Three Indigenous groups refuse to meet with premiers

The Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Metis National Council say they are seeking ‘full and meaningful inclusion’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, talks after meeting with premiers at a First Ministers meeting at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. If there is one constant in Canada's two-decade track record of international climate diplomacy, it is a repeated failure to make good on its collective commitments.So as Trudeau prepares to sit down with premiers this week in Vancouver to discuss climate policy, Canadians can be forgiven if they're a little jaundiced. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

(CP/Sean Kilpatrick)

TORONTO — The leaders of three Indigenous groups say they are pulling out of a meeting with Canada’s premiers over what they consider efforts to limit their participation in intergovernmental talks.

The heads of the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Metis National Council say they are seeking “full and meaningful inclusion” in the Council of the Federation.

Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in a Toronto news conference that Canada’s Indigenous peoples are not just another special interest group and won’t allow themselves to be sidelined.

Two other Indigenous groups, the Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, are expected to attend the meeting.

The Council of the Federation will meet tomorrow and Wednesday in Edmonton.

Cross-border trade and the looming renegotiation of NAFTA are expected to top the agenda.

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