OTTAWA, Oct. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National
Chief Phil Fontaine and Kathleen McHugh, Chair of the AFN Women's Council, say
Woman's History Month is a time to honour the accomplishments of First Nations
women and the central role they play in their families and communities.
Education is one area where First Nations women continue to see success.
According to the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS),
First Nations women are twice as likely to complete a university degree
compared to First Nations men.
"Education is key to our health and well-being as a people," continues
National Chief Phil Fontaine. "We know that when First Nations women graduate
from university, they are more likely to be employed, break the cycle of
poverty and become role models for our youth. We need to celebrate their
success, because their success impacts the whole community in a very positive
"Women - both traditionally and today - play a powerful role in our
communities," said the Chair of the AFN Women's Council, Kathleen McHugh.
"There are about 100 First Nations women who are chiefs and many more are
leaders in our communities who are defending the rights and equality of all
First Nations women."
Last February, female chiefs and councilors held a historic gathering and
issued a strong declaration recommending actions on priority issues such as
poverty, matrimonial real property and the role of women in creating
sustainable communities. The declaration was later tabled at the first
National Aboriginal Women's Summit hosted by Newfoundland and Labrador Premier
Danny Williams last June.
October 5th was declared First Nations Women's Day following a resolution
at the AFN's Annual General Assembly in July 2005 to build public awareness
about issues that have an impact on First Nations women.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.
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