PAGC Chief Eager To Help Shape Federal Policy

Wednesday, June 01, 2005 at 16:24



A Saskatchewan Native leader is not concerned that there were no deadlines or funding commitments outlined in the accords Ottawa signed yesterday with Aboriginal groups.


Prince Albert Grand Council chief Gary Merasty points out that the agreements were signed to make sure Aboriginal people were included in government policy-making.


For that reason, Merasty says details about funding announcements yesterday would have been premature, since they obviously wouldn’t have been done with direct Aboriginal input.


Merasty has already got some ideas on what policy improvements Native leaders could help make in this country.


He says the government doesn’t have a comprehensive policy concerning First Nations housing — something he says Native leaders can help change.


Merasty also says Ottawa’s cap on post-secondary education funding for First Nations students has to go.


Yesterday’s meeting between Aboriginal leaders and the Liberal cabinet sets the stage for a First Ministers meeting on Aboriginal issues this fall.