OTTAWA, Dec. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde, along with other Indigenous leaders and a number of federal Cabinet Ministers, participated today in a meeting with the Prime Minister on determining a path forward to achieve a renewed relationship with First Nations and other Indigenous peoples. This came a day after the Prime Minister committed to developing a national engagement strategy leading to a National Reconciliation Framework informed by Calls to Action in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
"Today was a productive discussion with the Prime Minister and seven Cabinet Ministers on how we can begin work towards real reconciliation," said National Chief Bellegarde. "It was clear at today's meeting that working nation-to-nation means that First Nations, the Metis Nation and Inuit peoples each need their own approach with the federal Crown. We are distinct peoples with our own unique rights, approaches and priorities. We will stand with our Indigenous brothers and sisters in calling for action and engagement but the ongoing relationship must be bilateral, not multilateral. This is how we will close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations people and Canadians. This is how we will realize the promise of reconciliation and a nation-to-nation relationship."
Prime Minister Trudeau announced his intention to work together nation-to-nation with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect to close the gap. He also pledged to provide accessible funding to Indigenous communities at the same level of services and opportunities as Canadians receive to strengthen Indigenous peoples, economies and communities.
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
For further information: Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Jenna Young Castro, AFN Communications Officer, 613-241-6789, ext 401; 613-314-8157 or email@example.com