05.09.2017 08:37 AM

Justin Trudeau to the Haundenosanee

Here’s three things that the Prime Minister said when he announced his party’s policies as they relate to indigenous people:

To begin, I would like to recognize the Haundenosanee, on whose traditional territory we are gathering.


…we will do more to make sure that the voices of your Nations are heard in Ottawa.


And most importantly, we want to hear directly from you.

Pretty straightforward. One, he recognized that he was on Haundenosanee territory.  Two, he promised to ensure their “voices are heard in Ottawa.”  And, three, he said he want to hear “directly” from the Haundenosanee and other indigenous people.

Well, Justin Trudeau has made good on his promise – sort of.  Yesterday, one of his staff met with Haudenosanee chiefs and clan mothers in PMO.  Good.

But Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and her staff?  Not only will they not meet with the Haudenosanee, they won’t even reply to their multiple requests for the sort of direct input Trudeau promised.  They won’t even respond to Haudenosanee emails – at least three to date.

I know this because we represent the Haundenosanee’s development institute, and they are in Ottawa again today.  They are having a press conference about it all at eleven.  And Bennett is mistaken if she thinks they will not fight for respect. The traditional Haudenosanee, I can tell you, are fearless.

I will keep you posted about what happens – if anything.

Very disappointing.


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    Luke says:

    Disappointing indeed. I will be the first to admit that I don’t have a sweet clue how to improve things for Canada’s native people, but surely having an ear with the federal government is necessary. I am still hoping that there will be some kind of meaningful, big picture movement on aboriginal issues ranging from the state of reserves to reconciliation after the appalling residential school evil.

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    Christian says:

    If I had to guess, I’d think Minister Bennett is simply following the direction she got from the PMO (we all know Ministers in this Canadian Parliamentary system take their walking orders from the PMO, or as Duffy memorably put it, “the kids in short pants”). Its not Minister Bennett that has to worry. Its Trudeau himself.

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      Warren says:

      Wrong. As mentioned in the post, PMO met with them today.

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        Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Does this mean Minister does not already know that they met with PMO today???

        Double ouch!

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        Christian says:

        Yes, I saw that. So then Minister Bennett is defying the wishes and/or contradicting the actions of the PMO? I can’t imagine a Minister who holds her position at the pleasure of the PM would act in a manner that could be the equivalent of career suicide. But, you never know I guess!

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        Vancouverois says:

        And I’m sure that was a great photo-op for him.

        However, this PM has demonstrated that he’s all about image, not substance. I think he’s entirely capable of publicly mouthing platitudes about how much he cares, in order to make himself look good, while privately telling Bennett to ignore them.

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