Assembly of First Nations celebrates National Aboriginal Day

OTTAWA, June 21, 2011 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo released the following statement in recognition of National Aboriginal Day:

"On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations and the AFN Executive, today we pay tribute to all Indigenous peoples and cultures in Canada.  By celebrating First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples, cultures and traditions, National Aboriginal Day brings hope and opportunity for a new relationship between the Indigenous Peoples of this country and the rest of Canadians.

As First Nations move toward a better quality of life for our people, where our communities are strong and healthy and our governments are supported and our economies are strong, we do so with an important balance - living and learning according to the wisdom of our ancestors while gaining the knowledge and support we need to fulfill our dreams.

Today we celebrate the traditions and teachings of our ancestors and look to our youth to carry them forward.  First Nation young people, the fastest and largest growing population in Canada, and the leaders of today, must be supported in their efforts to motivate change for future generations.

I wish First Nations and all Canadians a peaceful and happy National Aboriginal Day and encourage all to take part in events taking place across the country. I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy Indigenous cultural events today and throughout Aboriginal History Month (June) and learn more about Canada's national history. With increased awareness and understanding we can rebuild relationships and continue steps toward true reconciliation.

AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo declared June 2011 a month of First Nation advocacy, awareness and action and today, the AFN is hosting a Special Parliamentary Reception in Ottawa for all Members of Parliament. Find out more at www.afn.ca.

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

SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

For further information:

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

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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