GG to host "ceremonial meeting" with chiefs Friday

Moments after Manitoba chiefs stated during an Ottawa press conference they would not participate in a planned meeting Friday with the prime minister unless Gov. Gen. David Johnston also attended, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying a ceremonial meeting would take place with the Crown’s representative at Rideau Hall.

APTN National News
OTTAWA–Moments after Manitoba chiefs stated during an Ottawa press conference they would not participate in a planned meeting Friday with the prime minister unless Gov. Gen. David Johnston also attended, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying a ceremonial meeting would take place with the Crown’s representative at Rideau Hall.

Johnston will be meeting with First Nations chiefs at 6:30 p.m. Friday, following a planned meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a delegation of about 30 people including First Nations chiefs, elders, women and youth.

It’s remained unclear Thursday afternoon how this invitation would impact the position of chiefs who have said they would not participate in the meeting with Harper unless Johnston was involved.

The governor general’s involvement was one of the prerequisites set by Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence to end her nearly month-long hunger strike. It also remained unclear whether Friday’s planned ceremonial meeting with Johnston would be enough for Spence to end her hunger strike.

Danny Metatawabin, Spence’s spokesman, said he had no comment until he consulted with the Attawapiskat chief who began her hunger strike on Dec. 11.

Harper is scheduled to meet with First Nations leaders at about 12:45 p.m. at Langevin Block, which houses his working office across from Parliament Hill. Harper is expected to be present at the meeting for only the beginning and again at the end.

The three-hour meeting will also include Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Treasury Board President Tony Clement and parliamentary secretary for Aboriginal Affairs Greg Rickford.

Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.

19 thoughts on “GG to host "ceremonial meeting" with chiefs Friday

  1. Executives, CEOs do not have strategic, significant meetings without their presence. It will only be Harper’s doing to make this meeting moot.

  2. The lack of class being shown by the FN leaders is repulsive. The constant flip flopping and altering of demands is petty, utterly unprofessional and counter productive. Any Chief that drops out now has no right to be at the table in the future. They obviously have no interest in reaching a resolution. Getting another photo op is apparently important. Those still requesting Johnston’s attendance at the working meeting have no understanding of his powers and position, and therefore their opinion is uninformed and irrelevant. All he can do is listen to the Chiefs and smile politely. He has no legislative authority, and as an impartial figure, has no right to form an official position or make recommendations one way or the other. As such, there is absolutely zero benefit to having him at said working meeting. Please get that through your apparently poorly uneducated heads.

    1. you have no clue that’s funny & with comments as you stated
      at the end , it shows that you your self are poorly uneducated
      with a understanding on whats going on. most here would not
      answer you but will give you your opinion good luck to you
      peace i will not reply anymore because you are uncouth.

      relying on insults that’s funny

    2. So why exactly do we have a GG then? I’m no expert, just an average Canadian who supposes that when the Queen signed the Constitution she transferred all former monarchical powers to Canada’s parliamentary system, yes? Yet we are still part of this Commonwealth thing, and we have a Crown (as in Crown Land); and apparently the FN leaders make a connection with the Crown because it precedes the state that is Canada. It is symbolic, and important. This goes to yet another root problem, and should be clarified and resolved. If the GG just smiles and nods, what use is s/he? A lot of contemporary problems experienced by indigenous people here are the fall out of agreements, promises, treaties made in the name of the Queen. Until such time as these anachronisms get sorted, the PM and GG should act in good faith and fully engage in negotiations with FN leaders.

  3. A couple of thoughts:

    One: Good to see the resolve of many indigenous peoples finally drug the Queens representative in a successor state out of his privy closet and to the table.

    Two: Too bad his involvment at this time is only lip service ( “I’m here to listen, not to say anything” – is always a government favorite ) and we are going to let him get away with no commitments

    Three: Couldn’t find press conference live on google ( only have slow internet like most reserves ) too bad APTN wasn’t broadcasting into native and non-native households alike for today and ESPECIALLY tomorrow ( At least a live stream on this website) Mr LeRose could you look into this? The beachcombers is so lame compared to wanting to be informed by watching todays PC. Had to watch the PC on Sun News Network livestream. So demeaning. What happened to APTN’s slogan “If we would have been there, history would have been (reported?) different” ?

    Arnie Jack

    Williams Lake Indian Band Opposition

    1. The GG is just there to listen and say what he’s told for any issue, he has no power at all and is a symbolic rep for a symbolic head of state who also doesn’t speak for the country. I don’t understand his importance? The buck stops with Harper.

  4. STOP PLAYING GAMES MR HARPER!!! Arrange a meeting with First Nations that will benifit all Canadians. You have been hiding behind policies that continue to undermine the rights of the First Peoples of this land. Be a man and not some puppet raised by Mr Preston Manning.

    1. No her demand has not been met. It was to be a working meeting involving all parties requested, harpers in and out game and the Governor Generals “ceremony” after the meeting does not meet Spence’s demands one iota!

  5. Stephen Harper’s agreement to a meeting has been exposed for the PR joke that it is. Harper’s walking out on the meeting is nothing but a refutation of the importance of aboriginal and their concerns. If Gov. Gen. David Johnston only offers a “ceremonial” meeting then he also fails to take the First Peoples seriously.

  6. What is Harper’s problem? it was by his hand and wishes that all of this mess came to a head, now is it that he is to busy or just to important to stay the duration of this meeting. If anyone should be there for this entire meeting it should be him.

  7. If Harper is only going to be at the meeting at the beginning and the end, and the
    Crown’s Rep is meeting them after this meeting, then I don’t see how
    this is a meeting with the parties requested at all. How can you have a
    meeting when no one requested is present to discuss the issues at the same time?

  8. Chief Spence has stood her ground, they must meet respectively and honor ‘Enough is Enough’, Youths are behind her, all Indigenous ppls, Leaderships, National and International!

  9. Disgusted @ mr harper’s lack of respect and committment. His initial release said working meeting…. That is rather different than popping in and out.

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