Assembly of First Nations National Chief Insists on Commitment to Transformative Change and True Accountability

OTTAWA, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - In response to the passage in the Senate of Bill C-27: First Nations Financial Transparency Act, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo expressed the urgent need to move forward on First Nation plans and priorities that will achieve real change for First Nation governments, citizens and communities.

"First Nations have been clear in their commitment to accountability and transparency to all of our citizens" said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo "Witnesses repeatedly told the House of Commons and the Senate that Bill C-27 would not support this accountability, but instead gives more power to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. We do not support unilateralism that further entrenches us in a system that doesn't work for our people or Canada,"

In December 2010, AFN Chiefs-in-Assembly unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming their commitment to maintaining transparent and accountable decision-making structures in their communities. The resolution also confirmed that the primary reporting and accountability relationship is to their citizens, and committed to designing mechanisms to ensure open and informed involvement in community decision-making.

The AFN opposed Bill C-27 at all of its stages, instead calling for fulfillment of a transformed relationship between First Nations and Canada, including fair and appropriate fiscal arrangements.

"The answers lie in our communities and with our citizens, not with more control from Ottawa," said National Chief Atleo, "The passage of this Bill reminds us of the work we still need to do to bring about real and lasting change to First Nations.  First Nations are advancing plans based on our rights and the clear principles of accountability, transparency and achieving mutual standards.  Canada needs to listen, and to act."

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

SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

For further information:

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

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