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Minister Strahl Meets With Obama Officials to Discuss Aboriginal Issues

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/12/09 -- The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-status Indians, met today with Larry EchoHawk, the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, to discuss Aboriginal economic development, education and the North, among other issues.

"Although our approaches may be different, our two governments share many areas of mutual interest," said Minister Strahl. "This is an excellent opportunity for us to share both the positive experiences and challenges that we face."

One of the primary objectives of the meeting was to discuss the overall directions that the Canadian and United States governments are taking on Aboriginal issues, such as partnerships, education and economic development, as well as to discuss regulatory functions concerning the development and use of natural resources, including northern oil and gas development.

Canada has targeted significant investments for Aboriginal people in its Economic Action Plan. Both governments are working hard to promote economic recovery and foster greater Aboriginal participation in the economy.

"We accomplished a great deal in this introductory meeting," said Minister Strahl. "It was very fruitful, particularly in terms of getting to know one another and understanding how we might work together on common issues facing Aboriginal peoples across North America."

Today's visit is intended to be the first in a series of ongoing meetings between Minister Strahl and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. While in Washington the Minister met with a number of Arctic experts to highlight progress that has been made on the government's integrated Northern Strategy. This strategy is designed to exercise Canada's sovereignty, protect its environmental heritage, promote economic and social development, and improve Northern governance.

Contacts:
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
Ted Yeomans
Director of Communications
819-997-0002

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