National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo offers condolences on the passing of
Bertha Allen

OTTAWA, May 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Today National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo offered the following statement on the passing of social activist Bertha Allen:

"The passing of Bertha Allen is a great loss for her family, friends, and community. Bertha was widely respected for her leadership and work with grassroots women. In particular, her work as a founder of the Native Women's Association of the Northwest Territories and as a past President of the Native Women's Association of Canada widely inspired our people. On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations and our Executive I offer sincere condolences to the Allen family, to Bertha's colleagues and to her community at the sad loss of a great friend, activist and leader."

A member of the Gwich'in First Nation, Bertha Allen gained national respect for her work in advancing social change on behalf of Aboriginal and northern women. Ms. Allen once served as a President of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women of the Northwest Territories. In the late 1970s she founded the Native Women's Association of the NWT and became its first president. She was later elected as president of the Native Women's Association of Canada. Ms. Allen also worked on the NWT Constitutional Committee, served on the National Aboriginal Advisory Committee to the RCMP Commissioner, the NWT Judicial Appointments Committee, and the Multicultural Advisory Committee to the RCMP. Ms. Allen received the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. In 2007, she was named to the Order of Canada, and last year Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean awarded Allen the Northern Medal for her leadership in support of equality for aboriginal and northern women.

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

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: For further information: Karyn Pugliese, A/Communications Director, Assembly of First Nations, Cell: (613) 292-1877 or

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