Assembly of First Nations National Chief Welcomes Report by Canadian Council of Chief Executives

OTTAWA, July 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today welcomed a report released by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives which outlines clear recommendations regarding the benefits of effective and meaningful partnerships with First Nations, particularly the importance of investing First Nation communities.

"This is the first time we've heard a strong message like this from corporate Canada, joining our call to the provincial and federal governments, on the duty and benefits of working with First Nations, and it's long overdue," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo from Toronto today where he joins over 600 First Nation leaders from across Canada for AFN's 33rd Annual General Assembly kicking off tomorrow at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The report released today specifically notes the opportunity in the First Nation population (the largest and fastest growing in Canada), to develop a skilled and trained work force, which will in turn create economic spin-offs and build capacity at the community level. The report also acknowledges the need to recognize and respect First Nation rights, clearly stating the importance of full engagement of First Nations.

"This report confirms what First Nations have been pressing governments for, and are ready to move on," said National Chief Atleo.  "With this report we see businesses themselves realizing the benefits of free, prior and informed consent and engaging early and often with First Nations because it just makes good business sense.  Now it's time for clear and concrete action by governments to reaffirm their endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and work together with First Nations to implement its key elements."

National Chief Atleo has presented a number of times to the Canadian Council of Chief Executives during their national conferences.

First Nation leaders from across Canada are gathering in Toronto this week for AFN's 33rd AGA and election of National Chief which opens Tuesday morning with opening remarks by National Chief Atleo at 10am and an all candidates forum taking place later that day.  First ballot results of the election for National Chief are expected Wednesday afternoon. For more information visit www.afn.ca

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

SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

For further information:

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

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

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