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

Open houses discouraged as Chilliwack realtors look for a way forward

March saw strong sales but April likely to see lower numbers

Trail and park closure rundown: Agassiz-Harrison

Several closures by province in area due to coronavirus

Chilliwack hospital offers thank-you message to community

Chilliwack health-care workers say they have heard everyone’s support throughout COVID-19 pandemic

Outstanding in their field

Agassiz Community Garden activity ramping up

Kent Elementary launches food voucher program

Breakfast, lunch now grocery vouchers amid pandemic

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19 world update: Joy in Wuhan as lockdown lifted; Pope denounces profiteers

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news items from around the world

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

Most Read