The Indian Act will not be repealed or rewritten, said Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the opening of a special one-day meeting between the Crown and First Nations in Ottawa on Tuesday. The government’s approach will be to replace parts of the Indian Act in tandem with provinces and First Nations, the prime minister said. Harper said that “aggressive” action is needed to address the living standards of Canada’s First Nations, but did not announce new government initiatives. Shawn Atleo, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, struck an equally unambitious note, saying the meeting is about rebuilding trust and renewing the relationship between First Nations’ chiefs and Ottawa. Other chiefs in attendance criticised the prime minister for a failure to take any novel concrete steps.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012