National Chief Perry Bellegarde stormed out of high level talks taking place on Tuesday evening between the Assembly of First Nations and senior government officials that included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“You’re not my REAL Great White Father!” Bellegarde shouted at Trudeau.
Witnesses say Bellegarde was seen running from Lengevin Block near Parliament Hill, all the way to his Sandy Hill-area condo where he slammed his door behind him. Reporters heard loud but sad music blaring from the condo for several hours afterwards.
“Everything was going fine until the discussion turned to Crown-First Nations relations,” said a government aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“Then the National Chief lost it.”
Neither the AFN nor the Prime Minister’s Office would respond to requests for a comment on exactly what took place.
This isn’t the first time government/Indigenous talks have become tense. In 1989, former National Chief Georges Erasmus told then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney he was “just lucky Billy Jack wasn’t here” during health talks.