AFN National Chief Welcomes New Minister of Indian Affairs

OTTAWA, Aug. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo issued the following statement today on the occasion of the Prime Minister's cabinet shuffle, which sees former Parliamentary Secretary and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North John Duncan named the new Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians.

"The cabinet changes announced today come at a unique time for First Nations and Canada, a time when we see a critical mass of support for change and innovation in the relationship between First Nations and Canada.

First Nations confirmed our direction forward at the AFN's Annual General Assembly only two weeks ago, and earlier this week we met with provincial and territorial leaders to set a proactive and progressive agenda for the future. First Nations are ready to move, Canadians are ready to move, and we want to work with the federal government to move forward.

I congratulate the Honourable John Duncan on his new assignment and welcome him as the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. I am well acquainted with Mr. Duncan. We have worked together in the past and I look forward to working with him in his new role. I extend an invitation for us to meet as soon as possible to begin setting out an agenda aimed at building stronger First Nations and a stronger Canada.

I want to acknowledge the former Minister of Indian Affairs, the Honourable Chuck Strahl and thank him for his hard work and dedication and wish him well as he assumes his new role and responsibilities. We look forward to a continuing, constructive relationship.

First Nations are ready to work together in a spirit of partnership and respect to create a better Canada for all citizens of this land."

                                                       Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
                                                              National Chief

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: For further information: Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer, Assembly of First Nations, 613-241-6789 ext. 382, cell: 613-292-0857 or; Don Kelly, A/Director of Communications, Assembly of First Nations, 613-241-6789 ext. 334, cell 613-292-2787 or

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