‘Trou­bled wa­ters’

Abo­rig­i­nal groups pull out of pre­miers meet­ing: AFN of­fi­cial

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

ED­MON­TON - An On­tario chief says three na­tional In­dige­nous groups have told Al­berta Premier Rachel Not­ley they won’t be at a meet­ing with the pre­miers next week in Ed­mon­ton.

Isadore Day, On­tario chief with the Assem­bly of First Na­tions, says he sup­ports the de­ci­sion by lead­ers of the Assem­bly of First Na­tions, the Metis Na­tional Coun­cil and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami not to at­tend the meet­ing on Mon­day, the day be­fore the pre­miers hold their own talks.

“Our par­tic­i­pa­tion needs to be mean­ing­ful,” Day said Fri­day. “Talk is cheap.”

The lead­ers of the three groups have sched­uled a news con­fer­ence for Mon­day morn­ing in Toronto, say­ing they “ex­pect full in­clu­sion in in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal ta­bles.”

Day said hold­ing sep­a­rate talks for In­dige­nous lead­ers “doesn’t meet the test of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.”

Not­ley’s spokes­woman, Cheryl Oates, said of­fi­cials are con­tin­u­ing to talk with abo­rig­i­nal groups about their at­ten­dance.

“We would like them to come,” she said. “We’ll keep work­ing to en­cour­age them to come.”

Five na­tional abo­rig­i­nal groups were orig­i­nally sched­uled to at­tend the meet­ing. The Na­tive Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada and the In­dige­nous Peo­ples’ Assem­bly of Canada have not sig­nalled whether they will be there.

Day said In­dige­nous lead­ers are pre­pared to push harder if the provinces and ter­ri­to­ries don’t demon­strate a will­ing­ness to change their po­si­tion on the meet­ings.

CP PHOTO

On­tario Re­gional Chief Isadore Day at­tends a news con­fer­ence at the On­tario Leg­is­la­ture in Toronto on Sept. 9. 2015. An On­tario chief says three na­tional In­dige­nous groups have told Al­berta Premier Rachel Not­ley they won’t be at a meet­ing with the pre­miers next week in Ed­mon­ton.

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