Indigenous groups won’t meet provinces under current rules: Inuit leader

EDMONTON — Canada’s national Inuit leader says Indigenous groups are unlikely to appear at future provincial and territorial meetings under rules the premiers have developed.

“If nothing changes, we would not participate next year,” Natan Obed of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami said Tuesday.

Three of Canada’s main aboriginal organizations chose not to attend a meeting with the premiers on Monday before the leaders convened for their annual summer gathering. Those sitting out included Obed’s group, the Assembly of First Nations and the Metis National Council.

Obed said the boycott was due to ground rules set out in a letter from Yukon premier and council chairman Sandy Silver to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The letter, obtained by The Canadian Press, said the premiers would only meet with aboriginal groups outside the formal premiers meeting. It said the premiers would set an agenda and determine who would attend. It also stipulated the premiers would not share documents with Indigenous leaders.

“As appropriate, consideration can be given to the inclusion of representative lndigenous leaders and organizations outside of the formal setting of (federal-provincial-territorial) meetings (eg., pre-meeting events),” says the letter dated April 5.

That’s not good enough any more, said Obed.

“We won’t accept to be add-ons to the process,” he said. “We feel we were participating at the discretion and under the rules of the public government leaders.

“Making decisions together is not something that some premiers are willing to do.”

Indigenous leaders recognize the premiers have a different role, Obed said, and the three groups that didn’t attend were only asking for a half-day within the formal council agenda.

He said they hope the federal government will put pressure on the provinces to change the rules around Indigenous participation.

“The federal government will also play a very key role. We have confidence in this progressive government.”

Obed said he expects the provinces will change their approach.

“We hope we won’t be in a similar situation next year.”

Just Posted

Blackfalds firefighter battling cancer

A volunteer firefighter in Blackfalds for 15 years, Dave Sutherland now battling… Continue reading

Red Deer transit users are concerned about the future

But recreation centre users are glad facility hours were maintained

Community cardiac awareness dinner and show to be held

Continued focus to bring cardiac catheterization lab to Red Deer

Red Deer businesses react to 2.02 per cent tax increase for 2018

Chamber would prefer zero increase, while DBA thinks it’s reasonable

Bring on the rodeo says Red Deer County mayor

Canadian Finals Rodeo’s move to Red Deer good for whole region, says Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

RDC chosen to host 2019 men’s volleyball national championship

Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to… Continue reading

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month