Assembly of First Nations Continues to Support and Advocate First Nations Driving Change; Leaders Reaffirm Direction Forward

WHITEHORSE, July 18, 2013 /CNW/ - In his closing remarks at the 34th Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Annual General Assembly in Whitehorse, Yukon, National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo stated the Assembly was a tremendous success and First Nations have emerged with strategies and action plans on the key issues facing First Nations.

Hundreds of First Nation Chiefs from every region of the country, along with almost one thousand First Nation citizens, Elders and youth, gathered this week in the territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta'an Kwäch'än Council to reaffirm a direction forward based on plans and priorities set by First Nations.

"It is a tribute to the dedication of our leaders and citizens that they have taken the time to travel here and direct their ideas and energy towards the many critical issues facing First Nations," said National Chief Shawn Atleo, while expressing his deep appreciation to the host communities and region for generously sharing the rich cultures of the North and many first-hand examples of great courage, resilience and dedication in achieving success.

"Throughout the week First Nations leaders and citizens gathered in ceremony and listened to the teaching of the Elders, the women and the youth," said National Chief Atleo.  "We emerge united with clear direction on the strategies we take forward in the coming days and months to act on our rights, title and Treaties and compel Canada to work with us in partnership because, whether they are willing or not, we are moving forward."

The Assembly saw key resolutions passed to advance a national action plan to end violence against women, pursuing First Nation control of First Nation Education as a national priority, a national action plan on First Nations housing, protecting First Nations right to their traditional territories, creating investment and economic opportunity for First Nations, ongoing involvement in the lead up to the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in 2014 and other important issues. The National Chief stated that reports of government testing on First Nations children in the 1940s and '50s galvanized delegates at the Assembly and an emergency resolution was brought forward and passed calling on the federal government for full disclosure of all records related to this matter, for compensation and redress for victims and a comprehensive initiative aimed at public education on this tragic chapter of Canadian history.

"We leave this Assembly with the words of our Elders and traditional teachers who tell us that we must work in unity and support and respect one another as we pursue our own paths," said National Chief Atleo. "We are all sovereign nations with our own priorities but we move towards a common destination of fulfilling our rights and responsibilities, working today for our children tomorrow. We know we stand strong when we stand together."

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

SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations

For further information:

Don Kelly, AFN Communications Director 613-292-2787 or

Jenna Young, AFN Communications Officer 613-314-8157 or

Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-292-0857 or

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890