The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is taking issue with one of the most popular songs on the MBC Radio playlist.
In a release, FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron says Derek Maurice and Dean Gauthier’s song “We’re Metis” “negatively portrays First Nations people and only perpetuates a destructive and harmful stereotype…”
The song contains lyrics such as “We pay our taxes on our very own. We pay on cigarettes and gasoline and all the clothes we own.”
FSIN Vice-Chief David Pratt says the FSIN is appreciative of the plight of the Métis and the fight for their rights.
However, he says “We’re Métis” shows the need for greater education in the general public on issues that affect First Nations people.
“The fact that a lot of people consider the fact that First Nations people don’t pay taxes,” he says. “A lot of First Nations people do pay taxes. We pay provincial sales tax, we pay the gas tax when we’re not on First Nations. A lot of First Nations people that are employed off-reserve are employed for a business, that’s not directly located on a First Nation, are subject to all the same taxes as non-First Nations people. So there’s a lot of ignorance and misinformation that’s out there floating through the general public when it comes First Nations people.”
The FSIN vice-chief adds MBC’s decision to play the song regularly only further sows some of the divisions that already exist.
“I just think it doesn’t help when we’re trying to work on reconciliation. It doesn’t help when we’re trying to build and repair that relationship that hasn’t always been the best with our treaty partners. I think it reinforces the negative stereotypes that are already out there about First Nations people.”
The FSIN says it has received a number of complaints about “We’re Métis.”
Maurice has said he makes no apologies for the song’s contents.
(PHOTO: FSIN logo. Photo courtesy www.fsin.com)