AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Welcomes Funding Announcement on First Nations Employment, Training and Labour Market

OTTAWA, May 27, 2016 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde today said the federal government's announcement of funding and support to strengthen the First Nations labour market is a step in the right direction to address decades of underfunding. The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Canada made the announcement on Wednesday May 25, 2016 during the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Spring Legislative Assembly. 

"We are the fastest growing population in this country and our people are seeking jobs and good training," said National Chief Bellegarde.  "We need initiatives that start to close the gap in employment, income and education between First Nations people and the rest of Canada.  We look forward to working with the federal government on First Nations employment, training and labour market needs based on a nation-to-nation relationship and a new fiscal relationship based on respect."

AFN Saskatchewan Regional Chief Bobby Cameron stated: "We welcome the federal government investment into the development of our people's skills and training needs. Our First Nation people require education and training opportunities to build healthier families and communities. This is a positive step forward to the importance of life-long learning. We look forward to our continued nation-to-nation Inherent and Treaty based relationship."

On May 25, the federal government announced a new call for proposals for the $50 million Skills and Partnership Fund and funding for at-risk communities and the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS).  The AFN Chiefs Committee on Human Resource Development and First Nations Technical Working Group on Human Resources Development continue to prepare for discussions on a new labour market agreement to follow the ASETS.  

The Government of Canada will be providing more support to Indigenous employment and training organizations serving Indigenous people across Canada.  Minister Mihychuk announced a new call for proposals for the Skills and Partnership Fund, with a total value of $50 million. The Fund encourages Indigenous organizations to create partnerships with governments, businesses and community organizations to improve skills training.  The call for proposals closes on July 5, 2016.

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


SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext. 382; 613-292-0857 or ; Jenna Young Castro AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext. 401; 613-314-8157 or

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