Tony Goulet says the shared commitment by the province to strengthen their relationship and advance reconciliation with Metis people in BC is a very positive step in the right direction.
He says the letter of intent between the province and Metis Nation British Columbia, means that they are starting to negotiate with the government and be recognized at the provincial level.
Goulet says it’s also a great chance to be on the same playing field as First Nations and Indigenous peoples.
“Because it’s been 132 years, or 140 years, that we’ve finally just come up to a level where we are now defining ourselves, that we now can have some rights to go along with that right.”
Goulet says it will also have an impact locally.
“We cover the Quesnel area and we have about 2,000 registered members and we’re part of the MNBC (Metis Nation British Columbia), we have a charter community agreement with them, so anything that happens provincially we get tied into at the local level.
Goulet says their local association does have input in this process as well.
“We do yes, and several years ago I was at the table with some of these, just defining, because I’ve also pushed that we’ve been here. We’re a unique and distinct group of people but we have rights as well, we have the same inherent rights as indigenous people and aboriginal people, so it’s very important that we be part of those discussions and we stay involved.”