THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Deputy Chief Alvin Fiddler states he is “Hoping both sides agree on a constructive framework for discussions”, on January 11th in a meeting between First Nations and the federal government. “It can’t be a one time thing,” the Deputy Grand Chief added. “Chief Spence says that the meetings have to be meaningful”.
NAN Deputy Grand Chief Fiddler talks must be meaningful
The Attawapiskat Chief has vowed to maintain her hunger strike until the results of the meeting are meaningful or not.
Chief Spence has asked for a meaningful and respectful process to be established to begin to address First Nation issues. “And it will not take just one meeting to fix the relationship that is broken,” said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Fiddler. “We will continue to hold the Prime Minister’s feet to the fire to ensure that the meeting, if it does take place next Friday, will begin to establish that process. That the issues we have are many and it will take a very constructive and a very meaningful process to repair the damage to our relationship, and begin to address the issues that Chief Spence and others have brought forward.”
Speaking at a National Press Conference in Ottawa, Deputy Grand Chief Fiddler stated: “To all Canadians…The work will continue and we invite all Canadians to join us in these efforts because our issues are not just First Nation issues, they affect all Canadians. We are all the same. We are all Treaty people. Our interests are your interests, and once our issues are addressed in a very meaningful and respectful way, then all Canadians will benefit. So we are here today to show our support for Chief Spence and others who are fasting to bring these issues to the forefront.”
While the meeting is to be co-ordinated by the Assembly of First Nations, the agenda and who will attend has not been settled yet. It is also not known if Governor General David Johnston will attend or not.
Big Trout Lake Chief Donny Morris is stating that First Nations are one of the three levels of government in Canada. His advise to the Prime Minister is simple, to help set a meaningful declaration and structure and move forward.
Chief Morris states that “MP Greg Rickford is not advising us on the Bills, and that the majority of communities in his riding is First Nations”.