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Does Canada need to rebuild its relationship with First Nations?

Categories: Politics

First Nations in Canada are held back by failed colonial policies and must "reset" their relationship with the federal government, National Chief Shawn Atleo said Tuesday.

 Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo spoke Tuesday morning at the Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa. (CBC)"We must move beyond the Indian Act and we must affirm our Crown-First Nation relationship," Atleo told the Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa. "This 19th-century relic continues to hold us back in delivering better lives for our peoples."

Living conditions in Attawapiskat in northern Ontario a "national disgrace," he said, adding First Nations must accept responsibility for creating better lives for their people. "Now is our moment; we need to drive the solution forward ourselves," he said.

"This may this country's moment of reckoning in its relationship between First Nations and Canada."

Meanwhile, former prime minister Paul Martin says his Kelowna Accord of 2005 was meant to address the types of housing issues seen currently in Attawapiskat. The agreement resulted in a five-year, $5-billion plan to improve the lives of First Nations peoples.

Does Canada's relationship with the First Nations need to be completely rebuilt? If so, how could we do that? Or do we need another plan along the lines of the Kelowna Accord? Let us know what you think.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Aboriginal, Ottawa, Politics

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