News

The Assembly of First Nations Knowledge Keepers Council supports the rights of Mi’kmaq people to assert their Treaty Right to Fish within their Territory

on December 1, 2020

October 22, 2020

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Knowledge Keepers are sending their support to the Mi’kmaq people who are exercising their right to fish and earn a modest living as supported by the Peace and Friendship Treaties from 1752 and 176061, the Royal Proclamation of 1763, s.35 of Canada’s Constitution, and by the 1999 Supreme Court of Canada Decision in R. vs. Marshall.

The current challenges they are facing from the local communities and the surrounding non-Native fishers shows not only a lack of understanding of Treaty rights, but that the escalating violence is racially motivated. The acts of these non-Native fishers to intimidate and deny access to the Mi’kmaq fishers is fundamentally wrong and must be stopped.

The acts of protest and intimidation against the Mi’kmaq men and women are clearly based on racial discrimination. Fishing has always been a way of life, a part of the Mi’kmaq people’s culture, identity and economy, and has been for generations. To call such attention and enact such violence to this practice now is shameful and ignorant.

The Mi’kmaq are simply asking Canada to honour their inherent and Treaty rights and the decisions of Canada’s own courts to continue with their right to Fish. Why are they being denied? This right has all been clearly outlined and confirmed by the 1999 Marshall decision by the Supreme Court of Canada. It should not be questioned. The Canadian government has a duty to act in support of the fishers.

Why are the Mi’kmaq being deprived of the opportunity to exercise their rights? This issue must be addressed immediately to ensure that First Nations people have the means to provide for their families and continue the fall lobster harvest.

The Fishermen and women fish with their families. The violence that the demonstrators are enacting against the Mi’kmaq is nothing short of assault and must be treated as such. They have destroyed Mi’kmaq traps and boats; this cannot be tolerated. The verbal intimidations and violent activities are clearly racially motivated. These actions are disgraceful and must be stopped immediately.

The Treaties must be respected. At present, the Mi’kmaq People are not safe in their own homes and on their own territory. Law enforcement needs to be proactive in protecting everyone and not just those who they deem deserving of protection. People are in danger. Why is Canada looking the other way and not stopping these acts of violence? The lack of response from the RCMP is very telling.

We will continue to support the Mi’kmaq until the proper action is taken to ensure the safety of their people and their Treaty rights. We demand that the federal government uphold and honour all Treaty relationships with First Nations in Canada. Know that the eyes of all Indigenous peoples are on you, Canada.

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Sid LeeThe Assembly of First Nations Knowledge Keepers Council supports the rights of Mi’kmaq people to assert their Treaty Right to Fish within their Territory

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde says Canada’s fall economic statement is a strong plan for post-pandemic recovery

on November 30, 2020

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde released this statement today following the release of the Government of Canada’s Fall Economic Statement by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland:

“Canada’s Fall Economic Statement signals a strong plan for post-pandemic recovery and increased supports for First Nations. Today’s fiscal outlook shows that while we still have a long path to a full recovery, Deputy Prime Minister Freeland has taken important economic decisions to ensure that the lives of First Nations are not going to be impacted long-term.”

“The significant investment in implementing the Calls to Justice from the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and girls are the highlight for First Nations. The steps on infrastructure will help with the economic recovery for First Nations across the country and ensure that we move closer towards closing the infrastructure gap.

I’m also excited to see the construction of a mercury treatment centre for Asubpeeschoseewagong and Wabaseemoong First Nations, which is essential to addressing the crisis brought on from mercury poisoning in those communities. I look forward to further investments in First Nations’ priorities in the 2020/21 federal budget.”

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

For more information please contact:

Karen Joyner
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-292-0857 (cell)
[email protected]

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Sid LeeAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde says Canada’s fall economic statement is a strong plan for post-pandemic recovery

National Chief Bulletin – Update on federal engagement for a Bill to advance implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

on November 16, 2020

SUMMARY

  • In early October, the federal Department of Justice (DoJ) initiated an engagement process respecting a proposed federal Bill to advance implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration).
  • The focus of federal engagement with First Nations has been on a draft bill closely based on former private member’s Bill C-262 (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act), with a few technical amendments. (See Attachments 1-English and 2-French)
  • On September 23, 2020 a briefing package was provided to the AFN Executive flagging that the launch of federal engagement with First Nations organizations was imminent. The federal engagement process has been extended into November.
  • On November 12, 2020, DoJ hosted an ‘Ad Hoc Table of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers and Indigenous Leaders on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’. I attended this meeting, along with several First Nations leaders, federal-provincial-territorial representatives and the national leadership of ITK and MNC.
  • DoJ’s consultative draft bill may be amended following conclusion of the engagement process in preparation for tabling a Bill before the end of 2020.

 

BACKGROUND:

  • In 2007, following more than 25 years of global advocacy by First Nations and other Indigenous peoples, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Since then, the UNGA has reaffirmed the Declaration at least eleven times.
  • Chiefs-in-Assembly ratified the Declaration by Resolution 37/2007; committed to its full implementation; welcomed the support of the Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Quebecois and demanded that the Government of Canada commit to implement the Declaration in full cooperation with Indigenous peoples.
  • In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), issued its final report and called on federal, provincial and municipal governments to adopt and implement the Declaration. By Resolution, Chiefs-in-Assembly supported the full implementation of all the TRC Calls to Action.
  • In 2017, Chiefs-in-Assembly passed Resolution 97-2017 calling on all federal parliamentarians to support Bill C-262 (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act). This Bill was sponsored by then NDP MP, Romeo Saganash.
  • In its final report, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls called for the full implementation of the Declaration and passage of legislation like Bill C-262.
  • In 2018, Bill C-262 was passed by the House of Commons. However, in June of that year, it failed to pass in the Senate of Canada. This was due to a Conservative filibuster preventing it from moving to third reading and passage.
  • Following this, Chiefs-in-Assembly passed Resolution 86/2019 (Federal Legislation to create a Framework for Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples). This resolution calls for: 1) a collaborative process to introduce legislation to implement the Declaration as government legislation by the end of 2020; 2) ensuring such legislation fully respects the Declaration; and 3) establishes the content of Bill C-262 as the floor rather than the ceiling.
  • In 2019, First Nations in B.C. and the Government of British Columbia worked together to see Bill 41, Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act passed unanimously.
  • In both the 2019, and the 2020, Speech from the Throne, the Liberal government committed to introduce federal legislation by the end of 2020. It has also publicly committed on several occasions to ensuring that a government bill will be at least as strong as Bill C-262 (Bill C-262 must be “the floor” of any government bill.
  • AFN Executive Committee Motion 2019-12 called for the creation of a Legal Team to engage with the DoJ on the federal UN Declaration Legislation initiative. The AFN Legal Team has engaged with DoJ lawyers under Non-Disclosure Agreements and Confidentiality Undertakings.
  • As National Chief, I have advocated for introduction of a Bill at least as strong as former Private Member’s Bill C-262 and the passage of such a Bill to Royal Assent as quickly as possible.

 

CURRENT STATUS:

  • Towards, implementing Resolution 86-2019, I have secured the support of the federal Liberal Party, the NDP, the Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party for the objective stated in AFN Resolution 86-2019 – a government bill that is at least as strong as Bill C-262 and tabled before the end of 2020.
  • In late September 2020, the DoJ launched an engagement process primarily focused on Indigenous peoples. The focus of engagement with First Nations has been on a federal consultative draft (Attachments 1-English and 2-French) reflecting the content of former private member’s Bill C-262. There are a few technical amendments. DoJ has confirmed that the purpose of the federal engagement with First Nations is to consider enhancements to strengthen the content which follows closely that of Bill C-262.
  • DoJ has engaged with provinces/territories and held roundtables with some industry stakeholders, to raise awareness and education on the Declaration and its implementation.
  • On November 12, 2020, the federal government held a federal-provincial-territorial ministerial level meeting with national and First Nations leadership as an opportunity to share perspectives on this initiative. This meeting allowed a frank exchange of views but did not involve any negotiations.
  • The AFN regularly requests that the DoJ proactively provide information on their engagement process. There have been some challenges in receiving information in a timely manner. Information on engagements held to date are attached in Attachment 3.
  • The AFN has been involved in the engagement process as a national organization. AFN lawyers have engaged with DoJ and CIRNA officials to ensure they understand technical aspects of the Declaration and its current legal effect; and to suggest options for enhancing the consultative draft. The AFN has told the federal government to keep its focus on engagement with First Nations in accordance with the Declaration, rather than provinces, territories or industry. The federal government has indicated that the purpose of its engagement is to enhance or strengthen the consultative draft through input from Indigenous peoples.
  • Additional background about this initiative is available on the AFN Website at https://www.afn.ca/policy-sectors/implementing-the-united-nations-declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples/

 

NEXT STEPS:

  • In response to First Nations advocacy, the federal government has repeatedly affirmed a commitment to table a government bill by the end of 2020, that is at least as strong as former Bill C-262.
  • DoJ’s consultative draft may change following conclusion of the engagement process in preparation for tabling a Bill before the end of 2020.
  • Once a Bill is tabled, the AFN will analyze its content measured against Chiefs-in-Assembly Resolutions and will share updates with First Nations.
  • Once in Parliament, it would be referred to a Parliamentary Committee for study.
  • There would be several challenges ahead:
  • The Official Opposition (the Conservative Party of Canada) is likely not to be supportive of the legislation. As it has been the only federal party opposed. The Conservatives and again may resort to filibuster techniques as they did with Bill C-262
  • The federal Parliamentary process is still hampered somewhat by COVID-19 restrictions and therefore, is slower
  • Some Provinces will likely continue to try to influence the federal government to weaken the language of a Bill
  • Time – the ever-shortening Parliamentary window to get a Bill tabled, then passed by the House of Commons and the Senate before June 2021 (if the minority Liberal government survives that long).

 

ATTACHMENTS:

1) Federal Consultative Draft-English
2) Federal Consultative Draft-French
3) UN Declaration Regional Engagement Meetings To-Date
4) National Chief Statement at Ad Hoc Table of FPTI Leaders on the UN Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

5) DoJ Final Engagement Deck-English
6) DoJ Final Engagement Deck-French

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Celso CercadoNational Chief Bulletin – Update on federal engagement for a Bill to advance implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

AFN National Chief Bellegarde welcomes emergency COVID funding for First Nations Early Learning and Child Care

on October 30, 2020

(Ottawa, ON) – National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) welcomes Canada’s announcement of emergency funding for Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s announcement committed to investing approximately $70 million over the 2020-21 fiscal year to support First Nations ELCC providers to safely reopen and deliver programs and services for First Nations children and families during the pandemic.

“Today’s announcement acknowledges the important role that First Nations early learning and child care programs play in developing happy and healthy First Nations children. The pandemic has exacerbated systemic disadvantages for First Nations, making these programs that support our children’s wellbeing more important than ever. COVID-19 has complicated how programs are delivered, but the safety of the providers and participants has continued to be a top priority,” National Chief Bellegarde said. “This funding will help First Nations early learning and child care service providers adjust to the realities of COVID-19 and continue to deliver these important programs in a safe way.”

Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart holds the Social Development portfolio at the AFN and says that the funding not only will help First Nations ELCC programs reopen safely when they are ready, but also recognizes the work they have done throughout the pandemic.

“We want to lift up the staff and management at our First Nations early learning and child care programs. They have done amazing work supporting our children and families during the pandemic,” Regional Chief Hart said. “This investment is a good first step to ensure that this work is recognized and can operate safely as many of our communities move into the second wave of this pandemic. I will continue to monitor the situation and advocate for more investments where they are needed to ensure the continued safety of our children and families.”

This investment comes in addition to the September 2020 Throne Speech, in which the federal government committed to creating a Canada-wide early learning and child care system.

“I will continue to speak up for the needs of First Nations children, families and early learning and child care providers, particularly as Canada moves to create a national early learning and child care system,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “We must ensure that First Nations are properly supported in a new national system for early learning and child care, and further that the distinct needs and priorities of First Nations are respected in this, which is especially important in the context of COVID-19.”

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

For more information please contact:

Michael Hutchinson
Interim Communications Director
Assembly of First Nations
613-859-6831 (cell)
[email protected]

Karen Joyner
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-292-0857 (cell)
[email protected]

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Celso CercadoAFN National Chief Bellegarde welcomes emergency COVID funding for First Nations Early Learning and Child Care

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Calls for the Removal of RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki

on October 23, 2020

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde released this statement today calling for the removal of RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki:

“Given months of civil unrest and multiple issues relating to the safety of First Nations people across the country, I will be writing to Prime Minister Trudeau to express that we have lost confidence in Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Brenda Lucki. The safety and security of all Canadians, including First Nations people, must be the top priority of the Prime Minister and the federal government. I am asking the Prime Minister to remove Commissioner Lucki and to replace her with someone who will focus greater attention on public safety and combating racism.”

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

For more information please contact:

Michael Hutchinson
Interim Communications Director
Assembly of First Nations
613-859-6831 (cell)
[email protected]

Karen Joyner
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-292-0857 (cell)
[email protected]

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Celso CercadoAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Calls for the Removal of RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki

AFN National Chief Bellegarde Encouraged by Meeting, But Needs To See Action On Addressing Racism Within The Healthcare System

on October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

(Ottawa, ON) – Having attended today’s emergency meeting on racism in Canada’s healthcare system, National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) said that the tragic death of Joyce Echaquan must lead to positive systemic change.

“We are horrified by the passing of Joyce Echaquan. The circumstances surrounding her death clearly demonstrate racism in health care settings,” National Chief Perry Bellegarde said.  “Systemic racism must be addressed, condemned, and eradicated. There should be zero tolerance within any public institution, especially one as vital as health care.

“Together, we can determine solutions that will ease the painful outcomes that Indigenous Peoples encounter from appalling health care experiences. The tragedy of Mrs. Echaquan’s death must motivate governments to change the course of systemic racism in health care. My thoughts are with her children, her partner, and the entire Atikamekw community.”

National Chief Perry Bellegarde calls on all governments to implement the following recommendations:

  1. Work directly with First Nations to ensure that Indigenous Peoples feel safe accessing health care services.
  2. Quebec needs to work with First Nations to fully implement the Viens Commission Report’s recommendations.
  3. Canada must conduct an immediate review of the Canada Health Transfers and the Canada Health Act, to ensure quality health care is being provided to Indigenous Peoples.
  4. The federal, provincial, and territorial governments must listen to Indigenous Peoples on the need for a healthcare Ombudsperson.
  5. The Provinces and Territories must work with educational institutions to ensure a more expansive curriculum for all health care providers.

National Chief Bellegarde thanks Minister Marc Miller for coordinating this important meeting.

 

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

 

―30―

For more information please contact:

Michael Hutchinson
Interim Communications Director
Assembly of First Nations
613-859-6831 (cell)
[email protected]

Karen Joyner
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-292-0857 (cell)
[email protected]

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Roy WhiteduckAFN National Chief Bellegarde Encouraged by Meeting, But Needs To See Action On Addressing Racism Within The Healthcare System

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde on the lobster conflict

on October 14, 2020

(Ottawa, ON) – “This conflict has been steadily escalating for more than a month. It is time for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the federal government, and the provincial government to intervene before someone gets badly injured or, possibly, killed.  This has never been a commercial disagreement, and the actions of non-Indigenous fishers are meant to harass and intimidate the First Nations with whom they share the waters and the resources within them.

“The Supreme Court of Canada made it amply clear in its Marshall decision that Indigenous peoples have a right to fish those waters, and First Nations should not be bullied off the water in this thuggish manner.  We expect the federal government to ensure the safety of everyone in Canada and to bring to justice to anyone who threatens violence or deprives others of their rights to food and a modest income.”

“Continued inaction by the police, and the unwillingness of the federal government to intervene directly in this dispute, only serves to increase the risk of racial violence and damage to these communities, which could last for generations.  Justice must be served, and this intimidation must end.”

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

For more information please contact:

Michael Hutchinson
Interim Communications Director
Assembly of First Nations
613-859-6831 (cell)
[email protected]

Karen Joyner
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-292-0857 (cell)
[email protected]

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Celso CercadoAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde on the lobster conflict

AFN Women’s Council Call For Immediate Action To End Violence Against Indigenous Women And Girls

on October 2, 2020

(Ottawa, ON) – On Sunday, vigils in honour of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) will take place across the country. These annual vigils raise public awareness and consciousness on the ongoing issue of MMIWG and helps healing for families who have lost their loved ones to violence.

This year has been difficult for many, and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “This year, Eishia Hudson and Chantel Moore were both shot and killed by police. Barbara Kentner’s killer had his charges reduced from second degree murder to manslaughter,” says Chief Constance Big Eagle, Chair of the AFN’s Women’s Council. “How many more women need to die until Canada recognizes that something needs to be done and this can’t be put on the backburner any longer?”

The vigils are being organized at a time when First Nations mourn the recent and tragic death of Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old Atikamekw mother of seven, who died at the hands of deplorable behaviour and blatant systemic racism in the Quebec heath care system.

“This past week, the death of Joyce Echaquan received national attention after being verbally assaulted by nurses because she was First Nations. The abhorrent words and contempt shown to a dying mom was tragic and hurtful for everyone who watched the video online,” says Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald, who holds the Women’s Council portfolio. “I strongly support the Calls for Justice and call on both levels of government to develop a strong joint action plan with First Nations and BIPOC to end to systemic racism in Canada.”

Call for Justice 3.1 from the National Inquiry into MMIWG calls for all governments to “ensure that the rights to health and wellness of Indigenous Peoples, and specifically of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, are recognized and protected on an equitable basis.”

The Government of Canada has committed to the development of a National Action Plan to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA. The recent and tragic incidences of violence and systematic racism targeting First Nations women are just one of the many examples of why the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice need to be implemented immediately.

“On behalf of the AFN Women’s Council, our love and condolences go out to the families who have lost their loved ones this past year, and years prior. The violence, the racism and the killing of our women needs to stop,” says Chief Big Eagle.

Find the MMIWG Inquiry’s Calls for Justice here: https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Calls_for_Justice.pdf

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

For more information please contact:

Michael Hutchinson
Interim Communications Director
Assembly of First Nations
613-859-6831 (cell)
[email protected]

Karen Joyner
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-292-0857 (cell)
[email protected]

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Celso CercadoAFN Women’s Council Call For Immediate Action To End Violence Against Indigenous Women And Girls

AFN Calls for Renewal of Residential School Survivors’ Mental Health Support Program, Set to Expire End of March 2021

on September 30, 2020

(Ottawa, ON) – Today, the Assembly of First Nations released the Indian Residential School (IRS) Resolution Health Support Program Continuation Report. The report calls for the renewal of the IRS Resolution Health Support Program, due to expire on March 31, 2021, that helps thousands of Survivors and their families on their healing journeys.

“I stand with Survivors, their families, support workers and community organizations to advocate for the continuation of the Indian Residential School Resolution Health Support Program, a program that helps so many with healing,” says National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “After everything Survivors have endured, it’s important that Canada recognizes that this program is essential for their mental wellbeing.”

The report was released today to coincide with Orange Shirt Day, a day when Canadians reflect on the experiences of Residential School Survivors. The report, made with the voices of Survivors who have benefited from the program, presents evidence showing the significance of the program, and the need for it to stay.

In the first seven years of the program’s existence, almost 900,000 Survivors and families reached out for cultural and emotional support. Additionally, more than 65,000 Survivors and families participated in almost 500,000 counselling sessions across Canada.

Read the entire IRS Resolution Health Support Program Continuation Report here: http://www.afn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Indian-Residential-Schools-Resolution-Health-Support-Program-Continuation-Report-FINAL.pdf

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

For more information please contact:

Michael Hutchinson
Interim Communications Director
Assembly of First Nations
613-859-6831 (cell)
[email protected]

Karen Joyner
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-292-0857 (cell)
[email protected]

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Celso CercadoAFN Calls for Renewal of Residential School Survivors’ Mental Health Support Program, Set to Expire End of March 2021

On Orange Shirt Day, AFN National Chief Bellegarde says the healing journey of Residential School Survivors must be supported

on September 30, 2020

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde said that as Canada acknowledges Orange Shirt Day and Residential School Survivors, it must be acknowledged that the healing journeys of former students do not have a deadline and must continue to be respected and supported.

“Canada’s Residential Schools were an attempt at genocide, they had a severe negative impact on our cultures, our nations, our languages, and for reconciliation to occur, Canada must right this wrong and help the former students and our nations recover and heal from this tragic history,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “After everything Survivors have endured, it’s important that Canada recognizes that the IRS Resolution Health Support Program is essential. I stand with Survivors, their families, support workers and community organizations to advocate for the continuation of this program that helps so many with healing.”

On Orange Shirt Day, many Canadians and First Nations people wear orange as a reminder of the many First Nations children who were taken from their families and put in residential schools. Within the schools many suffered abuse and experienced the loss of their culture, language, and pride in who they are.

The day was begun by Phyllis Webstad, a young First Nations girl, who had her favourite orange shirt taken from her upon arriving at a residential school. Now she is a Survivor. The AFN honours the work Phyllis has done to have her story, and the stories of all the students of Residential Schools, heard through the creation of Orange Shirt Day

Dene National Chief and AFN Regional Chief for the Northwest Territories, Norman Yakeleya, holds the residential school file within the AFN, and said that we cannot change the past, but we can all be a part of changing the future.

“We wear orange in honour of all Indigenous people who, like Phyllis Webstad, faced senseless tragedies at residential school. Today, this colour helps us proclaim that every child matters and is deserving of safety, protection and love,” Regional Chief Yakeleya said. “I am pleased Canada is recognizing that reconciliation is a lifelong journey by introducing legislation to establish a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. I will continue advocating with survivors for further actions to meaningfully commemorate this painful chapter of our shared history, including the construction of a national monument honouring residential school victims and survivors.”

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

For more information please contact:

Michael Hutchinson
Interim Communications Director
Assembly of First Nations
613-859-6831 (cell)
[email protected]

Karen Joyner
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-292-0857 (cell)
[email protected]

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Celso CercadoOn Orange Shirt Day, AFN National Chief Bellegarde says the healing journey of Residential School Survivors must be supported