APTN National News
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), which represents off-reserve and non-status Indigenous peoples, was not invited to next month’s planned Vancouver meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indigenous leaders.
The Congress was excluded because the March 2 meeting with the prime minister is meant for organizations representing “title holders,” meaning those with Aboriginal rights under section 35 of the Constitution, APTN National News has learned.
The Prime Minister’s Office has asked the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Metis National Council to send a delegation of 10 representatives each to the meeting which will focus on discussions around combating climate change.
The meeting with Indigenous leaders will be followed by a meeting between the prime minister and premiers the next day.
The PMO confirmed in a statement that CAP was not invited to the March meeting. The PMO said the AFN, ITK and the Metis Council were meeting with the prime minister “in the context of a renewed nation-to-nation relationship.”
The PMO said the March meeting does not “in any way preclude ongoing discussions” with all national Indigenous organizations.
“The government of Canada has committed to working and meeting regularly with the national Aboriginal organizations and will continue to engage in robust bilateral discussions,” said the PMO statement.
Despite repeated requests, CAP did not provide any comment.