Premiers, Native Leaders Make Appeal To Ottawa

Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 15:08



Canada’s premiers and the leaders of the country’s main Aboriginal organizations are urging the federal government to join them in developing a “reconciliation action plan”.


That was one of the outcomes of yesterday’s meeting between Native leaders and the Council of the Federation in Quebec City.


The Assembly of First Nations and other Aboriginal groups are also calling on the Prime Minister to join them in a First Ministers’ Meeting devoted to address challenges facing the Aboriginal population.


Ellen Gabriel of the Native Women’s Association of Canada is anxious for that opportunity.


She says because each premier was allowed to speak yesterday — as well as each Aboriginal organization — it left little time for constructive debate.


She says one of the problems her group wants to see tackled is a requirement in the new land claims legislation that insists First Nations prove they have occupied their land for time immemorial.


She says the problem is it will be difficult to find historians and archaelogists who can prove that requirement.


Gabriel says the land claims tribunal will never work if that stipulation doesn’t change.