Former PMs, First Nations leaders seek to ease tensions between groups

Former prime ministers and aboriginal leaders are joining forces in a bid to ease tensions between aboriginal and non-aboriginal groups.

OTTAWA — Former prime ministers and aboriginal leaders are joining forces in a bid to ease tensions between aboriginal and non-aboriginal groups.

A declaration calling for a new partnership was signed this morning by a coalition of First Nations and political leaders.

The goal of Canadians for a New Partnership is to achieve better living conditions, education, and economic opportunities for aboriginal groups — but first everyone must pledge to work together, the group says.

“Then, and only then, will we enjoy a foundation of trust sturdy enough to overcome the shame of historic harm and contemporary injustices and realize future possibility,” the declaration says, according to the Canadians for a New Partnership website.

“The New Partnership is neither deluded about past challenges nor deflated about present circumstances. We believe that hope must be created with the establishment of new trust and enthusiasm.”

Former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin and former Progressive Conservative prime minister Joe Clark are among those backing the new initiative.

They are being joined by former leaders of the Assembly of First Nations and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, as well as former auditor general Sheila Fraser and Justice Murray Sinclair, who led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Both Martin and Clark have become increasingly involved in aboriginal issues in the years since they were prime ministers.

But relations between the current federal government and aboriginal groups have hit several major roadblocks since 2008.

That was the year Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued his landmark apology for the treatment of First Nations at residential schools.

The apology was seen as an opportunity to close the gap between the two sides, but conflicts over resource development, education and missing and murdered aboriginal women have soured that relationship in recent years.

The new organization, which as been set up as a corporation, is receiving funding from private foundations, McGill University and the International Boreal Conservative campaign, according to the organization’s website.

Among other activities, it intends to run speakers’ bureau and a national lecture series, the website says.

Just Posted

Murder charges laid against woman from the Sunchild First Nation

The 25-year-old female victim was found dead on Dec. 12

Canada caught between 2 powers, feeling alone in the world

TORONTO — First U.S. President Donald Trump attacked Canada on trade. Then… Continue reading

Carbon pricing is most efficient way to cut emissions, Canadian Chamber says

OTTAWA — Canada’s largest business group has endorsed a carbon tax as… Continue reading

Tory senators stalling laws for political advantage, Independents say

OTTAWA — Conservative senators are being accused of deliberately stalling Liberal government… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

WHL’s Thunderbirds, Silvertips open to NHL joining Seattle hockey market

TORONTO — The Seattle area’s major junior hockey teams aren’t worried about… Continue reading

Canadian freestyle skier Karker excited for Dew Tour’s modified superpipe

Rachael Karker has a renewed sense of confidence heading into her second… Continue reading

CBS settled with Dushku over ‘Bull’ star’s sexual comments

LOS ANGELES — CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year… Continue reading

Kanye reignites Drake feud on Twitter, alleges threats

LOS ANGELES — Kanye West is not sending Christmas cheer to Drake.… Continue reading

Councillors in Toronto, Ottawa vote to allow retail cannabis stores

TORONTO — Councillors in Toronto have voted to allow retail pot shops… Continue reading

Barry Cooper: Separation has become a real possibility, thanks to Ottawa’s abuses

In the past couple of weeks, a retired senior oil executive, Gwyn… Continue reading

Sex assault trial for former gymnastics coach resumes in Sarnia

SARNIA, Ont. — The trial of a former high-ranking gymnastics coach accused… Continue reading

Most Read