AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo Launches "IndigenACTION", Aimed at
Supporting Healthy Lifestyles, Fitness and Sport

WINNIPEG, July 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Today Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, together with AFN Youth Council Chair Joshua Gottfriedson and Olympian Waneek Horn Miller, launched an initiative to support and further enhance opportunities for Indigenous peoples and communities through active lifestyles, sport and fitness.

"Through IndigenACTION, we will harness the spirit of the recent Olympic Games, where Indigenous nations, Canadians and the world came together to celebrate our cultures, sport and competition," said National Chief Shawn Atleo this morning at the University of Winnipeg's Duckworth Centre track, where AFN hosted a Fun Run event to kick-off the launch. "With Indigenous communities as the starting place - with a vision to create healthy places to live and raise families - we can inspire and empower our young people and spark change. Through IndigenACTION we reach out to gather the voices of all interested parties, engage partnerships and move forward together to build stronger, healthier Indigenous peoples and communities and a stronger, healthier Canada."

"We're reaching out to all groups to work together to ensure Indigenous peoples have the opportunities to compete at all levels - to achieve their dreams by growing themselves and their communities through sport and healthy, active lifestyles," said newly elected AFN Youth Council Chair Joshua Gottfriedson.

IndigenACTION is led by the AFN Youth Council and IndigenACTION Ambassador Waneek Horn Miller, a Mohawk woman from Kahnawake territory (near Montreal) who competed in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. AFN will facilitate the development of a national strategy, gathering input from a variety of stakeholders. Inviting athletes, sports institutions, the public and private sectors, AFN will hold national roundtable discussions to identify opportunities, common goals and objectives. The information collected from these roundtable discussions will inform a national strategy to support and stabilize new and existing initiatives and organizations that support young Indigenous athletes and fitness and well-being in Indigenous communities.

"From the leaders in the sport, recreation and health fields to community members working at the grassroots, we invite all individuals and groups to participate in our roundtable discussions, to contribute and work with us to develop a nation-wide health, sport and fitness strategy," said IndigenACTION Ambassador Waneek Horn Miller.

In addition to exploring ways to improve support for Indigenous athletes, IndigenACTION will also help improve opportunities for all Indigenous peoples by promoting healthy lifestyles, community togetherness and economic development opportunities at the community level.

"In order for all Indigenous nations to reach our full potential, we need to better ensure all our peoples have the opportunities to achieve optimum health and wellbeing," said Horn Miller. "A healthy and happy individual becomes a healthy contributor to the overall success of our nations."

For more information on IndigenACTION or to be part of the roundtable discussions please visit www.afn.ca or contact Jenna Young at 613-241-6789, ext 401 or jyoung@afn.ca.

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

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: For further information: Jenna Young, Communications Officer, Assembly of First Nations, 613-241-6789, ext 401, 613-314-8157 (mobile), or jyoung@afn.ca


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