February 26, 2016 4:51 pm
Updated: February 26, 2016 6:35 pm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to visit Alberta First Nation

FILE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to visit an Alberta’s Tsuut’ina Nation March 4, in what band members are calling a “monumental” event for the First Nation.

Chief Roy Whitney said Trudeau accepted an invitation to formally meet with Tsuut’ina members to be briefed on First Nations issues. Tsuut’ina chief and council spokesperson Kevin Littlelight said the visit will set the foundation for future engagement in areas of education and business that will have a positive impact on the community.

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“It was an idea coming out to the Tsuut’ina Nation to bestow a feather hat on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau because he was a real leader in terms of taking a concern on aboriginal issues,” Littlelight said.

“To our surprise, the prime minister agreed…it’s an honour that works both ways. He’s coming here to accept, we’re honouring him, and for us—out of the 600 nations—to have this privilege is astronomical.”

Trudeau will receive a ceremonial headdress, as will Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde.

He said the headdress, or war bonnet, that will be presented to Trudeau symbolizes accomplishment, respect, bravery and peace building.

“Because Prime Minister Trudeau is watched enthusiastically around the world, this is putting Tsuut’ina on a world stage,” he said. “It reaffirms the relations with aboriginal peoples in Canada.”

Littlelight said there will be a “light” agenda for the talks, including topics such as missing and murdered aboriginal women, adequate water, social programming and economic development.

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