News / Edmonton

Indigenous leaders pull out of Edmonton summit

Three groups issue joint statement saying they will not attend Monday's Council of Federation meeting

The Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is one of the Indigenous leaders to pull out of the Council of Federation meeting, which takes place in Edmonton.

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The Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is one of the Indigenous leaders to pull out of the Council of Federation meeting, which takes place in Edmonton.

A gathering of Canada's premiers set for Edmonton Monday has lost three of its biggest players.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and Metis National Council (MNC) issued a joint statement Friday saying they will not attend the Council of Federation meeting, which is scheduled to take place July 17-19 at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.

In the statement, the groups said national Indigenous leaders “expect full inclusion in intergovernmental tables.”

The annual summit is held in a different province each year and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley was set to host this year’s event as incoming chair of the federation.

The first day is typically set aside for meetings with Indigenous leaders.

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AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, ITK President Natan Obed and MNC President Clement Chartier plan hold a press conference in Toronto Monday instead, where they will discuss “Indigenous Peoples’ participation in federal-provincial-territorial intergovernmental tables, and the 2017 Council of the Federation meeting scheduled for Edmonton July 18-19.”

None of the groups are commenting further until the press conference.

The Native Women’s Association was invited to the Edmonton meeting, and a spokesperson told Metro Friday that the group was still planning to attend. The Indigenous People’s Assembly of Canada has also been invited.

The Council of the Federation was established in 2003, to foster collaboration among premiers of the provinces and territories, and a more constructive relationship with the federal government.

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