OTTAWA, July 21, 2016 /CNW/ - AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde met yesterday with premiers in Whitehorse, Yukon at the annual Council of the Federation meeting and called for commitments to action aimed at change and results for First Nations people, emphasizing the need for immediate movement on First Nations child welfare.
"We met yesterday with provincial and territorial leaders and the message from the AFN was that these meetings must lead to real progress and results for First Nations," said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. "Premiers and territorial leaders have a role to play in closing the gap in the quality of life for First Nations. One important area for immediate action is overhauling First Nations child welfare. We need new approaches in all regions that reduce the number of children in care, end jurisdictional battles among different levels of government, and provide for First Nations jurisdiction over their children."
National Chief Bellegarde noted that all Provincial and Territorial leaders agreed to work with First Nations on this approach to ensure results are tangible and measurable.
This Council of the Federation meeting comes one week after the AFN and the federal government signed an MOU on a New Fiscal Relationship that will lead to sustainable, predictable funding to create stronger, healthier First Nations citizens and communities and healthier First Nations citizens. In the meeting with the premiers, the National Chief spoke of their role in priorities like child welfare, supporting and promoting First Nations languages, First Nations rights and responsibilities over lands and resources, action on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the upcoming national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
The Assembly of First Nations 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: please contact: Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 382, 613-292-0857 (cell), [email protected]; Jenn Jefferys, AFN Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 110, 613-222-9656 (cell), [email protected]