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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, seen here speaking at a reception in Ottawa, on Feb. 25, 2020, has scheduled a first ministers meeting next month and is inviting leaders of the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Métis National Council.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has scheduled a first ministers meeting next month and is inviting national Indigenous leaders to attend.

Leaders of the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Métis National Council will be invited to meet with first ministers in Ottawa on Thursday, March 12. Mr. Trudeau and the provincial and territorial premiers will then hold a first ministers meeting the next day.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the agenda will include ways to mitigate climate change, “while at the same time developing our natural resources sustainably and creating good, middle class jobs.”

Health care, infrastructure and transfer programs are also listed as agenda items.

“There is no relationship more important to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples. This meeting will focus on how we can work together to make a real difference for Indigenous families and communities across the country,” Mr. Trudeau said in a statement.

Announcement of the meeting comes as Mr. Trudeau is struggling to reconcile the competing demands of environmental concerns, resource development and Indigenous reconciliation in the dispute over plans to construct the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia.

It comes on the heels of Teck Resources’ decision to back out of a new oil-sands project in Alberta, citing uncertainty over climate policy.

With a file from Canadian Press

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