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

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

The Harrison Hot Springs Resort. Visitors to the resort currently pay a three per cent “hotel tax,” which is brought back to the district to help fund tourism initiatives. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)
Harrison hoping to expand hotel tax to Kent, parts of Fraser Valley

The expanded area would bring in more money for Tourism Harrison marketing

Dallas Lajimodiere is wanted by the Abbotsford Police Department.
Man wanted by Abbotsford Police domestic violence unit

Dallas Lajimodiere has three arrest warrants, including for assault with a weapon

Subm
Mission art gallery re-opens after 10 months

‘People are in need of some visual things just to take them away’

Russell Jonathon George Gurney was last seen in Chilliwack in mid-December. (RCMP photo)
RCMP ask for help to find missing Abbotsford man last seen in Chilliwack

Police and family are concerned for the well-being of Russell Jonathon George Gurney

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch man, 94, facing unwanted trip home can stay in B.C. with wife of 45 years

Immigration offices cuts red tape so couple of 45 years can stay together in Victoria area

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Most Read