National Chief Perry Bellegarde is seen during a speech at the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa, Tuesday December 3, 2019. Leaders of Canada’s national Indigenous organizations say they hope talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s premiers will lead to greater movement on implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and new child welfare policies as well as resources to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Indigenous leaders to meet with premiers, Trudeau on child welfare, UNDRIP

The leaders plan to raise a number of issues, including the UN declaration

Leaders of Canada’s national Indigenous organizations say they hope talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s premiers will lead to greater movement on implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and new child-welfare policies as well as resources to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed and Metis National Council vice president David Chartrand will participate in the opening day of first ministers meetings today in Ottawa.

They’ll meet first with Trudeau and then with provincial and territorial premiers.

The leaders plan to raise a number of issues, including the UN declaration, the federal government’s forthcoming action plan on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the overhaul of the Indigenous child welfare system.

They also plan to raise the unique needs of remote Indigenous communities when it comes to the coronavirus.

The Indigenous leaders acknowledge they are likely to face pointed questions from premiers on the role of Indigenous nations in resource development in Canada following recent blockades and protests mounted in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en chiefs opposed to Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia.

Bellegarde says he welcomes those discussions, plans to stress that the UN declaration can help prevent many conflicts that arise over pipelines, as it would see Indigenous Peoples involved in proposed projects at the outset.

Chartrand says he plans to stress to the premiers that UNDRIP does not mean Indigenous communities or First Nations get a veto over projects — a claim provincial and federal conservative politicians have made in opposition to the declaration.

Obed says he plans to highlight the structural deficit that exists for marine, air and social infrastructure in Canada’s northern Inuit communities and hopes premiers and Trudeau will be open to creative solutions to ensure the Inuit are not left behind.

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en pipeline supporters feel shut out of talks, ministers told

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Child welfareCoronavirusIndigenousJustin TrudeauPipeline

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rimbey textile artists creating hand-made masks

Group has also been helped out by a local business

Salute to health care workers set for Monday

Fire, RCMP and EMS to toot sirens, flash lights at 7 p.m. April 6

107 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, 5 additional deaths

More than 1,000 cases in Alberta total

Parking lot closed now at J.J. Collett

Natual area remains open, but vehicles not to be left at lot or nearby

96 new cases of COVID-19 announced in Alberta

Thirteen people have now died in Alberta as a result of COVID-19

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

UPDATED: How the coronavirus is impacting the Ponoka area

Precautions, advisories, and cancelled community events

A message from the publisher

Consider a voluntary subscription to Ponoka News

Trudeau announces more financial help for country’s most vulnerable

$40 million will go to Women and Gender Equality Canada

Feds pulled between bailing out oil and gas and moving to cleaner energy

Number of national environment organizations demanding no cash be spent to help oil companies

The inexact science involved in predicting the likely path of COVID-19

Staying home could be the difference between 6,000 deaths by April 30 or 1,600 deaths

Pandemic has shunted aside an array of Liberal initiatives, at least for now

It seems any fresh ideas will now have to find space in an already jammed queue

Former Obama security adviser calls on Canada to show global COVID-19 leadership

Former Obama security adviser calls on Canada to show global COVID-19 leadership

Campaigning in a time of crisis: Tory leadership candidates carry on

Campaigning in a time of crisis: Tory leadership candidates carry on

Most Read