Assembly of First Nations National Chief Supports International Call for Equitable and Sustainable Funding for First Nations in Canada

OTTAWA, Feb. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today expressed support for the six First Nation youth ambassadors from Canada who will be meeting with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The group, from a number of First Nation communities across the country, will travel to Geneva to advance support for First Nations in Canada in the areas of education, health, child welfare and culture and language programming.

"I congratulate and commend the leadership of this delegation of youth ambassadors and all First Nations youth that continue to bring such an essential message to the forefront here in Canada and at the international level," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "This will serve as an important reminder to all of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, an internationally accepted standard of conduct for interactions between nation states and Indigenous peoples."

In the upcoming days, the Assembly of First Nations and the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada will be presented a report by the National Panel on First Nations elementary and secondary education. This Panel, established December 2010, engaged directly with First Nations and others through a series of regional dialogue sessions and a national session to advance a plan to implement sustainable solutions that put the success of our children front and centre.

"First Nations expect that this is the beginning of addressing the entire spectrum of First Nations education" said National Chief Atleo.  "Equitable and sustainable funding is the key to strengthening the social, political, cultural and economic fabric of our communities and contributing to the development of the rest of the country. Education is the key to unlocking the full potential of First Nations citizens. Respecting and giving life to First Nations rights is essential to unlocking the full potential of First Nations communities and nations."

For more information on the meeting with UNCRC visit: http://www.fncaringsociety.com/youth-ambassadors

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

SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

For further information:

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

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

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