News

Ontario Coroner’s Report Points to Urgent Action Required on Long-Standing Concerns, Says National Chief Perry Bellegarde

on September 26, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – Following a report released today by the office of the Ontario Chief Coroner, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde says urgent action is required to implement recommendations by working with families and First Nations.

“Our first thoughts are with the children and their families because they are the focus of all the work,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “This recent report includes findings that are as tragic as they are familiar. Our children and our families deserve better supports and care. We need action now on the recommendations by working with First Nations families and all levels of government with a focus on prevention and service coordination rather than reaction and apprehension. There are efforts underway to reform the child welfare system with First Nations leading the way, but we need to act now to end discrimination, meet the real needs on the ground and close the gaps.”

The report, titled Safe With Intervention: The Report of the Expert Panel on the Deaths of Children and Youth in Residential Placements, follows a year-long review on the deaths of 12 youth who died while in residential placements in the care of Ontario’s child welfare system between January 2014 and July 2017.

According to the report, of the 12 young people who died in the care of Ontario’s child welfare system 8 were Indigenous, including six First Nations youth from Nishnawbe Aski territory.

“Our children are our most precious resource and it is appalling and disheartening to learn that their cries for help were not heard,” said AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart, who leads the child welfare portfolio at AFN. “This report shows the voices of these young people were ignored and speaks to the failure of the systems to meet the needs of children. This is unacceptable and needs to change. Child care isn’t just about basic shelter. It requires a holistic approach for First Nations children that ensures a strong connection to their cultures and nations.”

The expert panel convened by Ontario Chief Coroner Dirk Huyer was struck in 2017 and included seven experts in fields including psychiatric care, mental health, and services for Indigenous youth. The Panel heard from nine of the 12 families, along with leadership from several First Nations in Ontario.

The full report is available here: https://www.provincialadvocate.on.ca/publications/external-reports/safe-with-intervention.pdf

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 LeeOntario Coroner’s Report Points to Urgent Action Required on Long-Standing Concerns, Says National Chief Perry Bellegarde

AFN BULLETIN – National Policy Forum on Affirming Rights, Title and Jurisdiction

on September 25, 2018

(Gatineau, QC) National Chief Perry Bellegarde convened a successful Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Policy Forum on Affirming First Nations Rights, Title and Jurisdiction on unceded Algonquin territory in Gatineau, Québec on September 11 and 12. More than 500 First Nation leaders and delegates from across the country gathered to share perspectives on strategic options to advance respect of First Nations rights.

Chiefs-in-Assembly gave direction for education and discussion through Resolution 39/2018, First Nations Determination to the Path to Decolonization. Among other things, this Resolution calls for the halt of the current federal initiative, the Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework. It also calls for the development of a First Nations-led negotiation process to ensure implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and a joint action plan for that implementation.

Delegates at the National Forum were provided an overview on the recent history of First Nations advocacy and lessons learned by First Nations lawyer David Nahwegahbow. International law expert Paul Joffe provided an analysis of the growing significance of international human rights law to advance respect and enforcement of Treaty and inherent rights, title and jurisdiction.

Delegates were also provided an overview of some regional and PTO positions. This included a presentation by lawyer Louise Mandell on work mandated by the First Nations Leadership Council in British Columbia to develop drafting instructions for federal legislation. Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians Deputy Grand Chief Gordon Peters provided a model for Ontario First Nations, and the Yukon distributed a discussion paper presenting issues respecting implementation challenges and comprehensive claims and self-government agreements (section 35 Treaty agreements).

Delegates were provided the opportunity to comment on Canada’s federal engagement process and to directly address Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett. Delegates shared their concerns and highlighted the deficiencies in both the approach and execution of the federal process, one that was unilaterally designed and executed by Canada.

Delegates attended breakout sessions by region, then reported back to the plenary and engaged in extensive dialogue in plenary. Discussion revealed that not all regions were given equal opportunity to funds for holding engagement sessions or to gather information on Canada’s proposal.

Canada’s proposal was analyzed on Day 2 of the Forum by Grand Chief Ed John of the Tl’azt’en Nation and Treaty 6 Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild. Plenary discussion showed that despite different views on the best strategic options to advance respect and implementation of First Nations rights, delegates were adamant that any joint initiative involving Canada must be based on an accurate understanding of the scope and content of First Nations rights, section 35 law, Treaties and international law. Canada’s current proposal fails to do so and, as such, more time and work is needed among First Nations to develop a strategy for a path forward.

Any co-development initiative would require federal leadership to correct inaccurate statements and repudiate colonization and doctrines of superiority. A First Nations-led process must contain clear roles and responsibilities for all parties and be grounded in the understanding that Canada and First Nations are equals. Principles of the Two Row Wampum were spoken to by Haudenosaunee delegates and Deputy Grand Chief Peters: the central principle of two canoes travelling down a river together where neither tries to steer the other.

First Nations, with the support of the AFN, are pressing for a reset of the current government process and a shift to a First Nations-led process. Getting it right means First Nations leading and working together and doing so in accordance with First Nations’ laws and customs, protocols and responsibilities. Getting it right means working together in ways that truly affirm and implement First Nations rights, title and jurisdiction. This work must not be rushed.

AFN will be preparing a full report on the Forum for distribution in the coming weeks. Additional forum materials are available at www.afn.ca or by request, including 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.

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Sid LeeAFN BULLETIN – National Policy Forum on Affirming Rights, Title and Jurisdiction

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
Assembly of First Nations
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