Coerced-sterilization allegations a 'crisis' that demands public inquiry: chief

An Alberta First Nations leader says ongoing concerns about coerced sterilization of Indigenous women is nothing short of a ``crisis'' and he wants to see a public inquiry into the allegations.

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam says concerns were brought to him by a member of his community, north of Fort McMurray, and he worries others might have been sterilized without even knowing.

He also says the issue must be part of reconciliation efforts and that he is crying out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for additional action.

In December, the federal government proposed a federal-provincial-territorial working group to discuss the issue after the United Nations Committee Against Torture urged Canada to address it.

Quebec has already said it is not willing to participate in talks that Health Canada expects to begin this month.

The federal NDP has urged the RCMP to launch an investigation into all allegations of forced and coerced sterilizations in Canada, suggesting multiple, credible allegations of crimes have been made.