GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today congratulated First Nation Chiefs from across Canada who passed a resolution at the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly to "lead by example" and re-affirm their commitment to maintaining transparent and accountable decision-making structures in their communities, including clear and timely access to audits and public accounts; itemizing and publicly disclosing salaries, honoraria and expenses and ensuring information about community finances and decision-making are easily accessible and available via the internet where applicable.
"I applaud the Chiefs who demonstrated that, despite unfounded and alarmist attacks by our critics, First Nations fully believe in accountability and transparency and are dealing with this issue head-on," said AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo. "Chiefs spoke passionately today about the many efforts and initiatives across the country that provide full accountability and transparency for their people. I know myself that Chiefs have a multitude of roles and responsibilities and work hard. We stand strong and united to say that First Nations are not only not afraid of change and transparency - we are blazing the trail forward."
Auditor General of Canada Sheila Fraser also joined the Assembly today. She stated that "First Nations citizens have waited far too long to have a level of services that other Canadians receive every day and take for granted." She urged the federal government to find new ways to work with First Nations.
"First Nations fully support the call for partnership with Canada as the path to progress," stated the National Chief. "This is consistent with the principles and articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which Canada endorsed last month. The AFN initiated work on accountability with the Auditor General, Treasury Board Secretariat and Indian and Northern Affairs - an initiative terminated by the federal government in 2006. First Nations are doing their part and we call on Canada to work with us on a new, better approach to accountability."
The AFN Special Chiefs Assembly continues in Gatineau, Quebec through Wednesday and Thursday. An agenda and resolutions - including the Accountability resolution - can be found on the AFN website at:
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations in Canada.
For further information: For further information:
Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
Cell: 613-292-0857 or [email protected]
Jenna Young, Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
Cell: 613-314-8157 or [email protected]