POLITICS

Manitoba chiefs say they support AFN, but may eye new treaty-rights body

01/24/2013 05:29 EST | Updated 03/26/2013 05:12 EDT
WINNIPEG - Manitoba aboriginal leaders say they are not divided with the Assembly of First Nations, but have some questions for national Chief Shawn Atleo.

Chiefs from across Manitoba, as well as some from Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories, have wrapped up a special meeting in Winnipeg.

Derek Nepinak (NEE'-pih-nack), the head of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, says many chiefs want to ask Atleo why he agreed earlier this month to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper without the Governor General also attending.

Nepinak says chiefs from the region are planning a special meeting on treaty rights in March and want Atleo to attend.

Nepinak says some chiefs are also considering setting up a new national group to deal specifically with treaty issues.

He says the Assembly of First Nations has recognized that it does not speak for treaties.