News

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde to Advise on NAFTA Negotiations to Ensure a Strong Voice for First Nations

on August 3, 2017

August 2, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde will participate on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Council to ensure a strong voice for First Nations rights, title, and jurisdiction during the upcoming international negotiations to “modernize” the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“I will participate to represent First Nations interests,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “This is the first time an AFN National Chief has been asked by Canada to participate in international trade agreements. It is essential that we be heard and represented. Any agreement must recognize our rights, title, and jurisdiction. Our involvement will ensure any outcomes are best for First Nations and best for the entire country.”

The NAFTA Council announced today is to advise Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland directly throughout the NAFTA negotiations. National Chief Bellegarde was approached to participate last week and in a letter sent to Minister Freeland August 1, 2017, expressed interest on the condition that his participation is in no way construed as diminishing the international, constitutional and other responsibilities of the Crown in relation to First Nations.

The Council’s first meeting will likely take place sometime in August and there will be opportunities to provide advice before and after each round of negotiations. Canada, Mexico and the USA will each host a round before the end of the year, with negotiations expected to go on into 2019.

AFN Resolution #36 /2017, First Nations Trade Relations, passed at the AFN’s Annual General Assembly last week, directs the AFN to advocate for First Nations participation in trade initiatives and existing trade mechanisms on the basis of the recognition of First Nations inherent and Treaty rights affirmed and protected under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, international law and First Nations inherent right to trade with, and between, nations in North America and globally.

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

―30―

For more information, please contact:

Jamie Monastyrski
Press Secretary – National Chief’s Office
613-241-6789 ext. 222
343-540-6179 (cell)
jamiem@afn.ca

Alain Garon
Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857 (cell)
agaron@afn.ca

Michael Hutchinson
Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 254
613-299-6330 (cell)
mhutchinson@afn.ca

read more
Roy WhiteduckAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde to Advise on NAFTA Negotiations to Ensure a Strong Voice for First Nations

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Announces Major Changes Giving First Nations Greater Financial Control

on July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017

(Regina, SK) – As First Nations leaders, Elders, women and youth from across Canada gathered in Regina, SK today for the opening of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Annual General Assembly, AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde and federal Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, announced First Nations will have more control of financial resources from one year to the next.

“The changes we’re announcing today are important first steps in building stronger First Nations, better communities for our families and a stronger economy for all Canadians,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “First Nations will soon be able to carry forward funds from year to year, which means they will have more flexibility and independence to plan better and spend better for better results. Second, we are going to work together on a new approach to funding essential services for First Nations – like fire and emergency services, potable drinking water. The current policy is inadequate, outdated and inequitable. Our goal is ensuring First Nations governments can provide these services for their people based on the real needs of our communities and families. The changes we’re announcing today benefit First Nations and all Canadians and show the value of working together to find solutions.”

The announcement was made today at the AFN’s Annual General Assembly in Regina, SK. The changes to the are the result of changes put forward through the Canada-First Nations New Fiscal Relations Working Group, established under the AFN-INAC Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a new fiscal relationship.

“These new changes simply make sense. These are the first steps in our Fiscal Relations work and I am encouraged that it is already benefitting our people and governments. We have momentum for real progress and change,” said National Chief Bellegarde.

The first change announced today allows First Nations to carry over funding from year to year. Often, First Nations had to return funds not because they weren’t needed but because there was not enough time to spend them properly. The problem is compounded by the fact that First Nations often receive funds late in the fiscal year, increasing the pressure to spend. The change announced today reduces these problems and will also increase the certainty of resources for multi-year programs and projects. This change will take effect in the new fiscal year beginning April 1, 2018.

The second change announced today deals with the federal government’s Operations and Maintenance funding policy. Under the policy, the federal government funds only a portion of the estimated costs of essential government services like emergency services or potable drinking water and First Nations are expected to fund the remaining portion. Many First Nations are already under-funded and cannot cover these costs so these essential services cannot be provided. This can cause critical problems in far too many communities.

The Canada-First Nations New Fiscal Relations Working Group will work on a new approach to ensure all First Nations can provide these services and provide options in a joint report to be presented in December 2017. This is part of the work to identify options and opportunities for new fiscal relations between Canada and First Nations that are appropriate to a government-to-government relationship.

The AFN Annual General Assembly continues in Regina, SK from July 25 – 27 and is being webcast live on the AFN website at www.afn.ca.

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

―30―

 

For more information, please contact:

Jamie Monastyrski
Press Secretary – National Chief’s Office
613-241-6789 ext. 222
343-540-6179 (cell)
jamiem@afn.ca

Alain Garon
Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857 (cell)
agaron@afn.ca

Michael Hutchinson
Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 254
613-299-6330 (cell)
mhutchinson@afn.ca

read more
Roy WhiteduckAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Announces Major Changes Giving First Nations Greater Financial Control

Hello world!

on February 1, 2017

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

read more
jordyHello world!

The beauty of the world.

on March 14, 2014

I did not answer, but instead reached to my side and pressed the little fingers of her I loved where they clung to me for support, and then, in unbroken silence, we sped over the yellow, moonlit moss; each of us occupied with his own thoughts. For my part I could not be other than joyful had I tried, with Dejah Thoris‘ warm body pressed close to mine, and with all our unpassed danger my heart was singing as gaily as though we were already entering the gates of Helium.

read more
jordyThe beauty of the world.

National Chief Perry Bellegarde Says Access to Clean Drinking Water a Basic Human Right

on March 14, 2014

I did not answer, but instead reached to my side and pressed the little fingers of her I loved where they clung to me for support, and then, in unbroken silence, we sped over the yellow, moonlit moss; each of us occupied with his own thoughts. For my part I could not be other than joyful had I tried, with Dejah Thoris‘ warm body pressed close to mine, and with all our unpassed danger my heart was singing as gaily as though we were already entering the gates of Helium.

read more
jordyNational Chief Perry Bellegarde Says Access to Clean Drinking Water a Basic Human Right

Coffee is a language in itself.

on February 14, 2014

Now, mustering the spare poles from below, and selecting one of hickory, with the bark still investing it, Ahab fitted the end to the socket of the iron. A coil of new tow-line was then unwound, and some fathoms of it taken to the windlass, and stretched to a great tension. Pressing his foot upon it, till the rope hummed like a harp-string, then eagerly bending over it, and seeing no strandings, Ahab exclaimed, “Good! and now for the seizings.

read more
jordyCoffee is a language in itself.

Good design is really good business.

on January 31, 2014

Articles no less passionate than logical appeared on the question, for geography is one of the pet subjects of the English; and the columns devoted to Phileas Fogg’s venture were eagerly devoured by all classes of readers. At first some rash individuals, principally of the gentler sex, espoused his cause, which became still more popular when the Illustrated London News came out with his portrait, copied from a photograph in the Reform Club. A few readers of the Daily Telegraph even dared to say, “Why not, after all? Stranger things have come to pass.

read more
jordyGood design is really good business.

Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?

on January 2, 2014

It was a cheerful prospect. I asked Perry what he thought about it; but he only shrugged his shoulders and continued a longwinded prayer he had been at for some time. He was wont to say that the only redeeming feature of our captivity was the ample time it gave him for the improvisation of prayers—it was becoming an obsession with him. The Sagoths had begun to take notice of his habit of declaiming throughout entire marches. One of them asked him what he was saying—to whom he was talking. The question gave me an idea, so I answered quickly before Perry could say anything.

read more
jordyDo Lipton employees take coffee breaks?

Sounds better when it’s vinyl.

on January 1, 2014

I did not answer, but instead reached to my side and pressed the little fingers of her I loved where they clung to me for support, and then, in unbroken silence, we sped over the yellow, moonlit moss; each of us occupied with his own thoughts. For my part I could not be other than joyful had I tried, with Dejah Thoris‘ warm body pressed close to mine, and with all our unpassed danger my heart was singing as gaily as though we were already entering the gates of Helium.

read more
jordySounds better when it’s vinyl.
Assembly of First Nations
    ×