Assembly of First Nations National Chief Insists on Commitment to Transformative Change

OTTAWA, Nov. 23, 2011 /CNW/ - In response to today's introduction of legislation that would require First Nation Chiefs and councilors to make public their salaries and expenses, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo expressed the urgent need to move forward on First Nation plans and priorities that will achieve real change for First Nation governments, citizens and communities.

"First Nations support and are committed to the principles of accountability and transparency to our citizens. We do not support unilateralism that further entrenches us in a system that doesn't work for our people or Canada," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo.  "First Nations want to work together with government to address the real issues and achieve real change based on need.  We must transform the relationship to one that is based on respect for First Nation rights, jurisdiction and Treaties and jointly develop an approach to achieving real accountability and efficiency of all governments.  This is the way forward to strengthen First Nations' capacity to take greater responsibility and control over the decisions that impact the lives of our citizens and the future of our communities.

Last December, AFN Chiefs-in-Assembly unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming their commitment to maintaining transparent and accountable decision-making structures in their communities. The resolution also confirmed that the primary reporting and accountability relationship is to their citizens, and committed to designing mechanisms to ensure open and informed involvement in community decision-making.

First Nation plans to transform the relationship and achieve real change are clearly set out in the AFN federal pre-budget submission and a recent presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

Building on its pre-budget submission, AFN today released a discussion paper called "Delivering Fairness, Stability and Results: Transforming Fiscal and Accountability relationships between First Nation Governments and the Government of Canada" which outlines specific principles required to transform the fiscal relationship reflecting First Nation led initiatives.

"First Nations are advancing plans based on our rights and the clear principles of accountability, transparency and achieving mutual standards," said National Chief Atleo.  "Our people are saying that action is needed now and that the government must heed the advice of the former Auditor General Sheila Fraser to fundamentally transform the current systemic barriers to progress."

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.  Follow National Chief Atleo and AFN on Twitter @NCAtleo, @AFN_Updates, @AFN_Comms.


For further information:

Contact information: 

Jenna Young, Assembly of First Nations Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext 401 or cell: 613-314-8157 or email

Alain Garon, Assembly of First Nations Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext 382 or cell: 613-2920857 or email

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