Trudeau upset after meeting with Saskatchewan chiefs

Trudeau is upset about how time was managed in a recent meeting

A Saskatchewan chief says a video posted online showing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telling First Nations leaders he is upset about how time was managed in a recent meeting is unfortunate.

Chief Bobby Cameron, with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, said a closed-door meeting with the prime minister last week was productive, but the frustration depicted in the video is real.

“We require more time to discuss the many crises facing our First Nations communities,” Cameron said in a statement on Monday.

Trudeau met with the Saskatchewan chiefs on Sept. 12 when he was in Saskatoon for the Liberal Party’s annual caucus retreat.

In the video, which is about three-and-a-half minutes long, Trudeau said the plan was to meet with about eight people for an hour-long discussion. But around 30 people showed up and there wasn’t enough time for everyone to speak.

RELATED: Guns, border crossers top list of concerns Liberal MPs bring to caucus retreat

Some unidentified people in the video say they drove hours to take part in the meeting but, 45 minutes in, only a handful of people had addressed the prime minister.

“I am really, really upset about this,” Trudeau said in the video.

“It wasn’t for me to interrupt the previous speakers. Bobby (Cameron), there shouldn’t have been every single person speaking for eight minutes in this meeting. That is not the spirit of reconciliation, of the nation-to-nation relationship we are supposed to have.”

Cameron said the video was not leaked by the FSIN executive or staff.

The FSIN, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan, said time will be set aside in the future for the First Nations leaders who were unable to voice their concerns.

The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that Trudeau was unable to get through all the issues put forward in the meeting, but looks forward to connecting with First Nations leaders in Saskatchewan in the future.

RELATED: Trudeau says Liberals looking for right NAFTA deal despite looming deadline

After the video surfaced online Sunday, some criticized Trudeau.

Russ Diabo, a policy analyst who recently ran for national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, tweeted that it showed “Trudeau’s arrogance and petulance towards First Nation chiefs.” He posted the video on YouTube but did not film it.

“I was appalled when I saw it, but not surprised,” said Diabo from Innisfil, Ont., on Sunday. “It indicates to me how he treats First Nations leadership.”

But national Chief Perry Bellegarde said he watched the video and was not “overly concerned” about Trudeau’s tone.

“I’ve chaired meetings where you have chiefs and it is difficult to turn a chief off when they’re on a roll because they don’t always have access to a leader like the prime minister of Canada,” he said.

Bellegarde said chiefs often want ample time to discuss issues including new schools, clean water and sewage.

“To me, it was just an example of frustration because any time you have a meeting with the prime minister, there’s got to be a very structured agenda,” he said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wheels in motion for mountain biking trail project near Clinton

Project to provide immediate employment while resulting in new trail on Jesmond Mountain

Bridge Lake woman wins quintennial quilt

Andrea Glatz lucky winner Log Cabin Quilters (LCQ) quintennial Quilt Show draw.

Donex Pharmacy sells $50,000 scratch ticket

Clinton’s Sharon Holland is $50,000 richer thanks to a Super Crossword Scratch… Continue reading

South Cariboo Search and Rescue enjoying a quiet summer

Incidents have been few so far this year

Advocacy for Secwepemc language

Canim Lake Band’s former Chief Michael Archie promoting Secwepemc language learning

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Most Read