Assembly of First Nations examine Liberal's rights recognition and implementation framework

A two-day gathering of the Assembly of First Nations is taking a hard look at the governing Liberals to decide whether the best interests of Canada's First Nations are truly represented.

National Chief Perry Bellegarde says one key focus of the assembly in Gatineau, Quebec is the government's rights recognition and implementation framework that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in February.

Bellegarde says he hopes the new framework could be a turning point towards major progress in recognition of Indigenous rights.

But he says there are still questions on how the framework will be structured, how it will impact treaties, bands and reserves and how it will fit with the federal government's stated intention to ``move beyond the Indian Act.''

The assembly is also debating the merits of ongoing environmental and regulatory reviews, legislation to protect Aboriginal languages, ensure safe drinking water on reserves, and even the Cannabis Act.

There are concerns from some chiefs that consultations on the bills are being rushed in order to get them passed before the 2019 election.