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Video shows Trudeau's 'arrogance' towards First Nations chiefs, says man who posted it
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, September 17, 2018 5:18PM CST
Last Updated Monday, September 17, 2018 6:31PM CST
The man who posted a video of a meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and First Nations leaders says it shows "Trudeau's arrogance and petulance towards First Nation chiefs."
Russ Diabo, a policy analyst who recently ran for national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, 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."
Trudeau met with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations 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.
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."
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.
FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said the meeting with the prime minister was productive, but the frustration depicted in the video is real.
Cameron said the video was not leaked by the FSIN executive or staff.