Regional chiefs want Idle No More consultation
Chiefs welcome partnership with all Canadians
P.E.I. Mi'kmaq chiefs wrapped up a series of province-wide public meetings Wednesday night, concluding regional chiefs must be part of consultations coming out of the Idle No More movement.
The movement was launched out of concern over the federal budget omnibus Bill C-45, which made changes to the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Act that many aboriginal leaders believe are harmful to the environment.
Although the bill has already been passed, aboriginal leaders are insisting the federal government consult with them on the impact.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has met with national Chief Shawn Atleo, and has said he will meet again. But Island chiefs say future talks need to include elected chiefs from all regions.
Lennox Island Chief Darlene Bernard said they will join forces with Mi'kmaq leaders in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. They may end up taking the federal government to court.
"Because when you're pushed into a corner, you come out fighting," said Bernard.
"Mi'kmaq are not going to stand back and let this happen to our environment."
At least one Island MLA is looking to join in the fight as well. Richard Brown said all provinces should take a stand.
"I think what we'll say is ask for a resolution in the upcoming legislature in support of it," said Brown.
"Across the country, if you get each province passing resolutions in support of your efforts, I think that will go a long way."
Abegweit First Nation Chief Brian Francis welcomes that support.
"There's some aspects of it that are more pertinent to the First Nations but also, there are other aspects that affect all Canadians," said Francis.
"It's important that everyone come out and join together. And when we join full force together like that, good things can come."