‘Canada failed terribly, the provinces failed terribly,’ Chiefs disappointed after climate talks with PM, Premiers  - APTN National NewsAPTN National News

‘Canada failed terribly, the provinces failed terribly,’ Chiefs disappointed after climate talks with PM, Premiers 

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(Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day meets with reporters following Wednesday’s meeting. The Prime Minister and the Premiers skipped the media availability. Photo: Brandi Morin)

Brandi Morin
APTN National News
VANCOUVER — Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adams stormed out of the meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s premiers and Indigenous leaders on climate change in Vancouver Wednesday because he said it fell to shambles.

“I think Canada’s in a crisis and it ain’t going to get any better now. Canada failed terribly, the provinces failed terribly in regards to addressing this issue,” said an infuriated Adam.

According to Adam the meeting didn’t include any talks of taking care of mother earth, instead the focus was placed on economic development and transitioning to a green economy.

Adam whose community sits three hours north of the Alberta tar sands said he’s now prepping to take the federal and provincial governments to court.

“The time has come to say that we are done with this. We’ve had enough. We’re not going to stand around and wait for these guys to do what they’ve got to do. Alberta wants to develop more, well, we will be there to stand in the way. We will not sell out to corporations nor will we ever be silenced ever. That’s our right,” he said.

Requests from chiefs to acquire more time to engage in discussions on climate and attend the first minister’s meeting Thursday were abruptly turned down by Trudeau, said Treaty 6 Grand Chief Tony Alexis.

“The question was brought forward to him (Trudeau) that the National Chief should be at the First Ministers meeting (tomorrow) and in a very diplomatic or constructive way he said there’s a process and within that process we will not be a part of it,” said Alexis who is advocating for Alberta chiefs to be at the front and center of talks on climate change.

Alexis sat in on the meeting after being invited last minute by the Alberta government to attend with the Alberta delegation alongside Premier Rachel Notley.

“Alberta deals with the most impact, there’s more damage happening there than in any other part of the country and here we are, we had to hitch hike to get here,” said Alexis.

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day also expressed disappointment with the meeting and is rallying Canada chiefs to gather at the convention center Thursday outside where Trudeau and the premiers will be meeting.

“The process that the first minister’s meeting is proposing is that they’re going to now go away and determine what a declaration on our issues look like. That’s wrong, it’s not acceptable and might actually be to the peril of any pan Canadian climate change strategy,” said Day.

Day is advocating for a First Nations led climate change accord to be established in response to the growing “crisis” of climate change.

“What it all boils down to is us going back to our communities now and having to explain that we didn’t really have any say or input and that there was nothing resolved,” said Day. “We are now going to be faced with the leaders at the local level within our treaty territories saying ‘listen something else has to be done here’. We have no time to waste.”

MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson also attended the meeting and said there’s a whole lot of work to be done on improving the nation to nation relationship.

“Our Indigenous leaders need to be respected and given the space to share our concerns. We shouldn’t have to beg for time with the prime minister. We should have time to speak with him on a nation to nation basis that he keeps talking about and we have yet to see that,” said North Wilson.

Neither Trudeau nor any premiers attended a media availability following the meeting.

However, Alberta’s Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan was on hand and aware of the concerns raised by Alberta Chiefs.

Feehan said there wasn’t enough time to address the various interests within the meetings two hour time period.

“You can’t put all of your hopes and thoughts and dreams into one single event and hope that that’s going to make a transition. We are all in this (climate change) for the long term. This isn’t about something that’s happening today, it is happening to our world and it’s going to make a difference forever. We have to understand the resolution of this is going to be a long term,” said Feehan.

He added that he plans to reach out to Alberta chiefs and other Indigenous groups to sit down with them to further engage on climate talks.

Meanwhile the president of the Metis National Council Clement Chartier said he felt the Metis voice was heard in the meeting.

“We had an opportunity to make our presentation and our recommendations. But what’s important is the process itself. It was agreed that we would be engaged on this moving forward,” he said.


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  • Kevin Hulki

    This article makes it sound like it is the responsibility of the Canadian Premiers to change the path of climate change? Canada represents 2% of global emissions. We are a pimple on an elephant’s butt! A carbon tax does nothing to change the earth and really is simply a slush fund for the federal government.

  • JustSayingCalgary

    Why can’t they just say what they want? For example, what exactly does Chief Adams want? Nothing? A whole lot? What? Money? Shutdown of all Oilsands? He should try telling that to FMFN or CLFN. It would help advance the discussions if he was able to lay out a complete list of demands. Ask and you might receive.

  • Maureen Dillon

    What a shame .. I had high hopes for Trudeau`s leadership when he went in, unfortunately, supposed economic gain, and the majority, will probably rule ..

  • Running Black Wolf

    Take it to the courts.

  • Denise Beeswax

    We embrace this as a genuine gesture of goodwill and peace. We are open minded about ending a long history of conflict. We however are resolute in our resolve that any relationship must be based on a good historical narrative. Unilateral decision is the antithesis of reconciliation and respect. End unilateral decision making. Support Fair Treatment for First Nations. We don’t have to talk about the problems there are too many problems. We all know that. We can however make a way to start taking care of some of those problems and that is what we are doing in these negotiations. Making a way to make a way. This is a Nation to settler government relationship that is what is true. There is no way to change that. We are the Indigenous People it is as nature has provided. As Indigenous People we have every nationality and race of mankind playing in our backyard. We have a right and a responsibility to say what some the rules are. We would like too live in peace and enjoy a life of freedom. They came to the land of dreams and built small empires of it. We have our dreams too. What is fair is right. We are trying to make a way for all of us to embrace The Way of Life. So life will have a way. Life must find a way to survive. It is not to late to stop the destructive forces of man unkind but it will take all of mankind to do it. – Strong Grassroots has spoken.

  • Denise Beeswax

    Unilateral decision making is the antithesis of reconciliation and respect.

  • Denise Beeswax

    We are the Indigenous People and this is our Land. We have a sacred obligation to defend this Great Land from any and all that would destroy her. The Mother is our Creator. The Creator of life is she. The spirit of the land is in every living thing on Earth. We each and every one of us have a sacred duty do defend Mother Earth, Land, Water, and Sky. The wild life and the wild things have to be acknowledged protected and respected. Not only this our very way of life is in danger. There is a multi-national invasion of our Country. We are more than well aware of it. Our Lands are plundered we know of that too. If there is to be a respectful relationship it has to be based on a good historical narrative. I thought we were talking truth. The truth is this we are the tried and true Nations of these Lands and Territories as provide by nature and you are representatives of The Settler Government. We have no agreement or desire to talk about Nation to Nation relationships with any of these Provinces. The Government of Canada and previously The Dominion of Canada are Colonial Constructs and devices at whose hand we have endured. I will at this point open my mind to a heartwarming and kind gesture of peace and give consideration to talk about making a way for peaceful resolve. We must join together and make a way for life. Life must find a way. We must stop the destructive forces of manunkind but it will take all of mankind to do it. Support Fair Treatment for First Nations. — Strong Grassroots has spoken.

  • poncho

    straight talk
    Another meeting gone the way of the doodoo birds. First Nations have always been treated like this no matter what government is in, talk like we matter then when time comes back away. Why on earth we fall for it everytime? let us get on with our work and put them in their place once and for all. Leaders of our NATIONS take them on in the courts we have already proven them racist now let’s show them whose country they have thrived on enough is enough.eh