Coast Salish Traditional Territory (West Vancouver, BC) – The leadership of the First Nations Summit is highly offended by statements attributed to Parliamentary Secretary and Winnipeg South MP Rod Bruinooge as reported in the media yesterday. Mr. Bruinooge is reported to have dismissed the November 2005 First Ministers discussions in Kelowna as nothing more than an “expensive press release”.
“Mr. Bruinooge’s statements are dismissive of First Nations leaders from across this country who put forth a significant effort at the November 2005 First Ministers meeting to reach agreements that would improve the lives of our people”, said Grand Chief Edward John, a member of the First Nations Summit Political executive.
“To characterize the First Ministers meeting as nothing more than an “expensive press release” is particularly offensive to BC First Nations leaders as we did reach a historic BC Transformative Change Accord (attached) that was signed by BC First Nations leaders and the governments of Canada and British Columbia as represented by Prime Minister Paul Martin and Premier Gordon Campbell. It is the responsibility of the current federal government to continue to work with us to implement the signed Transformative Change Accord in our efforts to close the serious social and economic gaps faced by First Nations in BC”, added Chief John.