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Justin Trudeau visits with indigenous group in Canada at protest camp

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Activists aimed to engage in four days of reoccupation to draw attention to the history of Canadas indigenous people during countrys 150 th birthday festivities

Canadas prime minister Justin Trudeau has met with aboriginal activists who set up a demo tipi on Parliament Hill ahead of Canada Day celebrations.

The prime minister and his wife arrived at the site Friday as “the member states national” capital was abuzz with preparations for the Saturday event that is expected to bring a half million people into the downtown core.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will also attend as part of their royal tour of Canada.

Activists from human rights and indigenous group the Bawaating Water Protectors from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, arrived Wednesday to engage in four days of what they called a reoccupation to draw attention to the history of indigenous peoples in Canada during the countrys 150 th birthday celebrations.

The group initially clashed with police, who apprehended nine people and refused to allow the teepee. But all nine were eventually released and the structure was set up, then later moved to be close to the main stage for Saturdays events.

Canadas leader and four aboriginal activists talked for 30 minutes. A video of the session posted on YouTube showed Trudeau sitting cross-legged with shoes off and clasping a feather as he listened to a request from Candace Day Neveau that the current federal department responsible for indigenous affairs be renamed the office of honorable pact relations. She also urged that Canadas current Indian Act be scrapped.

The Bawaating Water Protectors are just one of many indigenous groups planning protests this weekend to draw attention to problems facing aboriginal communities across the country.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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