Chiefs, Spence unite behind request for meeting with Harper, Governor General

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Canada's First Nations chiefs are setting aside their internal differences for now and uniting in a request for yet another meeting with the prime minister, possibly as soon as Thursday.

This time, they want the meeting to include the Governor General as well as a broad range of First Nations leaders.

The Assembly of First Nations' executive agreed to the request in writing and sent a letter to Stephen Harper on the weekend.

A spokesman for Theresa Spence says the Attawapiskat chief, who is entering the sixth week of a hunger protest, is supportive of the request.

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the summit Harper and Gov.-Gen. David Johnston held with chiefs to set out a new agenda for the Crown-First Nations relationship, which First Nations say has been badly neglected.

Harper has not responded, but his office says the prime minister expects to have a one-on-one meeting with National Chief Shawn Atleo, who is currently on sick leave, soon after he returns.