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AFN Bulletin on Regional Education Agreements for First Nations Education K-12, September 2018

on September 25, 2018

The work and progress in the area of education is guided by direction from the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Chiefs-in-Assembly and the long-standing goal of achieving First Nation control of First Nation Education. AFN resolution 16/2016: Honourable Process to Develop Recommendations to support First Nations Education Reform directed the AFN to facilitate an honourable process between First Nations and Indigenous Services Canada. This process included full and meaningful regional First Nation participation to develop recommendations for reforming First Nation education which respects existing regional models and initiatives. AFN resolution 65/2017: New Interim Funding Approach for First Nations Education outlines the draft funding proposal (co-developed by First Nations) and a Memorandum to Cabinet. The resolution further reaffirms First Nations’ inherent and Treaty rights to education, and insists that jurisdiction over First Nation education remains with each First Nation.

First Nations across the country now have the opportunity to design their own education funding agreements based on their own priorities and real needs. In a letter to Chiefs and Councils dated August 14, 2018, Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott outlined a new approach to funding First Nations K-12 education developed in collaboration with First Nation educators, directors of education, experts and technicians. The letter speaks to work underway by federal officials and the AFN Chiefs Committee on Education (CCOE) to support the establishment of regional technical tables that will design new Regional Education Agreements (REAs).

Based on direction from Chiefs-in-Assembly, the CCOE, together with First Nations educators, directors of education, experts and technicians, have co-developed with the federal government a policy proposal that led to the development of a Memorandum to Cabinet. The Memorandum to Cabinet is used to propose and explain a new measure or new federal initiative and to obtain cabinet approval. These documents are necessary to change federal policy and unlock commitments for federal education programming and funding made in the 2016 federal budget.

This work and advocacy by First Nations, working together with the AFN, have resulted in a new approach to the funding of First Nations K-12 education driven by First Nations and aimed at respecting First Nation control of First Nation education. The new approach opens the door for work at the regional level to refine, adapt and improve formula-based funding models to better respond to unique student needs and cost-drivers, as defined by local First Nations. It will also create greater funding equity, support local diversity and increase transparency of the federal funding approach.

The new approach is based on regional funding agreements (Regional Education Agreements or REAs) designed by First Nations. REAs will provide First Nations with the flexibility to distribute education funding within their region as they see fit to support the specific needs of their students, schools and nation. A “region” is defined as any territory where First Nations choose to implement First Nation control of First Nation education and negotiate a REA. Each “region” will be determined by First Nations and may be linked to geographic location, mutual goals or similar circumstances. This could include, but not be limited to, a territory defined as a single First Nation, Tribal Council, Treaty affiliation, language family, or an entire province. For Treaty First Nations, only Treaty people will speak on behalf of Treaties.

Key aspects to REAs include greater sufficiency, more predictability and strengthened First Nation control. Greater sufficiency comes from unlocking commitments made in the 2016 federal budget ($665M), which includes additional funding for language and culture, and full-time kindergarten at First Nations schools. New formula-based, regional funding models will ensure First Nation students are supported by predictable base funding, and First Nation education organizations will rely less on proposal-based funding and more on targeted multi-year funding. Regional technical tables will support the implementation of the new regional funding approach to develop REAs that respond to First Nations’ goals and priorities.

First Nations interested in pursuing a REA can confirm a mandate from their members and/or leadership to enter into REA discussions. There will be no proposals to access funding, but regions must submit a vision, work plan and budget on their plan to design, develop and implement the REA.

REAs will have common components:

    1. Comprehensive funding arrangements, covering all federal support for First Nations elementary and secondary education;
    2. Clear and defined roles and responsibilities for First Nations and First Nation education organizations, including applicable service standards;
    3. Mutual accountability mechanisms with clear objectives, performance indicators and reporting expectations for both the Government of Canada and First Nation education system participants; and
    4. Responsibilities for working with provincial education systems to manage the costs associated with on-reserve students who attend provincial schools and for reporting from provincial school divisions to First Nations and the Government of Canada.

Since 2001, through the AFN, First Nations have pressed the federal government for policy and program reform to ensure that core funding for education directly flows to First Nation governments, education organizations and schools. The work and progress in the area of education is guided by direction from the Chiefs-in-Assembly and the long-standing goal of First Nation control of First Nation education. This means respecting, protecting and enforcing First Nations’ inherent rights and Treaty rights, title and jurisdiction. It means First Nation education systems under First Nation control and based on First Nation design, supported by direct transfers from the federal government.

Advocating for secure, fair funding for First Nation children and students is a key priority for the AFN in accordance with direction from the Chiefs-in-Assembly.  The AFN is not involved in bi-lateral discussions and negotiations on REAs. The AFN will continue to support First Nations pursuing their vision of First Nation control of First Nation education.

For more information about the new approach to funding First Nations K-12 Education and REAs please visit: http://www.afn.ca/policy-sectors/education/or contact a CCOE representative in your region. You can also contact Janice Ciavaglia, AFN Director of Education at [email protected] or Shannon Nix, Director General, Education Branch, Indigenous Services Canada at [email protected].

AFN Chiefs Committee on Education Listing

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Sid LeeAFN Bulletin on Regional Education Agreements for First Nations Education K-12, September 2018

Jordan’s Principle Summit

on September 21, 2018

(Winnipeg, MB) The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) hosted its first ever national Jordan’s Principle Summit September 12-13 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. More than 850 First Nations citizens, family members, leaders, service coordinators, health directors and technicians, health and education practitioners, service providers and innovators gathered under the theme of Sharing, Learning, and Growing: Imagining the Future of Jordan’s Principle.

Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle named in memory of Jordan River Anderson, a First Nations boy from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. Born with complex medical needs, Jordan spent more than two years unnecessarily in hospital while the provincial and federal governments argued over who would pay for his at-home care. Jordan passed away in the hospital at the age of five, never having spent a day at home.

Day one of the Summit started with opening remarks from AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart, AFN portfolio holder for Social Development and Jordan’s Principle, and Grand Chiefs from the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, who welcomed everyone to learn and share the important work underway on Jordan’s Principle and the important legacy of Jordan River Anderson. Regional Chief Hart set the tone for the next two days by saying that everyone can learn from families who have accessed Jordan’s Principle as well as from practitioners within health and education who use Jordan’s Principle to ensure that all First Nations children in Canada receive necessary services without disruption.

Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, delivered a powerful keynote address on the history and legacy of Jordan’s Principle. Dr. Blackstock shared her experiences in advocating for the rights of First Nations children, the Anderson family and Jordan’s Principle, and the joint complaint undertaken with AFN at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Dr. Blackstock continues to advocate for Jordan’s Principle and for First Nations children and families, and ensuring governments are accountable.

Delegates at the Summit were honoured to have four families who have been affected by delays, disruptions and denial of services or care, who shared their experiences and perspectives as part of a panel discussion. The Buffalo Jackson family from Alberta, Neeganawedgin family from Ontario, Nibby-Woods family from Nova Scotia, and the Sumner family from Manitoba all shared powerful and moving personal stories. Families spoke of their individual journeys and obstacles on accessing specific services needed for their child, and how Jordan’s Principle provided them with this opportunity. These perspectives helped participants understand what Jordan’s Principle means to First Nations children and families.

That evening, AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart hosted a ceremony to honour the legacy of Jordan River Anderson and Jordan’s family. There were songs and drumming, and a special gift was presented to Jordan’s father. Filmmaker and advocate Alanis Obomsawin presented a special screening of the trailer for her upcoming film on Jordan’s Principle.

Jordan’s Principle originated in Manitoba, and Day Two started with an update from the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. Speakers presented innovative strategies and practices on ensuring Jordan’s Principle is honoured and upheld for all First Nations children in Manitoba.

A Panel Discussion with Service Coordinators provided information on some innovative service coordination models currently being used throughout Canada, explaining how they provide front-line support to ensure First Nations children’s needs are met by connecting them with the supports and services they need.

A presentation and discussion by Valerie Gideon, the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister for the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch for Indigenous Services Canada, provided an overview on the joint priorities for Jordan’s Principle. She stated that First Nations’ voices must guide the long term implementation of Jordan’s Principle to ensure it is fully implemented and honoured.

Participants had the opportunity to attend workshops throughout the Summit on: Children with Disabilities, Understanding the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Ruling, Sharing, Innovation and Best Practices for Jordan’s Principle Delivery, Family Perspective on Experiences with accessing Jordan’s Principle, and Mental Wellness.

The purpose of the AFN Jordan’s Principle Summit was, first and foremost, to share information with individuals and families to ensure First Nations children get the care and services they need and deserve without delay. To that end, the AFN will be making all Jordan’s Principle Summit materials and the final report available publicly on the AFN website at www.afn.ca or by request. The primary goal is the safety, health and well-being of First Nations children.

If you have any questions about how to access Jordan’s Principle, you can contact your local Service Coordinator, or you can also call Canada’s Jordan’s Principle Call Centre 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-855-JP-CHILD.

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

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Sid LeeJordan’s Principle Summit

First Nations-Driven Implementation Essential, Says AFN National Chief on Federal Investment in Early Learning and Child Care

on September 17, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde, together with AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart, support the National Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework as one opportunity for First Nations to develop and implement their own early learning and child care systems.

“Healthy children are raised in healthy environments,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “First Nations children will have enhanced opportunities for success when they have identities built from strong connections to their nations, languages, cultures and history. This framework is reflective of direction and input by First Nations experts in health, education and early childhood education. It can now be used as a guide for First Nations to create their own early learning and child care systems based on their vision for their children and families. The implementation is crucial and I look forward to continued participation by First Nations to determine how this will roll out in our nations.”

Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos, released the National Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework in Ottawa today. The Framework was developed with input by First Nations, Métis and Inuit. As part of its release, Minister Duclos announced $1.02 billion over ten years for early learning and child care initiatives specific to First Nations as well as additional resources for innovation and governance development.

“The work toward achieving this framework is first and foremost about our children, our most precious resource and the focus of all we do,” said AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart who is the portfolio lead for the AFN in this area. “We welcome the commitments made by the federal government today and look forward to using this framework as a guide to implement First Nations approaches and design. First Nations want to care for their children and must drive the design and delivery of all early childhood programming, and this includes ensuring a strong connection to language and culture. This new approach must support First Nations entities that do this work to ensure proper costing, design and delivery.”

The AFN established a national expert working group on Early Learning and Child Care following direction by Chiefs-in-Assembly in 2016. The working group is comprised of First Nations experts from across the disciplines of health, education and early childhood. The working group led a First Nations regional engagement process to identify and confirm key principles, priorities and actions of a First Nations early learning and child care framework and action plan. This effort helped inform the co-development of the National Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework.

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 LeeFirst Nations-Driven Implementation Essential, Says AFN National Chief on Federal Investment in Early Learning and Child Care

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Says First Nations will Drive a Reset of National Dialogue on Rights

on September 13, 2018

(Ottawa, ON):  Following a successful two-day national policy forum, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde stated that AFN will press for a reset of a process launched by the Government of Canada on First Nations’ rights. Delegates at the national policy forum, and an AFN resolution from July 2018, insist that the process and solutions lie in a First Nations led process.

The National Policy Forum on the Affirmation on the Rights was held to support First Nations’ leadership in all territories before Chiefs meet again in Assembly at the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly December 4-6 in Algonquin territory.

“We’ve heard clearly from delegates from many territories that any proposed decision, policy or legislation impacting First Nations’ rights, title and jurisdiction must respect the right to self-determination,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “First Nations must work together in accordance with our protocols and responsibilities to get it right, and getting it right, means our work cannot be rushed. Many First Nations are telling Canada to stop and work together in ways that truly affirms and implements rights, title and jurisdiction, and to commit to a First Nations driven process guided by First Nations’ laws and customs.”

More than 500 First Nations leaders and delegates gathered on Algonquin territory in Gatineau, Quebec September 11 and 12 for a national policy forum on Affirming First Nations Rights, Title and Jurisdiction.  First Nations leaders from across the country discussed the federal government’s proposed approach to rights and reconciliation legislation.

Presentations included an overview of rights recognition and affirmation to date, initiatives, resolutions and current perspectives of First Nations citizens and leaders.

“We all want to move beyond the Indian Act’s control and reconstitute ourselves as Indigenous peoples and Nations with fundamental inherent rights,” said National Chief Bellegarde.  “We are self-determining nations with jurisdiction to take control of where we are and where we need to go as people and as nations.  Out of respect for treaties and the vision of our ancestors, we are willing to work in partnership, but First Nations will not accept a prescriptive and rushed process that doesn’t respect self-determination or the duty to consult. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides a road map to reconciliation. Our leaders have put their hearts and minds together to listen and learn and to dialogue, and I look forward to further discussion and deliberation at our Chiefs Assembly in December.”

Dialogue from the forum will result in a comprehensive report and will help inform deliberations and decision-making by Chiefs at the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly December 4-6 in Algonquin territory at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa.

Current AFN Resolutions 08/2018 Implementing Canada’s Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework and clarifying the role of AFN and 39/2018 First Nations Determination to the Path to Decolonization confirm support for First Nations rights holders to lead the process and direct AFN to call on the Government of Canada to work with First Nations before adopting and implementing any legislative or administrative measures that affect them.

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

For more information, please contact:

Michael Hutchinson
Press Secretary
613-241-6789
613-859-6831
[email protected]

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

 

 

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Angie TurnerAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Says First Nations will Drive a Reset of National Dialogue on Rights

Assembly of First Nations to Host First-Ever National Summit on Jordan’s Principle September 12-13, 2018

on September 11, 2018

Ottawa, ON:  Hundreds of First Nations citizens and families will gather in Winnipeg September 12-13 for the first-ever national summit on Jordan’s Principle.  The Summit will bring together First Nations families, community-based practitioners and care providers to share experiences and promising practices related to accessing health, social, and education services for First Nations children,  the implementation of Jordan’s Principle  to date, and the work required to fully implement it.

DATE:
September 12-13, 2018

TIME:
8:30 a.m.

LOCATION:
RBC Convention Centre, York / Ballroom, Main Floor, South Bldg
Winnipeg, MB

Summit highlights include a special honouring of the legacy of Jordan River Anderson, a keynote speech by Dr. Cindy Blackstock, a special presentation by Valerie Gideon, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Indigenous Services Canada, and a film trailer presentation by Alanis Obomsawin.  Panel discussions will feature perspectives from families and doctors.  Concurrent workshops will cover topics such as:  understanding the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling related to Jordan’s Principle, dialogue sessions on mental wellness and life promotion, and sharing circles on children with disabilities and special needs.

Jordan’s Principle is named in memory of Jordan River Anderson, a First Nations boy from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba born with complex medical needs and who spent more than two years unnecessarily in hospital while the provincial and federal governments argued over which would pay for his at-home care. Jordan died in hospital at the age of five.

Jordan’s Principle requires First Nations children have access to all public services in a way that is reflective of their distinct cultural needs, takes full account of the historical disadvantage linked to colonization, and ensures they do not experience any discrimination (e.g. service denials, delays or disruption) because they are First Nations.  In 2016 the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordered the Government of Canada to fully implement Jordan’s Principle so that all First Nations children have access to essential services without jurisdictional delays, disruptions or denials. This is a human rights obligation of Canada to First Nations children.

For more information visit www.afn.ca or https://www.afn.ca/jordans-principle-summit/#eventschedule

Media accreditation is required and encouraged to be obtained prior to the event from the below contacts.

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]
Michael Hutchinson, Press Secretary (613) 859-6831 or [email protected]

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Roy WhiteduckAssembly of First Nations to Host First-Ever National Summit on Jordan’s Principle September 12-13, 2018

Assembly of First Nations to Convene National Policy Forum on Affirming First Nations Rights, Title and Jurisdiction September 11-12, 2018

on September 10, 2018

 

(Ottawa, ON):  The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is convening a national policy forum on Affirming First Nations Rights, Title and Jurisdiction in Gatineau, Quebec September 11 and 12.  The purpose of the national policy forum is to encourage dialogue and mutual support among First Nations for their respective and common objectives to ensure respect of all First Nations rights.

DATE: September 11-12
TIME: 9:00 a.m – 2:15 p.m.; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Hilton Lac Leamy, Ballroom Gatineau, QC

Dialogue at this national policy forum will inform deliberations by Chiefs at the December 4 -6 2018 Special Chiefs Assembly to be held, in Algonquin Territory, at the Westin Hotel, Ottawa.

Presentations will include an overview of rights recognition and affirmation to date, initiatives, resolutions and current perspectives of First Nations citizens and leaders.

Agenda details are available at www.afn.ca or directly at http://www.afn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/18-08-29-Agenda-to-Post-En.pdf

Media accreditation is required and encouraged to be obtained prior to the event from the below contacts.

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:

Jenna Young, Communications Officer (613) 314-8157 or [email protected]
Michael Hutchinson, Press Secretary (613) 859-6831 or [email protected]

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Roy WhiteduckAssembly of First Nations to Convene National Policy Forum on Affirming First Nations Rights, Title and Jurisdiction September 11-12, 2018

Victory for First Nations Rights Says AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde on Federal Court Ruling to Halt Construction of Trans Mountain

on August 30, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde released the below statement in response to today’s decision by the Federal Court of Appeal to halt construction of the Trans Mountain expansion project.

“Today’s federal court decision is another victory for First Nations. It’s unfortunate that First Nations must litigate to protect our inherent rights, title and jurisdiction. In this case, the government did not even meet the duty to consult standard as articulated by the courts. On behalf of the AFN, I remind all governments that the Crown also must meet the minimum standards set out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Our right to self-determination, inherent rights and title and Treaty rights have been affirmed as legal rights in Canada and internationally.”

“The decision confirms yet again why we need to work together on a better approach that leads to better decisions and better outcomes – an approach that implements and enforces rights and title, including free, prior and informed consent as set out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is how we avoid conflict and costly legal battles and advance reconciliation. This is how we can grow a stronger country for our children.”

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 LeeVictory for First Nations Rights Says AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde on Federal Court Ruling to Halt Construction of Trans Mountain

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Congratulates Newly Elected Northwest Territories Regional Chief Norman Yakeleya

on August 27, 2018

(Ottawa, ON): Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde congratulates the new AFN Northwest Territories Regional Chief Norman Yakeleya, elected Wednesday at the 48th Annual Dene National Assembly at West Point First Nation, NWT.

“On behalf of the AFN Executive Committee, I congratulate NWT Regional Chief Norman Yakeleya on his election,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “I look forward to working with Regional Chief Yakeleya as a strong voice for First Nations in the Northwest Territories and across the country. Regional Chief Yakeleya will bring a great deal of experience and knowledge in working with First Nations and with all levels of government. His commitment to First Nations rights, to healing and to unity will help advance all our work.”

Regional Chief Norman Yakeleya is originally from Tulita Dene Band and served as a Chief and on council in his territory. He has previously chaired and served as a negotiator for the Sahtu Tribal Council before being elected to legislature in 2003. He has served three terms representing Sahtu Tribal Council.

National Chief Bellegarde thanked outgoing NWT Regional Chief Bill Erasmus for his many years of dedicated service and leadership for First Nations. Former Regional Chief Erasmus had served as Regional Chief since 1987, and announced earlier he would not be seeking re-election.

“I sincerely acknowledge Bill Erasmus for the commitment and drive he demonstrated as Dene Nation National Chief and AFN Regional Chief for the NWT,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “Today marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter for the Dene National Assembly. On behalf of AFN, I thank former Regional Chief Erasmus for his service, his contributions and his leadership over the last three decades. We wish him well in all his future endeavours. We lift him up for his dedication to our peoples and our rights.”

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
613-241-6789 ext. 282
613-292-0857 mobile
[email protected]

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

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Sid LeeAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Congratulates Newly Elected Northwest Territories Regional Chief Norman Yakeleya

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
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