AFN National Chief to Attend National Aboriginal Women's Forum, Continues Support for Families, Prevention and Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women

OTTAWA, June 15, 2011 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo will address delegates of the National Aboriginal Women's Forum in Vancouver tomorrow, continuing his call for adequate support for families and prevention measures to end violence against Indigenous women across Canada.

"My heart goes out to the many families, friends and supporters impacted by violence against Indigenous women in British Columbia and across Canada, most recently the Gunning and Knott families at this particularly difficult time," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo.  "Among other efforts, this national forum is a step in the right direction, but more attention is required. We cannot continue to allow our women and children to be in unsafe and vulnerable situations.  Dedicated and urgent attention to resolving ongoing cases of missing and murdered women is essential.  There must be support at all levels for community-based programs that focus on prevention and addressing the root causes."

First Nation leadership across Canada have made ending violence against Indigenous women a key priority.  National Chief Atleo and the AFN continue to advocate for safety and security for all First Nation citizens and to lessening the vulnerability among First Nations.  The AFN has achieved commitments from premiers, territorial leaders and provincial Ministers of Aboriginal Affairs through the Council of the Federation and the Parliamentary Aboriginal Affairs Working Group to support a national strategy to prevent violence against Indigenous women.

"AFN will continue to support efforts seeking justice for the families of missing and murdered women in B.C. and Canada," said National Chief Atleo, adding that AFN has presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women and received standing at the BC Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.

The National Aboriginal Women's Forum, a collaboration to end violence is taking place June 15-17 in Vancouver.  The Forum is co-hosted by B.C.'s Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and the Native Women's Association of Canada. More than 200 delegates representing the provinces, territories and First Nation, Métis and Inuit organizations are attending.

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

SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

For further information:

Don Kelly, AFN A/Communications Director 613-241-6789 ext. 334 or cell: 613-292-2787 or email dkelly@afn.ca

Jenna Young, AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401 or cell: 613-314-8157 or email jyoung@afn.ca

Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382 or cell: 613-292-0857 or email agaron@afn.ca

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