Assembly of First Nations calls for Stable and Equitable Funding for First Nations Children

OTTAWA, Sept. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) continues to press for real change for First Nations children in this country. Today, Canadian officials are presenting a report at the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding policies and measures including their efforts in addressing the gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in the fulfillment of their rights to health and education.

"Canada has, thus far, failed to close the gap for our children as unilateral, outdated policies continue to make our children the most vulnerable in this country. This is absolutely unacceptable and demands action through working directly with First Nations," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "For the last 3 years, together with the First Nation Child and Family Caring Society, we have led a historic challenge through the Canadian Human Rights Commission to address underfunding for our children. Rather than continue to battle through legal processes, Canada must act now.  This government must invest in our children, the fastest growing population in this country. We simply must not and cannot leave another generation of children behind."

The Assembly of First Nations submitted a report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Excerpts include:

"The Government of Canada must address funding disparities (including eliminating an arbitrary 2% cap on funding that has been in place for over a decade) which negatively impact education, health and all areas of well-being. A fair and equitable funding formula must be immediately implemented for Funding Year 2012-2013 to provide children living on reserve with equity of opportunities that all children deserve."

National Chief Atleo added: "As we prepare to host a Chiefs Assembly on Education next week, we will be unrelenting in championing our children and their success.  First Nations are taking forward a bold plan of First Nations education systems and demanding fair and stable funding for quality, culturally relevant education providing the opportunity for success of every First Nation child as they deserve."

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is currently in its 61st session in Geneva. Canada is presenting a report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

You can view a copy of the Assembly of First Nations submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child at: www.afn.ca/index.php/en/news-media/current-issues

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow us on Twitter @AFN_Updates and @AFN_Comms.

SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

For further information:

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

Alain Garon, Assembly of First Nations Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382 or cell: 613-2920857 or email agaron@afn.ca

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