Joint Statement from AFN National Chief Bellegarde and AFN Women's Council Chair Stonefish Marking National Child Day 2016

OTTAWA, Nov. 19, 2016 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde and Chair of the AFN Women's Council Chair Denise Stonefish today issued the following statement in advance of National Child Day on November 20.

"On National Child Day, we implore all Canadians to join us in seizing an historic opportunity. Together, we can nurture the first generation of First Nations children whose childhood can be looked back on in a positive light," said AFN Women's Council Chair Denise Stonefish. "Decades ago, the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child were adopted in Canada. Yet as evidenced by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling on First Nations child welfare, Canada is still not adhering to the human rights obligations these documents prescribe. Promoting and safeguarding the rights of our children is not only morally and ethically obligatory, it's the law."

AFN National Chief Bellegarde stated: "It's time for First Nations children to grow up healthy, respected, and without discrimination. We must commit ourselves as individuals and as a nation to ensuring that no further generation is left behind. Let's look upon the faces of this, the fastest growing segment of this country's population, and acknowledge the incredible potential this next generation offers us."

In 1954, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that all countries institute in a Universal Children's Day to be marked annually on November 20. Canada created national "Child Day" by an act of Parliament in 1993.

The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.


SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

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