalf, have and continue to facilitate this Métis colonialism and use their engagement with the Métis to manufacture Indigenous consent for major projects and other activities taking place within First Nations territories. There is no persuasive legal, factual, or moral justification for the existence of land and water-based inherent and constitutionally protected Métis rights or related jurisdiction in BC, and First Nations will vigorously oppose all forms of Métis colonialism in BC and those who facilitate it.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President, stated, “First Nations in BC take no issue with the Métis Nation, the Métis people, or their struggle to protect and advance their rights within their historic Homeland. We know that many Métis who reside on our territories in BC are appalled and embarrassed by the actions of the Métis Nation British Columbia and BC Métis Federation. This is not a Métis issue, this is a Métis Nation British Columbia and BC Métis Federation issue, and we will fight against their Métis colonialism with the same passion and urgency that we fight against all other threats to our inherent, constitutional, and human rights.”
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President of the UBCIC, stated, “The federal and provincial governments regularly enable, facilitate, and benefit from Métis colonialism by, among other things, providing significant funding and economic opportunities to the Métis Nation British Columbia and the BC Métis Federation as supposed ‘accommodation’ for major projects taking place on the territories of First Nations, in return for their backing or non-opposition, which is then pointed to as evidence of broad Indigenous support for those projects. This manufacturing of consent is inconsistent with UNDRIP, infringes upon the inherent, constitutional, and human rights of First Nations, and must end now.”
“First Nations in BC have fought tirelessly for centuries in defence of our inherent, constitutional, and human rights, and for recognition of our laws, legal systems, systems of governance, and jurisdictions. It is unthinkable that another Indigenous people, who come from another place and have their own traumatic history with colonialism, would seek to undermine our efforts for their own benefit in collaboration with the Crown,” stated Chief Marilyn Slett, UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer. “First Nations in BC will always stand with other Indigenous peoples who act in defence of their rights, but we will not stand by as the Métis Nation British Columbia and the BC Métis Federation attempt to inflict another wave of colonization on us.”
The First Nations Summit will consider a mirrored resolution at their meeting this week, and the BC Assembly of First Nations will consider a mirrored resolution at their next meeting.
Enclosed: UBCIC Resolution 2023-39 “Rejection and Denouncement of Métis Colonialism in British Columbia and the Crown’s Past and Ongoing Facilitation of it”
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, 250-490-5314
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 604-290-6083
Chief Marilyn Slett, Secretary-Treasurer, 250-957-7721
UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
For more information, please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca