Jan 11, 2013

By Scott Walker

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The Prime Minister will meet with First Nations leaders today in an attempt to defuse a growing protest movement over aboriginal rights.

But it’s unclear how many chiefs will show up.

Many chiefs have said they would boycott the meeting because the Governor General would not be in attendance. Instead, David Johnston will hold a ceremonial meeting at Rideau Hall after the working meeting with Stephen Harper.

Some chiefs are also demanding Harper meet with them at their hotel, rather than in a government building.

And there’s no word as to whether Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation will attend. Her ongoing hunger strike and demand for a meeting with the Prime Minister led to today’s session.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo is trying to find a difficult path to compromise in the dispute. He admits First Nations are deeply divided. But he says aboriginal relations with the government must improve, because the alternative is a bleak one.


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