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Tyendinaga Chief taking part in the Crown-First Nations Meeting in Ottawa

By Harrison Perkins

Tyendinaga first nation Chief Donald Maracle is one of hundreds of aboriginal leaders taking part in talks with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, MPs and Governor General David Johnston

Maracle was in Ottawa yesterday and met with his First Nation counterparts in preparation for today’s meeting.

Hundreds of chiefs are registered to participate in today’s discussion — either in person, or remotely.

The meeting with the prime minister is aimed at re-setting the relationship between First Nations and the federal government. Ten federal ministers and other high-ranking officials will also be attending,

This gathering is Harper’s first meeting with collective First Nation leadership since taking office six years ago.

John Duncan, minister of Aboriginal affairs and northern development Canada, said that the meeting between the two sides is a step in the right direction.

“The gathering will be a unique opportunity for us all to express ourselves freely, to listen carefully and to identify practical ways in which we can improve the quality of life and long-term economic prosperity of Canada’s First Nations” Duncan said in a release.

Maracle could not be reached for comment.