November 20, 2013
(Ottawa, ON) – While hundreds of First Nations young people gather for a National Youth Summit taking place in Saskatoon this week, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, together with the national executive and AFN Youth Council recognizes National Child Day, continuing calls for rights recognition and implementation for the fastest growing segment of the population.
“I’ve had the honour to be part of the AFN National Youth Summit this week, hearing from young leaders across this country – their priorities, their needs and their desire to act now for change,” said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. “It is the energy of the young people that we must harness to drive change for all of us in this country. It is this energy that we must all learn from and emulate. It is this energy that must urge action across all priorities to ensure the young people have every opportunity they need and deserve to succeed. We must agree as a society that our kids deserve and need better, and we must support and empower their voices to take action to give life to their rights.”
National Child Day is celebrated in Canada November 20 in recognition of the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It commemorates Canada’s adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which sets out basic human rights for children and youth.
“It is also important today to remember that First Nations continue to be forced in front of Tribunals and courts to seek justice for our kids and for our families,” said National Chief Atleo referencing the ongoing hearings before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal brought forward by AFN and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society regarding discrimination against First Nations children in care. “With the appropriate supports, including fair and equitable child and family services and supports, First Nations controlled and culturally relevant education, our young people can and will reach their full potential. We cannot and will not accept anything less for our today and our future.”
For more information on National Child Day visit http://www.unicef.ca/en/take-action/article/celebrate-national-child-day-2013.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.
Jenna Young AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401; 613-314-8157 or [email protected]
Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or [email protected]