AFN National Chief joins Premiers in call for action plan on closing the socio-economic gap for First Nations



    QUEBEC, July 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief
Phil Fontaine today issued the following statement following a meeting with
the Council of the Federation in Quebec City.
    "Today I joined the Premiers at the table to discuss ways to move forward
in the reconciliation process and close the socio-economic gap between First
Nations peoples and all Canadians, particularly for our children.
    Together, we have embarked on a new relationship in the post-apology era
and we are committed to taking positive action with clear and achievable
goals. We will transform the future for First Nations citizens in communities
across Canada.

    
    - We call on the Government of Canada to join us in the discussion of a
      reconciliation action plan that builds on the commitment of Canadians
      to engage with us in an atmosphere of mutual respect to improve the
      lives of First Nations citizens;

    - We are calling on the Prime Minister to join us in meetings, including
      a First Minister's Meeting and to do everything he can to achieve
      results on critical issues such as education, skills training and
      closing the socio-economic gap, especially for First Nations children
      and youth;

    - I also received a commitment from all First Ministers to work on the
      analysis of socioeconomic gaps so that we are clear on how to make real
      progress; and

    - We agreed to a process for the Assembly of First Nations' participation
      at future Council of the Federation meetings to continue building the
      strongest outcomes possible for First Nations and all Canadians.
    

    I am pleased by the constructive tone of this meeting and the clear
commitment from the Premiers to concrete action. I look forward to the Prime
Minister joining us in our mission to improve the overall the well-being of
First Nations citizens".

    The Assembly of First Nations is the national political organization
representing more than 800,000 First Nations citizens in Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Joan McEwen, AFN Communications Director, (613)
241-6789 ext. 242, cell: (613) 324-3329, jmcewen@afn.ca


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