The Fort McKay Métis are looking to take the Métis Nation of Alberta to court for allegedly interfering with their business.
President Ron Quintal tells Mix News the MNA has gone behind their back and consulted with Industry – asking oil companies not to meet with local leaders.
He says the Métis Nation has been doing this for over three years – consulting on their behalf – when they should just be spectators.
“We don’t deny that the Métis Nation has this place and do have a membership that we abide by, but ultimately the local communities are the ones impacted by oilsands development, so from our perspective, it has to be the local communities who work with the various proponents.”
He says they are leaning towards an injunction application to stop the MNA from consulting on their behalf.
The MNA has allegedly discussed various projects, many focusing on the oilsands themselves.
Quintal notes the group also decided they would continue the conversation about a rail system that would send oil from Wood Buffalo to Alaska.
“It frustrates me to no end that they go out, have this conversation and they absolutely exclude the Métis communities that will be impacted and they report to this proponents ‘no, no you work with us, we’ll consult with you and we’ll give you the go-ahead on these projects and you don’t have to worry about the local communities.'”
Overall, the McKay Métis Nation feel like they’re doing everything behind their back.
“This is a disservice to our elders and ancestors who’ve used this land only to have some group out of Edmonton, who’s never been to the territory, step in and attempt to consult on our behalf, it’s unacceptable,” added Quintal.
“How is it that somebody who lives in Calgary, or somebody who lives in Peace River, or somebody who lives 100 miles away from Fort McKay is able to benefit from a project directly impacting my people.”
He notes this was the last resort.
Meanwhile, the Fort McKay Métis and their sister communities have signed a protocol agreement stating they want the Métis Nation to take a backseat in these conversations.
Mix News contacted the MNA but did not receive a response.