On January 24, 2012 the Crown-First Nation Gathering took place in Ottawa with over 170 Chiefs meeting with the Governor General, Prime Minister and 12 Cabinet members.
As noted, the Crown-First Nation Gathering was an important first step in renewing the relationship between First Nations and the Crown, but it is only a first step. We made it clear that First Nation solutions are needed to achieve meaningful change based on our rights and responsibilities. Canada recognized that building stronger First Nations and a stronger Canada requires us to reinvigorate the original relationships that were based on mutual recognition, sharing and trust. We also have a commitment to act on key priorities guided by recognition and implementation of First Nations rights.
The role of the Assembly of First Nations will be to continue to facilitate this dialogue and to help create the space and momentum so that every First Nation can decide on appropriate and effective next steps. There are specific areas of immediate follow-up that can be coordinated at the national level as set out below. In addition, there is much related work and effort that can play an important role.
But most importantly, it is the work happening by First Nations, Treaty groups and regions that is central and required to drive the change needed. First Nations have the solutions and we must be dedicated to driving every next step in this work. We will work to confirm options for a National Forum or series of Forums, in the coming weeks to pull together all aspects of follow-up.
Our role at the national level is to facilitate and support this change. There are no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches. There are broad areas of effort immediately required and we can support coordinated approaches while looking to regions to set out their plans and priorities for next steps. We also acknowledge that the rate and pace of change and approach will be unique in different regions. We can facilitate an overall approach that maximizes this opportunity while respecting the autonomy and diversity of our Nations. This is both an opportunity and a requirement to ensure we achieve change now.
Multimedia – Video
- Crown-First Nations Gathering – January 24, 2012 (Archived Video)
- PM addresses First Nations (CBC Video)
- Atleo addresses gathering (CBC Video)
- Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada
- National Chief’s Opening Remarks – Re-setting Our Relationship – Achieving Real Change
- National Chief’s Closing Remarks
- CFNG Speaking Notes by BC Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould
- CFNG Speaking Notes by Chief Ovide Mercredi
- CFNG Speaking Notes by Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come
- BCAFN Proposed Solutions/Desired Outcomes
- Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Submission to Prime Minister Stephen Harper
- A Submission to the Crown by Chief George Kemp – A Realistic and Logical Plan of Social and Economic Development for Remote and Northern First Nations Communities