Assembly of First Nations to Host 3rd National Youth Summit, Develop 5 Year Action Plan

    OTTAWA, Oct. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief
Phil Fontaine is pleased to announce that the 3rd National Youth Summit,
'Rebuilding Our Nations - National Unity, Voices from the Community' will take
place from October 30th to November 1, 2007 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.
    "This is a key opportunity for youth to build upon our successful outcome
of the June 29th National Day of Action," said AFN National Chief Phil
Fontaine. "More than half of the First Nations population is under the age of
25. As leaders, it is important that we hear the voices of our young. They
know better than anyone the struggles they face and the opportunities that
await them."
    The National Youth Summit, hosted by the Assembly of First Nations Youth
Council, will bring together hundreds of First Nations, ages 18-29, from
across Canada for three days to discuss some of the most pressing issues
facing youth. The goal of the Summit is to develop a Five Year Action plan
designed to address challenges and opportunities for First Nations youth.
Topics to be discussed at the Summit will include suicide prevention,
addictions prevention, preserving First Nations language, culture and
tradition, as well as economic and labour market issues.
    "The 3rd National Youth Summit is an opportunity for First Nations youth
to network, discuss, and recommend positive action to address issues of major
concern," said Albert Cater, the Manitoba regional representative on behalf of
the AFN National Youth Council. "It will also be the driving mandate for the
Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council to influence and impact
change for our leadership to hear directly our concerns for the generations of
today and the future."
    "In addition to the normal pressures of adolescence like peer pressure,
school work and parent expectations, First Nations youth are much more likely
to live in poverty and experience overcrowding, unsafe drinking water and poor
health such as asthma and obesity," said Manitoba Regional Chief Katherine
Whitecloud. "As leaders, our own hopes are bolstered by those youth who roll
up their sleeves and say 'if you give us a chance, we know we can change this
bleak picture.'"
    The Assembly of First Nations hosted the first National Youth Summit in
1997. As a result of this work, successful initiatives like the Action Plan
for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the Young Eagles HIV/AIDS Peer Training Program,
and the Cultural-Economic-Political and Social Youth Leadership Curriculum
(CEPS) emerged.

    The AFN National Youth Council membership consists of a total of 20
youth, 1 male and 1 female from each of the ten regions in Canada.
    The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Karyn Pugliese, Heath Communications, (613)
241-6789 ext 210, cell (613) 292-1877,; Nancy Pine,
Communications Advisor - Office of the National Chief, (613) 241-6789 ext 243,
cell (613) 298-6382,

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