Assembly of First Nations National Chief to Continue Focus on First Nations with New Government

OTTAWA, May 3 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo said today he will continue efforts to ensure the new government and all political parties work with First Nations to address First Nation priorities.

"First Nations will continue to advance our plans to transform the relationship between First Nations and all Canadians and to move away from the Indian Act, based on our rights, jurisdiction and Treaties, to educate our youth, build our economies, strengthen our governments and create safe and secure communities for our people to live and work," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "We are the youngest and fastest growing segment of the population and our people and our issues will shape the future of this country."

The National Chief will be contacting the Prime Minister and relevant members of Cabinet (once announced) to set out a forward-looking agenda for real change and progress. "We will build on positive commitments from the last Parliament for a First Nations - Crown Gathering as well as moving forward immediately on the priority of ensuring fairness and equity in First Nations education." said National Chief Atleo.

Throughout the Federal election campaign, AFN led an initiative based on four key areas to address the gap between First Nation citizens and other Canadians.  The First Nations Count initiative is part of a broad theme of "working together now to build success for the future".  The priorities are affirming relationships, education, driving partnership and the economy, and community health and safety.

"First Nations everyday are some of the most vulnerable in this country, challenged by unsafe drinking water, inadequate housing and other social-economic and justice factors," said National Chief Atleo.  "By transforming the relationship to one that respects and recognizes First Nations rights and the benefits of working together, we will see greater contributions to the country as a whole."

The National Chief offered his congratulations to the 7 Aboriginal candidates that were elected as Members of Parliament and congratulated all the Aboriginal candidates in this election.

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, 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: 613-292-0857 or email agaron@afn.ca

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