News

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde welcomes Dr. Paulette Tremblay as the new CEO of the AFN

on September 28, 2017

September 28, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde is pleased to announce that Dr. Paulette Tremblay has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the AFN.

“I extend sincere congratulations to Dr. Paulette Tremblay on behalf of the entire AFN Executive, we congratulate her and welcome her in this position,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “Her extensive experience working with First Nations, knowledge of the AFN and creative management style will help AFN strive to much greater heights and achievements under her leadership, wisdom and guidance.”

Dr. Tremblay is a member of the Turtle Clan from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in southern Ontario. Her traditional name is Wapanitowiskwew. She has been the Acting CEO at AFN for several months and has served in the past as the Director of Education for the Secretariat. Dr. Tremblay has held positions as a senior executive officer within the National Aboriginal Health Organization and the Six Nation Band Administration. She also worked with the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association Canada where she over saw the certification for the Finance and Administration programs, and is currently an Associate Professor for the Six Nation Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Tremblay was honoured to receive an Indspire Award for Education in 2015.

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:

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

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

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Roy WhiteduckAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde welcomes Dr. Paulette Tremblay as the new CEO of the AFN

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Calls for Senator Lynn Beyak To Be Removed From Conservative Caucus Following Latest Remarks

on September 20, 2017

September 20, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde issued the following statement today in response to Senator Lynn Beyak’s recent comments:

“In this era of reconciliation there is no place for the kind of outdated and uninformed thinking expressed by Senator Lynn Beyak,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “Many have reached out to educate her and help her understand our shared history yet she refuses to acknowledge reality. Her comments are hurtful and disgraceful. She should resign, and if she won’t resign she should be expelled from caucus by the Conservative Leader to demonstrate his party’s commitment to truth and reconciliation. There is no room for this kind of thinking in today’s Canada.”

In March of this year, following grossly misinformed comments about the Indian Residential Schools tragedy, National Chief Bellegarde sent a personal letter to Senator Beyak strongly opposing her remarks and providing her a copy of the book A National Crime by noted historian John S. Milloy, which provides a full picture of the history and reality of the residential school system. There was no acknowledgement from Senator Beyak.

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:

Jamie Monastyrski
Press Secretary – National Chief’s Office
613-241-6789 ext. 116
343-540-6179 (cell)
jamiem@afn.ca

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Roy WhiteduckAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Calls for Senator Lynn Beyak To Be Removed From Conservative Caucus Following Latest Remarks

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Sets Out Priorities as Parliament Resumes: ‘We Want Action and Progress’

on September 18, 2017

September 18, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – As the 42nd session of Parliament begins, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde said there needs to be focus from all parties on concrete, practical steps towards building a nation-to-nation relationship between First Nations and Canada.

“It’s time for Canada’s commitments to be translated into action. First Nations have a vision of a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Canada,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “Our agenda is based on realizing this vision by taking practical steps that will build a stronger country for all of us. We must fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including legislation to support its implementation. We want action and progress on our joint process to review all federal laws and policies to ensure they’re consistent with First Nations rights. We expect continued momentum on our work to co-develop an Indigenous Languages Act to save and strengthen our languages. I continue my call for efforts to close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and Canada through continued and more effective investments.”

As steps are taken on longer-term work, National Chief Bellegarde called for immediate action to end discrimination in areas where Canada’s own courts are demanding action.

“We must end the discrimination in the First Nations child welfare system and call on Canada to immediately and fully implement the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “Our children cannot wait. Parliament already voted unanimously to inject $155 million into the system, and to honour Jordan’s Principle. That has to happen now. We are also concerned that gender discrimination in the Indian Act has to end as ordered by the court in the Descheneaux decision. First Nations are calling on Canada to repeal the problematic areas of the Indian Act in favour of First Nations’ authority over First Nations’ citizenship. No one should have to wait for justice.”

The National Chief and AFN will be engaging with Parliamentarians from all parties throughout the session and beyond to ensure these priorities are understood and supported.

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:

Jamie Monastyrski
Press Secretary – National Chief’s Office
613-241-6789 ext. 116
343-540-6179 (cell)
jamiem@afn.ca

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

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

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Roy WhiteduckAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Sets Out Priorities as Parliament Resumes: ‘We Want Action and Progress’

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Presents Eagle Staff to Canada to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

on September 13, 2017

September 13, 2017

(New York City, NY) – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde was in New York City today to gift a traditional Eagle Staff to His Excellency Marc-André Blanchard, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations, to mark the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“An Eagle Staff is a high honour and a strong reminder to the Canadian Mission that First Nations expect Canada to show leadership in the full implementation of the UN Declaration both internationally and at home,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “It is an urgent priority that federal legislation be enacted, with the collaboration of Indigenous peoples, to harmonize the law of Canada with the Declaration and other international human rights standards. As stated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the UN Declaration is the framework for reconciliation.”

National Chief Bellegarde presented the Eagle Staff made by Master Carver James Hart of the Haida Nation, and Eagle Staff Maker John Fisher of George Gordon First Nation. Ceremonial leader Marshall Dreaver of the Big River First Nation was present to ensure proper ceremonial protocols were followed. An Eagle Staff is a traditional symbol of sacredness and nationhood that connects First Nations to spirituality and Mother Earth. For First Nations, an Eagle Staff is like the flag of a nation. At Grand Entries and ceremonies the Eagle Staff is always the lead and held in high-esteem.

His Excellency Marc-André Blanchard stated, “I am honoured to accept this beautiful Eagle Staff on behalf of the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations on the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples.  The Staff will be displayed at Canada’s Permanent Mission as a reminder of the importance of our nation-to-nation relationship, and of our commitment to advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples at the UN and around the world.”

“Canada has fully endorsed the Declaration and it is now urgent and overdue to work together to address widespread discrimination, dispossession of lands, impoverishment and other injustices,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “Positive words are encouraging, but these are not enough for our children and grandchildren to be secure. We look forward to the day when Canada has legislation that solidifies the endorsement and we expect it soon.”

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:

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

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

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

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Roy WhiteduckAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Presents Eagle Staff to Canada to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Marks World Suicide Prevention Day by Focusing on ‘Culture for Life’ to Promote Health and Wellness

on September 8, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde will mark World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 by focusing on culture as a way to promote life and wellness, shifting the focus from ‘suicide prevention’ to ‘life promotion.’ Part of this effort involves a social media campaign called ‘Culture for Life’, encouraging First Nations youth to share how they are connecting to their culture.

“As First Nations people, we have endured a great deal but through this long history our cultures, spirituality and the knowledge of our Elders have sustained us with strength, guidance and healing,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “We are all on the journey to wellness together, rebuilding the foundation of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health. Let’s support our languages, let’s support our traditions and let’s support one another in connecting to our cultures.”

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day, chair of the AFN Chiefs Committee on Health said that many First Nation leaders are working to eliminate suicide in their communities, difficult work that requires an “all of government” approach, and an “all of community” effort.

“Reaching into our communities, encouraging our people to reach out when they need it most is Life Promotion in action,” said Regional Chief Day. “The more that we can create opportunity, safety and security in our communities, the more our people will feel hope and the more our people will choose life. Our greatest gains in saving lives will be made by embracing our cultures, our languages and by connecting to the life-essence of the land.”

This year, AFN partnered with Thunderbird Partnership Foundation and First Peoples Wellness Circle to promote ‘Culture for Life’, a social media campaign for First Nations youth that encouraged them to highlight the strength that is gained through culture. First Nations youth were asked to send pictures, stories or videos in advance of September 10 to participate describing how they use culture to promote wellness and life. All submissions can be viewed at the www.cultureforlife.ca website.

Carol Hopkins, Executive Director of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation said, “What the Creator gave to us in the beginning as First Nations was given forever and all time – our languages, cultures, and Indigenous knowledge are the foundation of what gives us hope for tomorrow, a sense of belonging within the world, meaning for life, and purpose for what we do. It’s up to all of us to ensure youth have access to all that will give them hope, belonging, meaning and purpose.”

Dr. Brenda M Restoule, Chair of the First Peoples Wellness Circle stated, “The strength and resiliency of First Nations people is within our culture, our languages and our worldview. Our cultural practices, teaching and ceremonies all hold the truths to living a good life – ‘mino-biimadzawin’. When we connect to our culture we connect to the knowledge of our ancestors. As family and community we all have a responsibility to support youth to connect, connect with their gifts, their strengths, their knowledge, their culture. When they have this they have hope, belonging, meaning and purpose – keys to wellness.”

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

 The Thunderbird Partnership Foundation is a national organization representing First Nations in Canada in mental wellness.  Follow Thunderbird on Twitter @ThunderbirdPF

 First Peoples Wellness Circle is a national organization in Canada representing First Peoples in mental wellness. Follow First Peoples on Twitter @FPWellnessC

For more information, please contact:

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

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

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

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Angie TurnerAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Marks World Suicide Prevention Day by Focusing on ‘Culture for Life’ to Promote Health and Wellness

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Supports First Nations in Their Stand Against BC Salmon Farms, Crown Must Respect First Nations Rights, Title and Jurisdiction

on September 1, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde supports First Nations in British Columbia who are peacefully occupying salmon fish farms and asserting inherent rights and title in their lands and waters.

“I stand with First Nations in BC in their long struggle with federal and provincial governments to fully recognize and address the threat of salmon fish farms to wild salmon,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “The AFN fully supports First Nations in their assertion and exercise of inherent rights and title. First Nations have long identified the threat of the fish farm industry to wild salmon that have sustained our Peoples for generations. Wild salmon is an integral part of the ecosystem and a central part of First Nations cultures on the west coast. This situation presents a clear opportunity for both the federal and provincial governments to respect and act on their obligations under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples including the standard of free, prior and informed consent. It is time for the Crown to meet with the affected First Nations and resolve this matter.”

Citizens and leadership of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw are at the Wicklow Point salmon farm, and citizens from the ‘Namgis, Tlowitsis and Mamalilikulla First Nations are on Swanson Island while other First Nations are providing support.

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

For more information, please contact:

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

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

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

read more
Angie TurnerAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Supports First Nations in Their Stand Against BC Salmon Farms, Crown Must Respect First Nations Rights, Title and Jurisdiction

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Says New Federal Ministries a Positive Step for First Nations Relationships with the Crown

on August 28, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde said today that the changes to the federal cabinet are significant steps toward restoring and revitalizing the nation-to-nation relationship between First Nations and the Crown.

“First Nations have a government-to-government, nation-to-nation relationship with the Crown, as reflected in the Treaties and other agreements,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “Today’s announcement of a Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs and a Minister of Indigenous Services signals a new approach to increasing action across our agenda. First Nations are working to move beyond the Indian Act and re-asserting our jurisdiction and sovereignty over our own lands, title and rights.”

Today, the Prime Minister announced that former Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett will now become the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, and former Health Minister Jane Philpott will become the Minister of Indigenous Services. During the 2015 federal election, National Chief Bellegarde issued the AFN’s “Closing the Gap” document that set out priorities, including changes to the federal government to ensure consistency with section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Changes to the machinery of government have been recommended in many previous studies and reports, including the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, and have been supported by First Nations.

“First Nations are an order of government in Canada and the government has to be organized to address that reality,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “I look forward to meeting with Minister Bennett and Minister Philpott soon, and to continuing to work with them.”

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

For more information, please contact:

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

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

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

read more
Angie TurnerAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Says New Federal Ministries a Positive Step for First Nations Relationships with the Crown

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Says Meeting with Cultural and Heritage Ministers Must Lead to Action to Protect and Strengthen First Nations Languages

on August 24, 2017

August 24, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde said today that the commitments on First Nations languages made at the National Indigenous Organizations and the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Heritage and Culture Ministers Roundtable and Meeting held on August 22, 2017, in Orford, QC must lead to immediate action with First Nations involved as full partners.

“This meeting was important because the federal, provincial and territorial governments all have a role in working with us to protect and strengthen First Nations languages,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “We need to act now because no Indigenous language is safe. Recent studies show that Indigenous people are learning their languages as second languages, so we know our people want to recover their language and identity. Our languages are central to our ceremonies, our culture and our right to self-determination. We need to work together now to build on this momentum and make sure our languages survive and get stronger.”

National Chief Bellegarde reminded the Federal Government of its commitment to work with First Nations as full and equal partners in co-developing an Indigenous Language Act, and this requires joint efforts on outreach and engagement, communications, preparing a memorandum to cabinet and joint drafting. As well, sustained long-term investments are needed to produce fluent speakers and use of language on a regular basis, including the operations of First Nations governments and in federal and provincial government services.

National Chief Bellegarde urged the provinces and territories to act immediately and not wait until the federal legislation is in place. He told the representatives at the meeting that First Nations are looking for a respectful and effective process for intergovernmental participation that reflects First Nations status under the Constitution and international law as peoples and nations with inherent rights, title and jurisdiction.

National Chief Bellegarde stated: “We want all governments to support the federal Indigenous Languages legislation as a fundamental part of reconciliation. We all have a role to play in healing the damage from the Indian Residential School system, the Indian Act, the Sixties Scoop and the overall approach of assimilation. There are efforts we can make right now, like training fluent speakers and certifying them as teachers or adopting regulations that provide them a role in the classroom. This is important work that requires our full focus and commitment but we can succeed. I look forward to hearing the next generation of First Nations children speaking their languages and learning them from their Elders.”

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

For more information, please contact:

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

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

BACKGROUND

Situational Analysis of Indigenous Languages in Canada

Language Context

  • Approximately 60 Indigenous languages in Canada
  • 10 separate and distinct language families
  • Most languages have multiple dialects, often with issues with multiple writing systems
  • Only 3 languages account for two-thirds of all mother-tongue language speakers
  • Most languages have relatively few fluent speakers
  • Most languages are not spoken by children, a key indicator of language survival
  • Language and cultural identity are intrinsically linked; maintaining both is urgent

Indigenous Rights, Legislation & Policy in Canada

The current federal government has promised to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which contains several articles that support the recovery, revitalization, preservation and education of and in the Indigenous languages of Canada. In addition, the Ministerial mandate letters, signed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, made the federal government’s commitment to Indigenous peoples clear, and the commitment to the recognition, preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages being no exception.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is posted online at:
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf

The current federal government promised implementation of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which contains four Calls to Action relating to language and culture.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action is posted online at:
http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Findings/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf

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Angie TurnerAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Says Meeting with Cultural and Heritage Ministers Must Lead to Action to Protect and Strengthen First Nations Languages

TECHNICAL BULLETIN – First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy

on August 17, 2017

“All First Nation members living on or away from their community have a right to shelter and they must be provided with an opportunity to access safe, secure, adequate and affordable housing.” (AFN: National First Nations Housing Strategy)

This Bulletin is an update from the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) on the First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy, a new approach to housing (including off-reserve housing) and infrastructure.

First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy

First Nations people must lead the development of a First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy to ensure the transformative change of housing and infrastructure is envisioned from a First Nations perspective. First Nations care and control of housing and infrastructure is the guiding principle.

First Nations are responsible for our members both on and off reserve. We need to ensure off-reserve housing is included in the scope of our Strategy, and we also need to include infrastructure as we can’t talk about housing without having the infrastructure to support it.

A new approach to meeting First Nations housing and infrastructure needs requires long-term sustainable investments and respect for regional perspectives and approaches. For example, First Nations north of 60 (Yukon and Northwest Territories) are not involved in the decision making process on how funds are spent for housing and infrastructure. As part of this transformative change, First Nations need to be involved in all decision making processes, and furthermore, funding needs to be flowed directly to First Nation communities for the care and control of housing and infrastructure.

The AFN’s Chiefs Committee on Housing and Infrastructure (CCoHI) provides political and technical guidance with respect to AFN’s engagement with Canada on housing and infrastructure related issues, thereby supporting the identification and development of strategies to better pursue a new approach to housing and infrastructure.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is mandated pursuant to but not limited to resolutions, 70/2015, 74/2015, 96/2016, 98/2016 passed by the Chiefs-in-Assembly, to engage with the Federal Government on housing and infrastructure.

At the recent 2017 AFN Annual General Assembly held in Regina, Saskatchewan, a resolution was passed by the Chiefs-in-Assembly that directed the AFN and Chiefs Committee on Housing and Infrastructure to jointly develop, with the federal government, a Terms of Reference for the establishment of a joint Working Group that will develop a First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy, which will include housing both on- and off-reserve.

This resolution further directs the AFN and the CCoHI to work in partnership with First Nations and the Government of Canada on the co-development of a strategic plan with short, medium and long-term objectives and outcomes, which will be implemented to contribute to the development of a National First Nations Housing and Infrastructure Strategy.

Next Steps

The AFN, Chiefs Committee on Housing and Infrastructure (CCoHI) and AFN Regional Housing Technicians are working towards developing a Terms of Reference with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), and other federal departments and agencies with a mandate for housing and on-reserve community infrastructure (e.g. the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Health Canada).

The Working Group will work towards obtaining and sharing information on First Nation views on a new approach to housing, including off-reserve housing and infrastructure. The Working Group will ensure First Nations leadership and their representatives’ take a lead role on the transformative change of housing and infrastructure as envisioned from their perspective and regional priorities.

The immediate work of the Working Group will be to develop the scope and parameters to assist regional engagement sessions so that information gathered will lead to the development of the First Nations Housing and Infrastructure Strategy.

First Nations led regional engagement sessions will commence over the summer and fall of 2017.

The AFN will continue to engage with First Nations at upcoming forums and think tank sessions to seek broader input from First Nations leadership, technician, regional organizations and other stakeholders on housing and infrastructure reform. A Housing Forum is being planned for October 30th to November 1st, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec.

Further information on these upcoming engagement sessions, AFN forums and think tank sessions will be posted on the AFN website.

For more information please contact Irving Leblanc, Director, Housing, Infrastructure and Emergency Services, ileblanc@afn.ca.

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Roy WhiteduckTECHNICAL BULLETIN – First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Marks International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and the 10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration

on August 8, 2017

August 8, 2017

(Ottawa, ON): To mark the United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on August 9, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde today expressed his commitment and his solidarity with Indigenous peoples worldwide to realize Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and to fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“Today, First Nations stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples everywhere to revitalize and restore our collective rights as peoples and to support one another in that goal,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “This is a day for all governments to recommit to work with us to fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration affirms Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and sets out minimum standards for their survival, dignity and well-being. Implementing the UN Declaration will promote peace and help close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and Canadians. Canada has stated its unqualified support for the UN Declaration and, as we approach the 10th anniversary of its adoption by the UN General Assembly, it is time to work together to give life to the Declaration in Canada and around the world.”

The AFN is mandated to support and advocate for First Nations in international human rights bodies. The AFN recently submitted a report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which highlighted key priorities and concerns including:

  • the urgent need for measures to address diverse forms of racial discrimination impacting Indigenous peoples in Canada;
  • co-development by Canada and Indigenous peoples of Indigenous languages legislation to support Indigenous peoples work to revitalize the original languages of this land;
  • co-development of federal legislation to support the full implementation of the UN Declaration, and;
  • investments to ensure all First Nations can access essential government services such as potable water, health, emergency services, education and community infrastructure.

In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 49/214 establishing August 9 as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The date marks the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1982. The UN Working Group played a critical role in launching the development of the UN Declaration as a joint endeavor of Indigenous peoples in partnership with the member States of the United Nations.

The theme for this year is the 10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007. Canada is now part of several consensus resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly respecting the UN Declaration and has expressed unqualified support for its full implementation.

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

 

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For more information, please contact:

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

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

read more
Roy WhiteduckAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Marks International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and the 10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration
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