THUNDER BAY – Anishnabe Elder Dave Courchene opened the Crown First Nations Gathering stating, “As independent and free peoples, we come together”.
The ceremonies opening the meeting between over 400 First Nations leaders and the Government of Canada started at 9AM this morning in Ottawa.
“We are a people who reflect a richness in spirituality,” stated Courchene.
Courchene said that “We consider today very historic”.
“We are challenged as leaders as we gather in the circle of life, and as a people we have been waiting a long long time for these opportunities”.
“I call upon the drum to call us to order,” stated Courchene. “We are here to honour life, and I call upon the power of the drum to take our message forward… ”
Kenora MP Greg Rickford has been serving as one of the moderators for the opening of the meetings this morning. Rickford is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, John Duncan.
It is very apparent from the comments of Aboriginal leaders going into this meeting that there is a great deal of importance being placed on what will come out of the events of today.
It presents an opportunity for the Conservative Government to continue on what Prime Minister has said is a steady path of change to outline directly to First Nations leaders what can be expected.
Today’s Gathering is the first time that First Nations leaders and the Conservative Government have come together to discuss issues of concern.
Watch online at First Nation Gathering live.