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Harper to meet First Nations at chiefs summit

Stephen Harper and National Chief Shawn Atleo from Aboriginal Peoples Television Network

A sacred fire will continue burning throughout today to mark the preparation for the upcoming landmark summit with First Nations leaders and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  

Hundreds of First Nations chiefs are expected to participate including National Chief Shawn Atleo. A major component of the meetings will be ceremonial, taking place within teepee's on a small island in the middle of the Ottawa River, which began today with the pipe ceremony.

The meetings take place in hopes of setting a new tone of respect for the relationship between the government and the chiefs, and discuss economic development, education, accountability and governance.

According to the CBC website, although there is concern among First Nations chiefs that an agenda being set by the federal government may leave little room for the chiefs' concerns to be heard, consensus is that the gathering of the AFN should become an annual one that includes the premiers.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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