PM to meet First Nations leaders next Friday to talk rights and development

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OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he and Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan will meet a delegation of First Nations leaders next Friday.

He says the talks will focus on treaty relationships and aboriginal rights and economic development.

The meeting will be co-ordinated by the Assembly of First Nations.

The announcement of the meeting comes after efforts to broker a solution to end a 25-day-old hunger strike by Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence foundered over timing.

Aboriginal leaders had sought a Jan. 24 meeting with Harper, but Spence said her failing health required that the prime minister meet with First Nations leaders within 72 hours.

Spence has been subsisting mainly on fish broth since Dec. 11, living in a tent on frigid Victoria Island on the Ottawa River, just upstream from Parliament Hill.

Organizations: Assembly of First Nations

Geographic location: OTTAWA, Victoria Island, Ottawa River

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