AFN applauds anti-poverty strategy for First Nations children and youth



    OTTAWA, Sept. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - National Chief Phil Fontaine is
applauding the National Council on Welfare for its denunciation of the harmful
decisions and broken promises made by successive governments that have left so
many Aboriginal people destitute.
    The National Council on Welfare today released its report First Nations,
Métis and Inuit Children and Youth: Time to Act. The report calls on the
government to take action on a number of areas of concern, specifically that
it:

    
    - adopt a National Anti-Poverty Strategy,
    - devise a long-term vision for Aboriginal peoples,
    - target well-being indicators and
    - provide intergovernmental coordination and accountability to Aboriginal
      Canadians.
    

    "The National Council of Welfare is agreeing with what we've been saying
for years. It shows that Canadians understand that we want to be prosperous,
healthy and see our children succeed," National Chief Phil Fontaine, stated.
"We can end poverty in a generation, if we can find the political will."
    The Council's recommendations reinforce the key directions outlined in
the AFN's Pre-Budget Submission, From Poverty to Prosperity, National Chief
Fontaine said.
    "Immediate investment is needed for successful programs designed by First
Nations, and a real commitment to building fair, sustainable First Nations
governance frameworks."
    The National Chief will speak about the report today during a speech at
the Canadian Public Health Association Conference at the Ottawa Congress
Centre at 2:30 pm.
    "We need to provide a healthy environment for First Nations children and
youth if they are going to succeed in school and in life. They need to be well
fed, have clean water to drink, and access to safe housing," National Chief
Fontaine said. "We know that when our youth do complete high school, they do
just as well, in terms of health and employment, as other Canadians. It's
during the teenage years that we're losing them."
    The National Chief will also call for a health care system that focuses
on needs rather than cost control, is First Nations driven and addresses the
determinants of health, such as poverty.
    The National Council on Welfare is an arm's length advisory body to the
Minister of Human Resources and Social Development.

    The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Karyn Pugliese, AFN Health and Social
Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789, ext. 210, Cell: (613) 292-1877,
kpugliese@afn.ca


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