The minister of Crown-Indigenous relations is in Saskatoon today for several meetings with First Nation and Metis leaders.

Minister Carolyn Bennett is undertaking a national engagement tour to help develop and implement an Indigenous rights framework.

Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, announced the Liberal government’s plan for the Indigenous rights framework, which they hope will be introduced before the next federal election.

Trudeau said this ambitious goal would ensure stronger Indigenous rights and self-determination and believes this approach is necessary to tackle challenges like overcrowded housing, unsafe drinking water and high suicide rates.

Trudeau’s announcement was met with cautious optimism by First Nation leaders.

According to Bennett, she arrived in Regina last night and will be partaking in several meetings in Saskatoon today before heading back to Ottawa.

Representatives from the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and Metis Nation-Saskatchewan are expected to be part of these meetings.

Minister Bennett’s visit to Saskatoon coincides with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s stop in Regina, where he is meeting with leaders in the steel industry.

(PHOTO: Indigenous Relations Minister, Carolyn Bennett and Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear. File photo.)