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AFN BULLETIN – August 2018

on August 15, 2018

Update on 2018 AFN Annual General Assembly And Election for National Chief

Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly and Election for National Chief – July 24 to 26, 2018

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) hosted the 39th Annual General Assembly (AGA) and election for National Chief in Vancouver, British Columbia on July 24 to 26 in the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. More than 2,400 Chiefs, Elders, youth and other delegates gathered at the AGA under the theme Working Together: Our Rights, Our Way, Our Future.

The AGA is an opportunity to provide First Nations Chiefs a forum to dialogue on fundamental issues and common interests affecting First Nations and discuss political strategy on key topics. This year, of course, was also an election year for AFN National Chief.

Each day began with a sunrise ceremony and pipe ceremony. The first day of the AGA started with an opening prayer, an address from National Chief Perry Bellegarde and AFN BC Regional Chief Terry Teegee, welcoming remarks from representatives of the three host First Nations and the Honourable Scott Fraser, B.C.’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. Procedural matters were taken care of and, as with every AGA, the AFN and NIB Trust Audited Financial Statements were presented publicly to all delegates.

This being an election year, an All Candidates Forum took place in the afternoon, chaired by the AFN Chief Electoral Officer. The five candidates were incumbent National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Manitoba Keewatinow Okimakanak Grand Chief Sheila North, Senior Advisor of Indigenous Leadership Initiative and former Haida Nation President Miles Richardson, Indigenous Policy Analyst Russ Diabo, and former AFN Manitoba Regional Chief and policy and political advisor Katherine Whitecloud.

Voting for the National Chief began on day two of the AGA with the first poll opening at 9 am, closing at noon. The first ballot was announced at 1pm. 60% of registered voters are needed to win the election. 538 votes were cast. The first ballot results were: 286 for Perry Bellegarde, 40 for Russ Diabo, 106 for Sheila North, 87 for Miles Richardson, 19 for Katherine Whitecloud. Katherine Whitecloud was removed from the ballot and addressed the delegates. A second ballot was announced as no candidate achieved 60%.

The second ballot results were announced that afternoon. 522 votes were cast, with the results:  328 for Perry Bellegarde, 10 for Russ Diabo, 125 for Sheila North, 59 for Miles Richardson. National Chief Perry Bellegarde was re-elected with 63% of the vote. Each candidate addressed the Assembly. This was followed by the Oath of Office Ceremony and a traditional ceremony for National Chief Bellegarde.

On Day 3 of the AGA, newly elected National Chief Perry Bellegarde provided his opening remarks. The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, then addressed the Chiefs and delegates.

This was followed by a powerful presentation on First Nations justice. Six Nations Chief Ava Hill spoke to issues facing First Nations in Canada’s legal system, and introduced members of the Colten Boushie family and Jon Styres family who shared their experiences in their fight for justice. They called on Chiefs-in-Assembly for continued support.

In the afternoon, delegates participated in Dialogue Sessions on Education; Dialogue on Potential Federal First Nations Health Legislation; Housing and Related Infrastructure Strategy; Co-developing a First Nations, Inuit and Métis Languages Act; Modern Treaties; and Safe Drinking Water for First Nations.

The afternoon plenary resumed with a presentation on the Day Scholars issue, followed by dialogue and discussion on resolutions. A list of the resolutions passed at the AGA is attached and the full resolutions are posted on the AFN website: http://www.afn.ca/resolutions

The entire proceedings of the AFN AGA are archived on the AFN YouTube page.

In response to a resolution from Chiefs calling for a meeting to discuss Canada’s proposed Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework, the AFN is making plans for a meeting September 11 and 12 in Gatineau, Quebec. More details and information will be provided as soon as possible.

The AFN thanks the BC Assembly of First Nations for their excellent work in hosting the AFN AGA and organizing a series of amazing social and cultural events showcasing First Nations art, music, food, fashion and culture. We thank all those who attended the AGA and appreciate your insight and guidance.

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Roy WhiteduckAFN BULLETIN – August 2018

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is an Opportunity to Act for Real Reconciliation: AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde

on August 8, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – In advance of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde is highlighting the need for all governments and all Canadians to recognize and respect First Nations rights wherever First Nations citizens reside.

“Canadian and international laws recognize the rights of First Nations, but the reality is we don’t always see this in practice,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “Respect for First Nations rights, languages and cultures is the first step in any effort toward reconciliation. On a day recognizing Indigenous peoples around the world, we remind all Canadians that our rights reside within us and stay with us regardless of where we choose to live. They must be recognized and respected for all our people living on and off their traditional territories.”

The United Nations (UN) International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is commemorated globally every August 9 and will be marked at the UN headquarters tomorrow from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. This year’s theme “Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement” will include a panel discussion on the current situation of Indigenous territories, the root causes of migration, trans-border movement and displacement, with a specific focus on Indigenous peoples living in urban areas and across international borders. The panel will also examine ways to revitalize the identities of Indigenous peoples and encourage the protection of their rights in or outside their traditional territories.

“Today, we celebrate the cultures, languages and contributions of First Nations and all Indigenous peoples,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “I encourage the Canadian Parliament to pass Bill C-262 as soon as the next session begins so that work can begin with First Nations to fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The UN Declaration sets out the minimum standard for fundamental human rights and provides a framework for reconciliation.”

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples outlines a series of rights related to the theme of the International Day, including the right to self-determination and cultural development (art. 3); the right to maintain and strengthen distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions (art. 5); the right to practice and revitalize cultural traditions and customs (art. 11); and the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders (art. 36).

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

For more information, please contact:

Jenna Young Castro
Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext. 201
613-314-8157 mobile
[email protected]

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 282
613-292-0857 mobile
[email protected]

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Sid LeeInternational Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is an Opportunity to Act for Real Reconciliation: AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde

Assembly of First Nations Intervening in B.C. Government Legal Reference Case on Trans Mountain Pipeline to Ensure Protection for First Nations Rights

on August 3, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) has been granted intervenor status in the B.C. government’s reference case at the B.C. Court of Appeal regarding the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.

“The AFN has a long history of participating in judicial proceedings where our peoples, their rights and traditional territories are concerned. Any decision in this reference case could have far-reaching impacts for First Nations across the country and the AFN is uniquely positioned to provide a national perspective on these potential impacts,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “It is essential we be there and it’s positive that the court recognizes our unique role.”

In April, the B.C. government provided draft legislation to the provincial Court of Appeal asking it to rule whether the province has the authority to regulate and place restrictions on companies that move diluted bitumen through the province. The province is specifically asking if the proposed law is within B.C.’s jurisdiction; if it can apply to substances transported from another province; and if any existing federal law invalidates the regulations.

“The AFN will insist the court consider First Nations’ perspectives on their relationship to the lands and natural environment, and the way these relationships are uniquely and inextricably connected to First Nations health, well-being and our cultural, social and economic vitality,” National Chief Bellegarde added. “The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and free, prior and informed consent must be front and centre in any laws, policies and regulations that impact First Nations.”

The AFN has participated and intervened in many judicial proceedings that raise issues of Indigenous and Treaty rights and other constitutional issues facing First Nations. The AFN, for example, was an intervenor in the court case that led to the landmark Tsilhqot’in decision. The AFN utilizes all avenues to ensure rights, justice and fairness for First Nations are upheld. The AFN pursued for more than a decade its complaint against Canada at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for the federal government’s unfair treatment of First Nations children in the child welfare system.

The B.C. reference case – Proposed Amendments to the Environmental Act – is expected to begin in March, 2019. The AFN received notice of its intervenor status in June of this year.

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

For more information, please contact:

Jenna Young Castro
AFN Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext 201
613-314-8157 (cell)
[email protected]

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857
[email protected]

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Sid LeeAssembly of First Nations Intervening in B.C. Government Legal Reference Case on Trans Mountain Pipeline to Ensure Protection for First Nations Rights

First Nations from Across the Country Elect Perry Bellegarde as Assembly of First Nations National Chief at AFN’s 39th Annual General Assembly

on July 31, 2018

(Vancouver, BC) – First Nation leaders from across the country today elected Perry Bellegarde as Assembly of First Nations National Chief at the AFN 39th Annual General Assembly today being held in the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

National Chief Perry Bellegarde was elected on the second ballot with 328 votes out of 522 voters, and 63 percent of the vote. Five candidates stood for election as National Chief.

More than 2,400 First Nations leaders, Elders, women, and youth are gathered for the AFN’s 39th Annual General Assembly under the theme Working Together: Our Rights, Our Way, Our Future. The AGA continues tomorrow with discussion on priority matters and deliberation of resolutions to set national direction for the coming year. The AGA is being webcast on the AFN website at www.afn.ca

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

For more information, please contact:

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857
[email protected]

Jenna Young Castro
AFN Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext 201
613-314-8157 (cell)
[email protected]

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Sid LeeFirst Nations from Across the Country Elect Perry Bellegarde as Assembly of First Nations National Chief at AFN’s 39th Annual General Assembly

First Nation Leaders, Elders, Women and Youth Gather in Vancouver, BC for AFN 39th Annual General Assembly and National Chief Election

on July 20, 2018

(Ottawa, ON):  First Nation leaders and citizens from across Canada will gather in the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh in Vancouver, British Columbia from July 24-26 for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) 39th Annual General Assembly (AGA) and the election for the AFN National Chief. Participants will gather under the theme “Working Together: Our Rights, Our Way, Our Future.”

The three-day AGA and Election for National Chief takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre located at 999 Canada Place. Voting for the AFN National Chief begins on July 25.

Current agenda is posted on the AFN website. Media highlights include: 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. to Noon (all times local)

  • Opening Ceremonies & Grand Entry
  • Address from AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde
  • Opening Remarks and Greetings:

AFN BC Regional Chief Terry Teegee
Chief Wayne Sparrow, Musqueam First Nation
Squamish Nation Councillors Dustin Rivers and Deanna Lewis
Chief Maureen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation (tbc)
Honourable Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation

1 to 4:30 p.m. 

  • All Candidates Forum – the AFN Chief Electoral Officer is responsible for the format and presiding over this open forum with all candidates for National Chief 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

9:00 a.m. 

    • AFN Election for National Chief Opens – First ballot voting begins at 9 a.m. and is expected to close at 12 noon.  Results will be reported to delegates. Second ballot and subsequent ballots commence if required.
    • When the election is complete an Oath of Office Ceremony takes place.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Beginning at 9:00 a.m. 

    • Opening Remarks by National Chief
    • Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
    • Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada
    • Six Nations Chief Ava Hill and Families – Justice
    • Honouring of former AFN Yukon Regional Chief Mike Smith by Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek

1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    • Delegates discuss resolutions
    • Closing Ceremony

Note: It is not possible to specify when the election for National Chief will conclude. Rules for the election of National Chief can be found in Appendix A of the AFN Charter at:
http://www.afn.ca/about-afn/charter-of-the-assembly-of-first-nations/

There is no fee for media to attend the AGA but media accreditation is required at Registration.  Media are encouraged to pre-register by using the Registration Form at:
http://www.afn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/18-06-05-AFN-Annual-General-Assembly-Notice-EN-update.pdf or by emailing your name and organization to the emails below.

A full agenda and information on the AFN Annual General Assembly is available at:
http://www.afn.ca/39th-annual-general-assembly/

Information on related special and cultural events hosted by the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is available at:
http://www.afn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/BCAFNProgram_DigitalFINAL.pdf

The Assembly of First Nation is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.

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For more information please contact:

Monica Poirier, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer (613) 292-0857 or [email protected]

Jenna Young, AFN Communications Officer (613) 314-8157 or [email protected]

Don Kelly, AFN Communications Director (613) 292-2787 or [email protected]

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Roy WhiteduckFirst Nation Leaders, Elders, Women and Youth Gather in Vancouver, BC for AFN 39th Annual General Assembly and National Chief Election

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Congratulates Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart on Being Elected to a Second Term

on July 20, 2018

(Ottawa, ON): Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde congratulates re-elected Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart, elected yesterday at the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs 30th Annual General Assembly taking place at Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation in Treaty 1 territory.

“I congratulate my colleague Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart today on behalf of the entire AFN Executive Committee,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “I know he will continue to be a strong voice for First Nations in Manitoba and across the country. Regional Chief Hart has been driving action and overseeing the AFN’s work in key areas like housing, infrastructure and drinking water, and child welfare. He’s also a strong voice for the environment and protection and respect for our traditional territories. I look forward to our continued advocacy and leadership to advance First Nations rights.”

Regional Chief Kevin T. Hart is from the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and has been re-elected for a second term as Manitoba Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is the main political organization representing Chiefs from across Manitoba.

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

For more information, please contact:

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857
[email protected]

Jenna Young Castro
AFN Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext 201
613-314-8157 (cell)
[email protected]

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Sid LeeAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Congratulates Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart on Being Elected to a Second Term

First Nations Priorities Require Sustained Attention and Action by New Federal Cabinet – AFN National Chief

on July 19, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde encourages continued attention, action and direct engagement with First Nations to advance priorities and reconciliation as new federal cabinet portfolios were announced yesterday.

“First Nations priorities are this country’s priorities, and regardless of who leads each portfolio we want to see action and momentum from cabinet members and all of government,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “I encourage continued and enhanced efforts to work directly with First Nations to advance priorities based on respect for and implementation of rights, title, jurisdiction and the overall goal of reconciliation.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced changes to the federal cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa yesterday. Changes impact 10 members of cabinet. It was noted that Minister Pablo Rodriguez is replacing Mélanie Joly as Minister of Heritage and Multiculturalism. That Ministry has been overseeing work with First Nations and Indigenous peoples on the Indigenous Languages Initiative and the Indigenous Languages Act. As well, Minister Carolyn Bennett is now Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, with the Northern Affairs portfolio under Minister Dominic Leblanc.

“I acknowledge Minister Joly’s work with First Nations to revitalize and strengthen First Nations languages, and the efforts to co-develop Indigenous languages legislation expected to be tabled this Fall,” said National Chief Bellegarde.  “We need to continue sustained efforts and engagement in this area to ensure legislation is ‘distinction-based’ and supports the diverse approaches of First Nations. The changes to the Crown-Indigenous Relations file can allow for more focus on this important priority, but we still need to ensure there is coordinated work for First Nations in the north both in cabinet and across the bureaucracy. First Nations Treaties and our rights, title and priorities cut across all cabinet responsibilities and all of government.”

 

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

 

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For more information, please contact:

Jenna Young Castro
AFN Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext 201
613-314-8157 (cell)
[email protected]

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857
[email protected]

read more
Roy WhiteduckFirst Nations Priorities Require Sustained Attention and Action by New Federal Cabinet – AFN National Chief

Assembly of First Nations Says a National Strategy Developed with First Nations is Essential to Achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals in Canada

on July 18, 2018

July 18, 2018

(New York, NY) – On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Treaty 6 Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild is participating this week at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the United Nations headquarters in New York, NY.  Grand Chief Littlechild spoke to the work Canada must undertake with First Nations to meet international sustainable development goals, including respecting Canada’s international human rights commitments and obligations to Indigenous peoples.

“First Nations must be full partners in achieving truly sustainable development, to meet the 2030 goals, and to close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and Canada,” said Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild following the release of Canada’s voluntary national review on its progress on achieving goals set out in Agenda 2030.  “This requires a robust national strategy co-developed with First Nations. The strategy must include mutually agreed-to mechanisms to share Crown revenue.  The violation of our Treaty rights and our right to self-determination respecting our lands and resources has entrenched and maintained a longstanding gap in socio-economic outcomes.  First Nations must be fully involved and drive approaches to addressing and closing the socio-economic gap and rights must be respected and upheld.”

The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the United Nations Economic and Social Council is taking place July 9-18. This is the main forum to ensure States are accountable for commitments in the 2030 Agenda, which includes 17 sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2015.  Canada presented a Voluntary National Review on its progress toward its goals yesterday. Grand Chief Littlechild’s comments are in response to this review.

“First Nations priorities and perspectives were not included in the development of either the Millennium Development Goals or the successor Sustainable Development Goals,” said Grand Chief Littlechild.  “We need a better approach. The Assembly of First Nations is offering to work with Canada to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and this effort must include working together on better ways to collect and analyze data and to evaluate progress.  The UN Declaration should be the framework for measurement, in collaboration with First Nations on a nation-to-nation basis to ensure sustainable development goals contribute to First Nations’ own priorities for sustainable development and do not negatively affect our rights and priorities respecting development.”
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.  Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.

 

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For more information, please contact:

Jenna Young Castro
Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext. 201
613-314-8157 mobile
[email protected]

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 282
613-292-0857 mobile
[email protected]

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Roy WhiteduckAssembly of First Nations Says a National Strategy Developed with First Nations is Essential to Achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals in Canada

Assembly of First Nations Delivers Strong Statement to UN on Requirement of Free, Prior and Informed Consent

on July 11, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations, Treaty 6 Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild is participating this week at the meeting of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples underway in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting includes focus on an international study on “free, prior and informed consent” as set out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Grand Chief Littlechild, who is also a former Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, is delivering statements on the requirement of free prior and informed consent on behalf of the AFN and several members of the Coalition for Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“The voices of Indigenous peoples in Canada must inform this international study on free, prior and informed consent, a critical and essential component of international law,” said Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild. “Free, prior and informed consent is an integral aspect and expression of Indigenous peoples’ inherent right of self-determination. It is a standard of rigorous human rights protection made necessary by the entrenched patterns of colonialism, racism and other forms of discrimination that have marginalized and dispossessed Indigenous peoples. The final study by the Expert Mechanism must clearly and explicitly express that it is not enough for states, including Canada, to merely commit to ‘seek the consent’ of Indigenous peoples in an attempt to fulfill the obligation of free, prior and informed consent. Further, whenever free, prior and informed consent applies to the actions of States and other third parties, they must ensure that decisions proceed only if Indigenous peoples give their free, prior and informed consent.”

The AFN is in Geneva this week to contribute to this international study on free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in international law. FPIC is an international human rights standard that member states of the United Nations must meet prior to any development or decisions that can affect Indigenous peoples’ rights in their territories, their lives and well-being.

The Coalition for Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples brings together Indigenous Nations and organizations, including AFN, as well as experts and human rights organizations in common purpose to advance understanding and full implementation of the UN Declaration and other international human rights standards.

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

For media requests or more information, please contact:

Jenna Young Castro
Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext. 201
613-314-8157 mobile
[email protected]

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 282
613-292-0857 mobile
[email protected]

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Sid LeeAssembly of First Nations Delivers Strong Statement to UN on Requirement of Free, Prior and Informed Consent

Technical Bulletin – Planning for a Distinct First Nations Labour Market Strategy

on June 29, 2018

June 2018

This Bulletin is an update from the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) on planning for a Distinct First Nations Labour Market Strategy.

Planning for a Distinct First Nations Labour Market Strategy

In keeping with First Nations objectives to be self-determining and have greater control over programs and services for First Nations citizens, the AFN Economic Sector has been working with First Nations leaders and their technical networks to coordinate a new strategy for First Nations Labour Market Development in Canada. The basis for the new strategy is a First Nations infrastructure supported by new fiscal arrangements. With this step, the First Nations component of the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) will transition into a self-contained delivery system. It is expected that the achievement of measured labour market outcomes by the system will validate the underlying strength of enhanced First Nations government relationships, continuation of existing delivery organizations, and a renewed commitment to results.

This work is being undertaken with the guidance of resolutions from the AFN Chiefs-in-Assembly, the Chiefs Committee on Human Resources Development (CCHRD), and the First Nations Technical Working Group on Human Resources Development (FN-TWG). The formulation of the new strategy is based on input from technicians from the First Nations agreement holders. The adoption of a new framework will be based on a mutual agreement with the Government of Canada.

A distinct First Nations framework governed by institutional capacity to guide the strategy is proposed. This structure will have defined and clear authorities to meet the goals of the strategy, including how members are appointed, terms of appointment, and qualifications required.  While labour market services and results are led by First Nations and their agencies, additional capacity will be established to enhance delivery and services to make the strategy work. Key responsibilities include liaison with the federal government, research and development, capacity building for delivery organizations, communications and reporting.

One of the most prominent elements of the strategy based on a new level of autonomy will center on a new fiscal relationship that acknowledges First Nations jurisdiction and the adoption of a national First Nations model for funding agreement holders.  This will be a key aspect to step away from the existing historical model based on “Aboriginal” funding to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) regions and then to “Aboriginal” agreement holders, some of which are First Nations. In addition to establishing a First Nations envelope, it is anticipated that a long-term predictable funding plan will follow that includes escalators for inflation and population in the agreement.

Another pillar of planning for the new strategy centres on communication. The flow of accurate and current information to and among the different types of stakeholders is expected to optimize the strategy. Active input from First Nations rights holders, targeted information for industry partners, and ongoing liaison with government will combine to maximize benefits.

The scope of this transition is ambitious. The adoption of an autonomous approach to First Nations labour force development is a solid example of a mature relationship between First Nations and Canada. The federal government will gain significant economies as many processes will move outside of government. The expected reporting and accountability provisions will meet contemporary Treasury Board guidelines and First Nations will have jointly delegated responsibility to a national delivery network with First Nations-based decision-making.

Budget 2018 has identified $1.2 billion over five years, and $235.7 million per year ongoing, for a First Nations Labour Market stream.  Work has begun to implement a new framework with a stronger focus on training for higher-quality jobs rather than rapid re-employment, and to assist First Nations people to gain greater skills and find jobs that will support long-term career success.

For more information please contact Judy Whiteduck, Director, AFN Economic Sector, at [email protected].

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Roy WhiteduckTechnical Bulletin – Planning for a Distinct First Nations Labour Market Strategy
Assembly of First Nations
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