Native leaders say No! to talks

ChiefsToday’s meeting between First Nations leaders and prime minister Stephen Harper appeared salvaged at the last minute Thursday night, but Manitoba’s contingent is one of several electing to stay away, says the Winnipeg Free Press, continuing.

“Jody Wilson-Ribauld, the Assembly of First Nations regional chief for British Columbia, said late Thursday she and AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo were still pressing for the attendance of Gov. Gen. David Johnston, but they would attend the meeting this afternoon regardless.

 “The insistence of some native leaders that governor general David Johnston take part in their meetings with the Prime Minister Stephen Harper and government officials is rooted in symbolism that reaches back to another time, says the story, going on:

“Two respected constitutional experts say the Crown has taken on almost mythological significance for some natives.

“Sebastien Grammond, dean of civil law at the University of Ottawa, says the treaties were made in the name of the monarch. In the 19th century, negotiators invoked Queen Victoria, the Great Mother.

“Peter Russell, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Toronto, noted: ‘They never said, ‘This is the government of Canada that wants to make a treaty with you,”’ he said.

The image clip  is from Sean Kilpatrick’s Canadian press photograph.  The caption reads: MC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, left, and AFN Regional Chief Bill Traverse, right, walk with hunger striker Raymond Robinson in Ottawa on Thursday. Manitoba chiefs vow to boycott a meeting between First Nations officials and the prime minister.

In the meanwhile,  more than 6000 people have said they’ll be taking part in today’s ‘Idle No More’ day of global  action.

Jon Newton — myblogdammit

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