US humorist Dave Barry once wrote, "If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be 'meetings'."
In January, many in Canada were hoping one meeting would at least achieve something. Prime Minister Stephen Harper
was due to sit down with First Nations leaders, including hunger-striking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence.
The build-up to the meeting created a media storm across the country. But, in the end, Chief Spence was a no-show and the Idle No More movement also gave it a miss.
But there were some positive responses from other First Nations representatives. Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo, who attended the meeting with the Prime Minister, said, "We achieved some movement today... Every leader left with the sense that the Prime Minister is now prepared to lead and to take responsibility right from his office."
After the meeting, the Harper government announced there would be more high level talks on treaty issues, and greater involvement from the Prime Minister's office in First Nations affairs.
But just what needs to be done in Canada to address the problems facing First Nations communities? Last January, Michael Enright spoke to three former Indian Affairs Ministers: Tom Siddon, who was Minister between 1990 and 1993, Robert Nault, who held the post from 1999 to 2003, and David Crombie who was Minister from 1984 to 1986.