OTTAWA, Dec. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National
Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo announced today that he will attend
memorial services in Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday December 9
and Tuesday December 10. The National Chief will travel as part of the
official delegation from Canada.
"The life, work and spirit of Nelson Mandela - or Madiba, as he was
called by his people - was deeply connected to First Nations in Canada
not only as a fellow Indigenous leader but also because of his
incredible struggle for justice and reconciliation that resonates so
deeply with the struggle and aspirations of our peoples," said National
Chief Atleo. "Our traditions call upon us to always be mindful of the
importance of such commemoration, celebration and respect to be shown
to the family and to the people united in marking this loss. I will
travel to South Africa as a humble representative of our Indigenous
traditions to pay our respects and to stand in honour of this great
leader and inspiration for Indigenous peoples and for the world."
The National Chief is traveling to the memorial with the full support of
the AFN Executive and the Elders, Women's and Youth Councils. The AFN
Executive and First Nations from across the country will be gathering
in Gatineau, Quebec for the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly taking place
December 10-12. The National Chief will provide an Opening Address to
the Assembly through video message and is expected to return to the
Assembly on December 12.
"First Nations in Canada have honoured Madiba many times during his life
as an example and inspiration for our work in our traditional
territories," said National Chief Atleo. "Our work and our fight
continues. In Mandela we see that the spirit of our peoples can never
be broken and that the drive for change can be achieved by believing in
our people and our rights and remaining steadfast in our resolve for
reconciliation and justice. I have been to South Africa, I have seen
his jail cell on Robin Island and I will be meeting with officials from
the African National Congress during this trip to talk about our common
issues and the way forward. I will convey greetings, condolences and
solidarity on behalf of all First Nations."
Nelson Mandela passed away December 5 at the age of 95.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms,
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations
For further information:
Jenna Young AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401; 613-314-8157 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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