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Quebec Native Affairs Minister criticized for using term ‘Indian time’

Geoffrey Kelley listens to a presentation in Montreal on Sept. 7, 2010, in Montreal.

Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Quebec's native affairs minister is being criticized for making a joke about the stereotypical term "Indian time."

Geoffrey Kelley used the words at a news conference today regarding a long-awaited bill recognizing indigenous customs related to adopting children.

Kelley said some people use the term to refer to something that takes a long time and added that in the case of the adoption bill, one could also refer to government time.

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Cree health spokeswoman Bella Moses Petawabano corrected Kelley a few minutes later by saying the true meaning of Indian time is to get things done within a set time frame.

A reporter pounced on Kelley's comment and asked whether the minister was clumsy to use such a term at a news conference.

He replied his comments were meant in jest.

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