/R E P E A T -- Assembly of First Nations Hosts 35th Annual General Assembly in Halifax July 15-17/

HALIFAX, July 9, 2014 /CNW/ - First Nation leaders, Elders and youth from across the country will gather in Mi'kmaq territory next week for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) 35th national Annual General Assembly (AGA) taking place at the Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre July 15-17.  Chiefs and delegates will discuss key issues and determine strategies and a path forward to advance First Nations priorities.

The Grand Entry will take place Tuesday, July 15 at 8:30 a.m. followed by remarks from local and regional First Nation leadership and government officials and representatives. AFN Regional Chief and national spokesperson Ghislain Picard will deliver opening remarks at approximately 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 15.

The main plenary of the AGA will be webcast on the AFN website at www.afn.ca.  Media are required to register on-site.  A detailed agenda is available on the AFN website at http://www.afn.ca/index.php/en/the-35th-annual-general-assembly

The AGA is preceded by the AFN National First Nations Youth Summit taking place Sunday, July 13 at the Halifax Marriott Halifax Harbourfront.  A meeting of the AFN Confederacy of Nations will take place Monday, July 14 at the World Trade and Convention Centre.

At the AFN AGA, Assembly delegates will gather under the theme "Together as Nations - Educate, Empower, Enlighten" to pass resolutions and participate in strategy sessions to determine action and change based on inherent Aboriginal rights, title and Treaties.

A number of First Nation priorities will be discussed during the three-day Assembly, including a decision on the timing and location for the next election of the AFN National Chief.  As well, the impacts of the recent Supreme Court of Canada Tsilhqot'in decision has been added to the agenda based on direction from First Nations.

Special presentations will include reports from the national youth, women and Elders councils and reports from the Confederacy of Nations, and updates from national portfolio leaders in the areas of health, Treaty implementation, claims and land rights.

Panel discussions with guest speakers and discussion will focus on the following topics:  Royal Proclamation and Treaty of Niagara, Transforming AFN decision-making to support nation re-building, International Opportunities and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and UN Special Rapporteur Report on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Justice and Community Safety focusing on policing and missing and murdered Indigenous women, Reconciliation and next steps and support for former students of Indian Residential Schools.

The three-day Assembly will also feature special cultural events coordinated by the AGA host committee and a Gala Dinner Reception will be held Wednesday, July 16 at 6:00 p.m. - tickets available at AGA Registration area at the World Trade and Convention Centre. For more information on host committee events visit http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/gala_postcard.pdf.

AFN is hosting its 5th IndigenACTION 5K Friendship Walk/Run sponsored by Tim Hortons on Monday, July 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Point Pleasant Park.  Registration is open to everyone and takes place on site at 6:00 p.m.

AFN and the AFN AGA Host Committee are pleased to acknowledge sponsorship by TD Bank as well as the Province of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton University.

The Assembly of First Nation is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow the #AFNAGA on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information:

Don Kelly, AFN Communications Director 613-292-2787 or dkelly@afn.ca

Jenna Young, AFN Communications Officer 613-314-8157 or jyoung@afn.ca

Moira Macleod, AGA Host Committee Communications Manager (902) 441-6956 or moiramacleod69@gmail.com