APTN National News
Indigenous leaders said they are skipping a meeting with provincial and territorial leaders over their exclusion from formal Council of the Federation discussions.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed and Metis Nation of Canada President Clément Chartier announce Monday they would not be attending a pre-meeting with territorial and provincial premiers ahead of more formal talks held through the federation which begins on Tuesday.
The three Indigenous leaders say they need to be part of the formal table with the provinces and territories.
“Provinces and territories must embrace participation of national Indigenous representational organizations in national intergovernmental processes, rather than wishing to limit or exclude us,” said Obed, in a statement.
“The trend should be towards respectful inclusion. We know that there are provinces and territories that are eager to engage with First Nations leadership in a meaningful way at intergovernmental tables,” said Bellegarde.
Bellegarde said he wants to bring a delegation of chiefs to the meeting with the premiers.
The Council of the Federation was created in 2003 as a forum for territorial and provincial premiers to meet and discuss issues of overlapping importance.