National Chief Perry Bellegarde is seen during a speech at the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa, Tuesday December 3, 2019. Leaders of Canada’s national Indigenous organizations say they hope talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s premiers will lead to greater movement on implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and new child welfare policies as well as resources to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Indigenous leaders to meet with premiers, Trudeau on child welfare, UNDRIP

The leaders plan to raise a number of issues, including the UN declaration

Leaders of Canada’s national Indigenous organizations say they hope talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s premiers will lead to greater movement on implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and new child-welfare policies as well as resources to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed and Metis National Council vice president David Chartrand will participate in the opening day of first ministers meetings today in Ottawa.

They’ll meet first with Trudeau and then with provincial and territorial premiers.

The leaders plan to raise a number of issues, including the UN declaration, the federal government’s forthcoming action plan on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the overhaul of the Indigenous child welfare system.

They also plan to raise the unique needs of remote Indigenous communities when it comes to the coronavirus.

The Indigenous leaders acknowledge they are likely to face pointed questions from premiers on the role of Indigenous nations in resource development in Canada following recent blockades and protests mounted in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en chiefs opposed to Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia.

Bellegarde says he welcomes those discussions, plans to stress that the UN declaration can help prevent many conflicts that arise over pipelines, as it would see Indigenous Peoples involved in proposed projects at the outset.

Chartrand says he plans to stress to the premiers that UNDRIP does not mean Indigenous communities or First Nations get a veto over projects — a claim provincial and federal conservative politicians have made in opposition to the declaration.

Obed says he plans to highlight the structural deficit that exists for marine, air and social infrastructure in Canada’s northern Inuit communities and hopes premiers and Trudeau will be open to creative solutions to ensure the Inuit are not left behind.

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en pipeline supporters feel shut out of talks, ministers told

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Child welfareCoronavirusIndigenousJustin TrudeauPipeline

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Okanagan libraries still open for business, online

Family activities, increased eBook titles and more added online

COVID-19: Vernon business delivers cure for boredom in self-isolation

Boarding House Café delivers board games and baked goods amid pandemic

WATCH: Vernon gyms bring workouts home

‘This doesn’t change what’s happening in the world, but it can change how you cope with it’

Easter weekend brightened up by Vernon business

Social distancing might have you down, so one business is spreading cheer

COVID-19: Vernon pet grooming store closed temporarily after symptoms shown

Wet Spot Grooming and Pet Care to announce return Easter Monday

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

Public warned to stay away from algae bloom near Herald Park in Shuswap Lake

Interior Health states that people, pets should not drink the water in the area or touch the algae

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

South Shuswap residents criticize upgrades to Balmoral Road/Highway 1 intersection

Reliance on frontage roads and narrow underpasses near Blind Bay not good enough

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

COVID-19: No more international flights at Kelowna International Airport

All international flights at YLW have been suspended, airport to operate just nine flights a day

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

Most Read