Updated with an interview with Fort McKay Metis President Ron Quintal by Brittney Pastion of CFWE-FM, a Windspeaker.com Contributor
(At 4:43 p.m. MDT)
The Fort McKay Metis has filed a court application seeking an injunction against the Metis Nation of Alberta (MNA) for business interference, reads a press statement.
“We will protect our interests,” said Fort McKay Metis President Ron Quintal. “The MNA must cease and desist.”
The statement goes on to assert the Fort McKay Metis grievance. The group alleges the MNA is representing itself as a go-between with business interests and on consultation of Metis communities, including in the oil sands region, where Fort McKay is located.
‘Specifically, the MNA has approached proponents in the region to negotiate partnerships and engage in consultation while purporting to speak on behalf of local Metis communities,’ McKay alleges. McKay says the situation is “unacceptable, and potentially damaging” to local interests.
“I have three messages,” said Quintal. “First, to our current and future business partners. We speak for Fort McKay Metis members and its traditional territory. We apologize if any confusion has arisen about who speaks for Fort McKay. To be clear, ONLY the Fort McKay Metis speak for its members on issues that impact our rights and traditional territory.
“Second, to our members, please rest assured that the leadership of the Fort McKay Metis will take all necessary steps to prevent any groups from interfering with, or harming our interests.
“Finally, to the MNA, your actions speak louder than your words. You have attempted to negotiate on our behalf. That is utterly inappropriate. You do not represent us. Our successes as the community of Fort McKay are not because of the MNA, but in spite of it.”
Fort McKay CEO and lawyer Dwayne Roth said Fort McKay Metis have been aggressive and successful at pursuing economic development.
“We will take all necessary measures to protect our interests and we will seek redress if any interest is negatively affected.”
Windspeaker.com has reached out to the MNA and have yet to receive comment.