APTN National News
The Assembly of First Nations and other Indigenous organizations invited to a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, premiers and territorial leaders will have 10 minutes each to state their case for the environment at a sit down set for Friday in Ottawa.
National Chief Perry Bellegarde fresh from the December special chiefs assembly will lead a seven-member delegation from the Assembly of First Nations including regional chiefs Bill Erasmus, Isadore Day, Kevin Hart and two others that have not yet been named.
Natan Obed will lead the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and President Clément Chartier, the Métis National Council.
According to a statement on the prime minister’s website the meeting will “serve as an opportunity to discuss the framework and Indigenous perspectives in advance of the FMM. The discussion will inform further partnerships with Indigenous peoples as part of ongoing collaboration to protect Canada’s land, air, and water for future generations and to build our clean growth economy. Premiers are invited to take part in the meeting with the Indigenous leaders.”
The prime minister is under fire with a number of communities for approving the controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. While some First Nation communities have struck deals with Kinder Morgan, there is fierce opposition to the project from many communities, Premier Christy Clark and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
At the special chiefs assembly, the AFN’s Youth Council took a harder stance on pipelines than the executive.
Andre Bear, co-chair of the council announced the nibi okijida-kwe fund to raise money for groups to mount opposition to pipeline projects similar to what is unfolding in North Dakota with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Dakota Access pipeline.
Friday’s meeting will be in two parts.
While premiers and territorial leaders are invited to participate in talks with the prime minister and Indigenous leaders, Indigenous leaders are not invited to the afternoon session that will be a mix of climate change discussions and health care.