AFN National Chief summarizes the meeting between FN leaders and PM
I know you are eager for word of the meeting (Friday). The Prime Minister was in attendance and stayed the entire time. Also present from the government were Minister Duncan, Minister Clement, Minister Aglukkaq and Parliamentary Secretary Rickford, along with Deputy Ministers and PMO staff.
I delivered the eight key areas of action that emerged from the dialogue facilitated by Regional Chiefs Wilson-Raybould and Bellegarde this week. First Nation leaders brought forward tough messages, and noted the demand for change expressed by First Nation citizens all across the country. They also made it clear they would not be drawn into a programmatic discussion and did not want to waste time going over rhetorical ground or listening to a number of statements from ministers.
At the end of the meeting the Prime Minister committed to a process for high-level talks on Treaty Implementation and discussions on comprehensive claims, as well as conceding the need for highest level political oversight out of his office and PCO oversight of matters related to the relationship with First Nations. He also gave initial feedback on the other areas of action First Nations had put forward which will require further analysis and strategies.
We have achieved movement and it is seems the door has been opened for some progress in these areas. However, we need to do the hard work on our side to make this progress happen. Work will need to start immediately with Treaty leadership on how they wish to move forward on these high-level talks now that a clear mandate has been expressed. Similarly, a process needs to be put in place on comprehensive claims.
We will follow-up first thing next week on this planning so that we can all contribute to this work going forward.
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