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INAC split a ‘game-changer,’ Bellegarde calls for an independent national treaty commissioner

By Laura Ryckewaert      

AFN national chief Perry Bellegarde says the split is a ‘significant step,’ but he's also calling for the appointment of an independent national treaty commissioner.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed, far left, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Assembly of First Nations national chief Perry Bellegarde, and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett pictured on National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, 2017, outside the former U.S. embassy in Ottawa during an announcement to turn the space into an Indigenous centre. The Hill Times file photograph
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The splitting up of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada is being called a “game-changer” for Indigenous relations in Canada, but former deputy minister Scott Serson says the government should first issue a royal proclamation to define its new relationship with Indigenous peoples. “They’re saying this is a reflection of an RCAP [Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples] recommendation, but the royal commission put a couple of significant pieces first before making this change,” said Mr. Serson, who was deputy

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