AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo Commends Young First Nations Leaders
Vision of Hope and Opportunity

OTTAWA, Feb. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo issued the following statement on the Governor General 2010 Olympic Truce Youth Dialogue, taking place in Vancouver, B.C. this week as part of the Vancouver 2010 Indigenous Youth Gathering

"As National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, I commend the young people from across Canada for their leadership and strong message of hope as displayed yesterday at the Governor General Olympic Truce Youth Dialogue aimed at promoting mutual understanding.

In a high-energy dialogue between Indigenous leaders, Olympic athletes, foreign dignitaries and government officials, the message from First Nations youth was clear. Their message is one of hope and opportunity. It is a message we all must hear and it must guide us as we move forward.

One of many powerful messages from First Nations youth was delivered by Jacob Pratt from the Treaty 4 region in Saskatchewan. Jacob stressed the importance of First Nations education, the future of students at the First Nations University of Canada and the future of the University itself. He reminded the group that students should be able to focus on their studies without the stress of wondering whether or not they will have a place to learn. Indeed, it must be the students and their future that are our priority during this challenging time. I am pleased to hear from my colleague AFN Regional Chief Guy Lonechild that positive progress has been made to ensure the students of the First Nations University of Canada are able to focus on their studies with little disruption.

We can build from the energy of yesterday's gathering and the mandate of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce Program to empower Canada's young leaders while focusing on grassroots approaches, mutual understanding, inclusion and cooperation to resolve many of our common challenges.

The approach led by the Governor General to promote peace and mutual understanding further highlights the relationship between the Vancouver Olympic Committee and the Four Host First Nations. Relationships based on mutual respect and recognition can serve as a foundation for hope, opportunity and success for First Nations and Canada."

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

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: For further information: Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer, (418) 956-5720 or agaron@afn.ca


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