Chief should give up fast, Aglukkaq says
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq responds to a question during an announcement in Ottawa, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, December 28, 2012 12:08PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 28, 2012 3:12PM EST
OTTAWA - The federal health minister says an aboriginal chief fasting in the hopes of securing a meeting with the prime minister should stop.
Leona Aglukkaq, who is Inuk, says Chief Theresa Spence should instead agree to meet Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan.
Aglukkaq says aboriginal policy in Canada is Duncan's job and therefore he's the one who should be meeting with the Northern Ontario chief.
Duncan has offered several times to speak with Spence but has so far been rebuffed.
Spence stopped eating solid food on Dec. 11 in an effort to secure a meeting between First Nations leaders, the prime minister and Governor General over the treaty relationship.
The government has offered to form a joint working group with senior federal and First Nations representatives to address the issue.