AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine and Dr. Jane Goodall Announce "Roots & Shoots" Partnership for First Nations



    OTTAWA, April 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief
Phil Fontaine and renowned primatologist, environmentalist, and humanitarian
Dr. Jane Goodall today announced a partnership to bring the Jane Goodall
Institute's Roots & Shoots global youth action program to First Nations
communities across Canada.
    "Roots & Shoots is a program aimed at getting young people involved in
developing their own projects to improve the environment, gain a greater
understanding of their culture, and improve the lives of the people in their
communities," National Chief Fontaine said. "When I first heard about the
program it struck me as a perfect fit for First Nations. More than half our
people are under the age of 25, and they are a tremendous source of energy,
innovation and ideas."
    "I am delighted that young people in First Nations communities in Canada
will have the opportunity to take part in Roots & Shoots and become connected
with other young people around the world who are facing similar challenges,"
said Dr. Goodall during a rare visit to Ottawa. "Wherever I travel I meet
young people who feel helpless about the future of the planet and what we are
doing to ourselves and our communities. The Roots & Shoots program empowers
them and gives them hope. It is inspired by the idea that every individual
makes a difference, every day."
    Roots & Shoots is the Jane Goodall Institute's environmental and
humanitarian education program and a global network of young people working
for positive change in their communities and beyond. The program provides
young people with the training and tools to take positive action in their
communities and see results. Since the founding of Roots & Shoots in Tanzania
in 1991, more than 100,000 youth in almost 100 countries have been part of the
program. The program was launched in Canada in 1997, and there are more than
260 groups active in the country today.
    The partnership with the AFN announced today stems from a meeting with
the National Chief, Dr. Keith Martin, MP (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) and senior
officials from Roots & Shoots last fall. "The Roots and Shoots Program will
enable First Nations children to explore, build, and share initiatives that
will benefit the communities they live in. This will build self-confidence and
enable them to share their culture, language, and projects with youth from
around the world", said Dr. Martin.
    The Assembly of First Nations will work with the Jane Goodall Institute
to promote awareness and understanding of the program among First Nations,
with a focus on First Nations youth. There are already two First Nations in
Canada involved in Roots & Shoots, Beecher Bay First Nation and T'sou'ke, both
in BC. The AFN and the Jane Goodall Institute will work to expand the program
to other interested First Nation communities.

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

    The Jane Goodall Institute is a global non-profit organization that
supports wildlife research, conservation and education. For more information
on the Institute and Roots & Shoots, please visit www.janegoodall.ca




For further information:

For further information: Don Kelly, A/Communications Director, Assembly
of First Nations, (613) 241-6789 ext. 334, cell: (613) 292-2787,
dkelly@afn.ca; Gina Cosentino, Government Relations and International Affairs,
Assembly of First Nations, (613) 241-6789 ext. 356, gcosentino@afn.ca; Jane
Lawton, Executive Director, Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, (416) 476-6584,
j.lawton@janegoodall.ca


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