History in the making

On the eve of today’s summit between the Harper government and Aboriginal leaders, the Prime Minister met privately with a delegation of chiefs. It seems to have not gone entirely well.

Harper told chiefs that they should consider contacting their MPs and that he can’t just focus on Aboriginal issues because he has to run the country, according to three chiefs who were present at the meeting. His comments left chiefs concerned the prime minister was not taking their issues seriously.

“To hear the prime minister make reference to the number of issues he is dealing with raises questions in my mind and those questions will need to be answered in his words tomorrow to First Nations,” said Serpent River Chief Isadore Day. “Tomorrow will be a very good indication of where the prime minister is in his resolve, or lack thereof, to deal with First Nations issues.”

The Prime Minister had already been criticized for plans to leave the summit early. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, meanwhile, warns of a peaceful “uprising” if the situation for Aboriginal doesn’t improve.