TORONTO — The leaders of three Indigenous groups are backing out of a meeting with Canada’s premiers, saying they are holding out for a seat at the Council of the Federation rather than a talk on the sidelines.
Hours before a meeting between premiers and aboriginal leaders was set to take place Monday, the heads of the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Metis National Council said they are seeking “full and meaningful inclusion” in the larger annual gathering of provincial and territorial leaders.
Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in a Toronto news conference that Canada’s Indigenous Peoples are not just another special interest group and won’t stand to be treated as such.
“We’re not ethnic minorities, we are Indigenous Peoples with the right to self-determination because we have our own lands, we have our own laws, we have our own languages, we have our own identifiable peoples and we have our identifiable forms of government,” he said.
Though the groups have met with the premiers in the past, they said long-standing issues have come to a head in the last year, particularly when contrasted with the federal government’s more inclusive approach.
“Unless we start …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Sports