Prime Minister Stephen Harper defended his government's aboriginal policies as opposition leaders grilled him inside the Parliament and protesters marched outside the Parliament Hill questioning the policies during the two consecutive parliament sessions since Tuesday.
The public criticism has focused on the Bill C-45 which was passed by the House of Commons and Senate that changed environment law. But, according to CBC News, Government House Leader Peter Van Loan told reporters Monday morning that the Canadian government was "firmly committed" to its budget law.
"Because its changes are critical for long-term growth and prosperity," Loan told reporters, "This is what Canadians have come to expect from our government, and we will continue that,"
The protesters initially gathered in Victoria Island, where Attawapiskat Chief, Theresa Spence spent 44 days fasting, and then began their march towards the Parliament Hill.
The Chief sat on strike demanding the government of Ottawa to address aboriginal treaty rights and problems of her indigenous people. Saying it was the Crown that negotiated historic treaties with her aboriginal people, Spence demanded a face-to-face meeting with the prime minister and Governor General David Johnston.
The Attawapiskat chief ended her hunger strike after her aboriginal members and opposition leaders agreed to sign a 13-point declaration demanding to protect rights for Canadian indigenous people.
The 13-point declaration also promises to pressurize the Harper government to launch a thorough review of two omnibus budget bills which were endorsed by the Attawapiskat First Nation (AFN), the Native Women's Association of Canada, the NDP national caucus and the Liberal Party, reported Canadian Press last week.
New Democrat MP Romeo Saganash told reporters that the U.N.'s declaration on the rights of indigenous people that the Harper government announced its support for was done "Behind a closed door in 2010". "This support has proven empty and once again failed to respect commitments to First Nations," he said.
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