OTTAWA - The head of Canada's largest aboriginal organization, Shawn Atleo, is taking a sick leave in the midst of a political crisis.
Atleo, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, says the toll of long meetings and frustrations over the past two weeks have caught up with him, and his doctor has ordered him to rest.
Atleo has been the target of much controversy for agreeing to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week.
Many chiefs said the assembly should have refused the meeting, because it didn't take place on their terms, and on their turf.
In a statement released today, Atleo says his absence will be "brief" and that regional chiefs will take care of his responsibilities while he's away.
Regional Chief Roger Augustine, who represents chiefs from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, will chair executive meetings.
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