National Chief Acknowledges Final Report by Working Group on Natural Resource Development

OTTAWA, March 3, 2015 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde today acknowledged the final report by the Working Group on Natural Resources Development, Advancing Positive, Impactful Change.  The report was publicly released today by members of the Working Group.

"I thank the members of the Working Group on Natural Resource Development for their work and the time they put into this report," said National Chief Bellegarde, who is in Geneva, Switzerland, participating in the twenty-eighth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.  "This is an issue that is critical to First Nations and all Canadians and any movement forward must respect and recognize First Nations rights and title.  First Nations need to be involved in resource development during all phases. We bring the added element of ensuring the protection of lands and waters.  Sustainable economic development is what we want. I encourage First Nations to review the report and consider next steps consistent with our right to self-determination.  I look forward to continuing the conversation and dialogue around the issues raised in this report including the implications for rights and title."

The Working Group was established in December 2013.  The members met on many occasions to discuss their mandate, review recent key studies on First Nations and resource development, and convened discussion sessions with business and First Nations leaders.  Based on this information-gathering phase, they identified four key thematic areas addressed in the report: governance, prosperity, environment, and finance.  The report Advancing Positive, Impactful Change includes observations and recommendations in all four thematic areas and sets out a series of recommendations for immediate action.

A link to the report is on the AFN website at

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


SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: Don Kelly, AFN Communications Director (613) 292-2787 or; Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or; Jenna Young Castro AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401; 613-314-8157 or

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