AFN National Chief Opens Housing and Infrastructure Forum Calling for National Strategy Led by First Nations

WINNIPEG, Nov. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde today opened the AFN National Housing and Infrastructure Forum – "Moving Forward on First Nations Housing and Infrastructure Reform" in Winnipeg by calling for a First Nations-led strategy and national action plan to put forward solutions that will ensure safe and healthy housing and infrastructure to meet the needs of all First Nations.

"The AFN is convening this Forum because First Nations must lead this work and we are ready to share our ideas and look at examples of success," said National Chief Bellegarde, who spoke at the Forum today.  "Our people live the reality of the housing and infrastructure deficit everyday. We do have the expertise and the experience to develop the right solutions and  we invite partners in government, industry and the public to work with us."

"Every First Nation family and individual, no matter where they live, deserves to live in a healthy home that is safe, dry, and free of overcrowding," the National Chief added. "They deserve clean drinking water and communities with essential government services including infrastructure facilities. We must make this a priority as we eliminate the social and economic gap between Indigenous peoples and others in Canada."

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is convening the National Housing and Infrastructure Forum – "Moving Forward on First Nations Housing and Infrastructure Reform" from November 1-3 at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The AFN is working with leadership and representatives in all territories to discuss the strategies and action needed to address the persistent lack of adequate housing and infrastructure faced by so many First Nations for so long.

AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart added: "I believe that working together on initiatives driven by First Nations expertise and knowledge is how we will finally overcome this housing crisis. We invite all partners to work with us to design and implement the needed reforms. Through systems change we can have viable, healthy First Nations where no one lives in a home that should be condemned, or lacks the most basic necessities to support young growing families."

A detailed agenda for the Forum is available at: http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/16-10-18_provisional_agenda_nfnhif_2016-2.pdf

The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.  Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.

 

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-292-0857 (cell), agaron@afn.ca; Jenn Jefferys, Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 110, 613-222-9656 (cell), jjefferys@afn.ca


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