Harper must listen or face native uprising

In case PM Harper fails to give importance to the concerns raised by aboriginal leaders Tuesday, Canada might face an Arab Spring-style "uprising", says a B.C. native leader.

Stewart Phillip, grand chief of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said: "We must do better. The honour of the Crown and the very integrity of Canada as a nation are at stake. Otherwise, an aboriginal uprising is inevitable."

Roughly 400 chiefs from across the country have come together for their first face-to-face talk with PM Harper since the Conservatives formed government in 2006.

"The gathering provides the prime minister with an opportunity to demonstrate that he is a true Canadian," said Jody Wilson-Raybould, the AFN’s regional chief in B.C. "The world is watching."

A number of participants are hopeful prior to their meeting with Harper, who was admired for his residential schools apology and backing of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; however, a few seems doubtful.

The B.C. chiefs seem to urge the government to pick up the pace in completing treaty process. The federal government made an attempt Monday by announcing 18 agreements with First Nations across Canada, including eight in B.C. and two in Alberta, that are in accordance with the First Nations Land Management Act.

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