Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
OTTAWA, CANADA After a long meeting Thursday evening that lasted far into the night, chiefs from throughout Canada, who are members of the Assembly of First Nations, told National Chief Shawn Atleo not attend this afternoon's meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada.
Crowds of Protesters descended Upon Ottawa Today
The chiefs, who want to show a unified front today in dealings with the Canadian government, have sided with Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence. Chief Spence is not attending the meeting because her request to meet with both Prime Minister Harper and Governor General David Johnston along with tribal officials has not been granted.
Today's meeting is expected to last three hours.
Governor General Johnston is coming to a "ceremonial" meeting after the earlier meeting.
This is not what Chief Spence envisioned when she requested her meeting with the two officials and tribal leaders.
National Chief Shawn Atleo
“I clearly stated from the beginning that the meeting has to include both the Governor General and the Prime Minister in attendance. We continue to push for justice, equality and fairness for all Indigenous Peoples,”
stated Chief Spence this morning.
She is in Day 32 of her hunger strike and continues to live off of fish broth and medicinal tea. While her physical state has weakened, but she remains strong in spirit according to people close her.
The ATNP is reporting the chiefs have threatened to regroup and oust National Chief Atleo after the meetings are over today.
Chief Atleo was first elected as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in July 2009 and was re-elected to the post in July 2012.
posted January 11, 2013 2:57 pm est