OTTAWA, May 18 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo said today he looks forward to advancing First
Nation priorities with the new federal cabinet and all of Parliament.
"We look forward to working with all of government and Parliament to
ensure our priorities are addressed in ways that work for our citizens
and communities. First Nations across Canada have set clear plans
based on our rights and Treaties to transform the reality for First
Nations in this country, to unlock the full potential of our people,
communities and governments to build a stronger country for all our
citizens," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo following today's
announcement of new federal cabinet. "The stability of the new
Parliament will help us advance a robust agenda for real and meaningful
We look to build on important commitments made by Prime Minister Stephen
Harper including the endorsement of the United Nations Declaration of
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, working with us in partnership to
strengthen and reform First Nation education, and advancing new
approaches such as a First Nations-Crown gathering to mark progress and
to set clear priorities for the future.
"I look forward to our continued work with the Honourable John Duncan in
his role as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development,
and acknowledge this signal from the federal government of the
importance of consistency and stability in such an important portfolio.
We will be seeking clarity in the Ministry's name change to ensure that
it accurately reflects the relationship between First Nations and the
Crown," said National Chief Atleo, noting that the term Aboriginal
means First Nations, Métis and Inuit. "We will work together to ensure
the constitutionally protected rights of First Nations are respected,
the responsibilities to First Nations are upheld, and our interests
receive specific attention and action. This needs to be about real
action and change, not a name change."
National Chief Atleo also congratulated returning Health Minister Leona
Aglukkaq and newly appointed Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter
Penashue and noted that for the first time, Cabinet will include both
an Inuit member and a First Nations member. "I look forward to
continuing our very positive working relationship with Minister
Aglukkaq. Minister Penashue's new appointment is very significant and
I believe this signals important opportunity for us to advance our work
given his new mandate and considerable responsibility."
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
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