Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Responds to New Addition to Reserves Policy

OTTAWA, July 27, 2016 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde said the Government of Canada's new policy on Additions to Reserve (ATR) unveiled today must lead to a more streamlined, effective and transparent process as one avenue to enhancing the landbase for First Nations.

"Adding additional lands to reserves is critical to fulfilling the Crown's legal obligations and will provide for the overall development of First Nations," said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. "I thank the members of the Chiefs Committee on Claims for their work leading to this new policy and their ongoing advocacy for First Nations. The key now is effective and timely implementation that is consistent with First Nations rights and title, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The announcement by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada follows the unanimous endorsement of a resolution at the 2016 AFN Annual General Assembly, calling on the Government of Canada "to implement the new ATR policy and related processes as soon as possible." The National Chief welcomed the move to streamline the process and promote collaboration with other stakeholders, including municipalities.

In 2013, the AFN was mandated by Chiefs-in-Assembly to work with the Government of Canada on changes to the ATR policy, one which First Nations found cumbersome, lengthy and unresponsive to their needs. The Chiefs Committee on Claims and the Joint AFN/Canada Technical Working Group helped guide discussions relating to the development of the new ATR policy.

A link to the new policy is at:

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1465827292799/1465827347934#mm

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.

 

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 382, 613-292-0857 (cell), agaron@afn.ca; Jenn Jefferys, AFN Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 110, 613-222-9656 (cell), jjefferys@afn.ca


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