AFN National Chief and Ontario Regional Chief Attend Launch of Indigenous Learning Program Promoting Understanding and Partnerships with First Nations

OTTAWA, April 20 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo and AFN Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse were in Alderville First Nation today for the launch of an Indigenous learning program designed jointly by Alderville First Nation and Lakefield College School.

The National Chief and Regional Chief were welcomed by Alderville First Nation Chief James Marsden, local students and about 100 students from Lakefield College School for a special event marking the start of First Nation-specific programming in the Lakefield private school's curriculum.

"This community-based initiative is an inspiring example of action on the ground that can act as a model for other education and learning partnerships between Indigenous peoples and other Canadians," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo.  "This partnership is an innovative approach to reconciliation between First Nations and the rest of Canada, especially our youth who will move this work forward now and into the future.  It is about engaging and motivating young people to learn about Indigenous people, issues and cultures.  During an important federal election, this initiative is a showcase of partnership with an emphasis on education - a key priority for First Nations to achieve their full potential in this country."

The Indigenous learning program includes learning from elders, from songs and artists and will help strengthen relationships between First Nation and non-First Nation students.

"Today marks the beginning of a unique collaboration between Lakefield College School and First Nation peoples," said Joe Bettencourt, the Assistant Head of Academics at Lakefield College School in Lakefield, Ontario.  "We look forward to learning about the history and stories of others, and the role we need to play in appreciating the contributions of First Nation peoples to our country."

"The intent here is to increase understanding of First Nation traditions, cultures and histories," said Alderville First Nation Chief James Marsden. "This is an important partnership that will further promote strengthened relationships between First Nations and non-Indigenous people."

For more information on AFN election priorities and upcoming events, including an all candidates town hall on First Nation issues taking place in Toronto April 27th please visit www.afn.ca.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.  Follow AFN and National Chief Atleo on Twitter @AFN_Updates, @AFN_Comms and @NCAtleo. 

SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

For further information:

Jenna Young, AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401 or jyoung@afn.ca
Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer (613) 241-6789, ext 382 or agaron@afn.ca

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