First Ministers agree to better process for progress on First Nations issues

    OTTAWA, Aug. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Newly elected National Chief Shawn Atleo
forged an important consensus among First Ministers at a meeting of the
Council of Federation yesterday. Atleo was attending the Council of the
Federation meeting in Regina along with Premiers from all Provinces and
Territories and representatives from other National Aboriginal Organizations.
National Chief Atleo brought forward specific recommendations and encouraged
all Premiers to take important steps to demonstrate leadership, commitment and
solid outcomes.
    This meeting represents the sixth consecutive time that the Assembly of
First Nations (AFN) has participated in the Council of the Federation.
National Chief Atleo encouraged the Premiers to take this engagement further
and to commit to a process to develop interests, sustain and track progress in
between meetings.
    National Chief Atleo encouraged every jurisdiction to work cooperatively
to address the long list of outstanding interjurisdictional issues including
H1N1, funding social programs and lands and resources issues.
    According to National Chief Atleo, "In order to look forward we must
ensure that we all shoulder the collective responsibility, bring forward the
required leadership, investment and accountability to all of the people of
Canada. We are all Treaty people and we all share in this land. We must
dedicate ourselves to the clear processes and outcomes that enable us to
fulfill this important role and function as the Canadian federation."
    At the conclusion of meeting, on behalf of the Council of the Federation,
Premier Wall announced the formation of an Aboriginal Affairs Ministers
Working Group to begin working immediately to develop issues and interests
towards a proposed First Ministers Meeting in November 2010. This commitment
represents significant agreement with a principal recommendation brought
forward by the Assembly of First Nations.
    National Chief Atleo expressed his appreciation for this support and
commitment to ensure that this process is efficiently designed and effectively
executed to maximize outcomes for every First Nation across Canada. "We will
begin a concerted effort to fully engage all of our people and all of our
communities in this important opportunity. We must and we will lead this
effort ensuring that our Treaties and agreements are fully implemented and our
governments respected and supported. As I have said, I believe this is our
time, a time for Indigenous peoples to come together in recognition and
respect to lead the change needed for all people to live sustainably and in
harmony. Today's meeting gives me added hope and optimism that we are on the
right track."

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

For further information:

For further information: During this transitional period media enquiries
should be directed to; Robert Simpson, (778) 991-1407;  Chantelle
Krish, (778) 990-9544

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