CHURCHILL, MB, Aug. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo says he is encouraged by the support for the First Nations agenda at the Council of the Federation meeting held in Churchill, Manitoba on August 4. The National Chief attended the meeting of premiers and territorial leaders with AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Bill Traverse.
"I am encouraged that once again the premiers and territorial leaders have shown they understand the importance of working with us to set an agenda based on our common interests," National Chief Atleo said. "First Nations confirmed our direction at the AFN Annual General Assembly held just two weeks ago in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The meeting with the Council of the Federation was an opportunity to put forward recommendations for action that will help to build stronger First Nations citizens and communities and a stronger federation. In that spirit, I am pleased to report that we are united in our call for a First Ministers Meeting with a special focus on education, with First Nations representatives as full participants. I firmly believe that when we open the door to a school, we close the door to a jail."
The National Chief and Regional Chief Traverse, on behalf of First Nations and the AFN, put forward five major recommendations to the Council of the Federation for review and follow-up. These recommendations included a call for each province and territory to confirm an action plan for First Nation education, consistent with the AFN's recently-released report First Nation Control of First Nation Education, and to call on the Prime Minister to convene a First Ministers Meeting with a focus on education; support for the development of resource revenue sharing agreements to support First Nations economic development; a national strategy to address violence against Indigenous women; and a call to all provinces and territories that have not already done so to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The AFN also affirmed its support for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, stating it should receive resources to continue its work on community-based healing and reconciliation for residential school survivors.
"It is clear today that there is a critical mass of support to move on these important matters in the best interests of Canada and First Nations people," said National Chief Atleo. "There is much we can do with the provincial and territorial leaders but we can do even more if there is full engagement by all levels of government. Our historic Treaty partner, the federal government, must be involved in this work. We look forward to a positive response from the Prime Minister to our agenda for progress."
This is the seventh consecutive time that the AFN National Chief and AFN officials have met with the Council of the Federation since its inauguration in 2003. Work also takes place between Council of the Federation meetings through an Aboriginal Affairs Working Group.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
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