First Nations leaders praise Wilson-Raybould but don't take sides against Trudeau

Several Indigenous leaders are proud of former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, saying she was was deeply brave in her explosive testimony on the SNC-Lavalin affair.

But they are also steering clear of criticizing the Trudeau government which Wilson-Raybould said heavily pressured her to help the engineering firm avoid criminal prosecution.

Wilson-Raybould had been the highest-ranking Indigenous person ever in the Canadian government, but she was demoted from the justice ministry to veterans affairs in January and quit the cabinet in mid-February after allegations about SNC Lavalin were published.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations executive issued a statement of support, applauding Wilson-Raybould for displaying ethics and integrity and calling her a role model for all First Nations and future generations.

National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations said he was ``elated'' to watch Wilson-Raybould sworn into cabinet in 2015 and felt her testimony on Wednesday showed integrity, strength and courage.

However, he too, sidestepped commenting on the actions of the Trudeau government.
Clement Chartier, president of the Metis National Council, took issue with the notion that just because Wilson-Raybould is an Indigenous woman the SNC-Lavalin affair has become an Indigenous issue.