News

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Looks Forward to Working with New Governor General of Canada

on July 16, 2017

July 13, 2017

(Ottawa) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde congratulates Julie Payette and welcomes her in her role as the next Governor General of Canada.

“I welcome the new Governor General and, as the representative of the Crown, I look forward to meeting with her to discuss the relationship with First Nations,” National Chief Perry Bellegarde said. “Julie Payette has a high benchmark to meet given recent Governors General have worked hard to build good relations with First Nations peoples, but she has an impressive background and experience and we look forward to continuing this positive relationship. I want to acknowledge the service and commitment of Governor General David Johnston and wish him well in all his future endeavours. There are some who were calling for an Indigenous Governor General and, while we may see that in our lifetime, we know that whoever assumes this position has a duty to uphold the honour of the Crown in all their work, and that includes the long-standing relationship with First Nations.”

National Chief Bellegarde will be in contact with Rideau Hall to welcome the new Governor General and to identify a time to meet after she is sworn in and officially begins her duties.

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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jordyAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Looks Forward to Working with New Governor General of Canada

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Statement on Commissioner’s Resignation from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

on July 16, 2017

July 11, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde issued the following statement today on the resignation of Commissioner Marilyn Poitras from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, announced in a letter yesterday and effective July 15, 2017: 

“Our first thoughts are for the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and how this affects them and their path to healing and justice,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “We’re very concerned about this resignation because the work of the National Inquiry is too important and we want to see it succeed for the families. The AFN has made many offers to help the Inquiry connect with all those affected by this tragedy because a ‘families first’ approach is essential to the Inquiry’s success. As part of that effort, we’ve invited the Commissioners to speak at our upcoming AFN Annual General Assembly to share information, and we anticipate a positive response. Many of those gathered at the Assembly – Elders, youth, women and leaders – have been directly affected by this issue and will welcome this information. This resignation is regrettable but we thank Marilyn Poitras for her contributions.” 

The agenda for the Assembly of First Nations 38th Annual General Assembly is being confirmed. The AFN Annual General Assembly takes place in Regina, Saskatchewan July 25 – 27 at the Evraz Place. More information is available on the AFN website at www.afn.ca

 

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

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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

read more
jordyAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Statement on Commissioner’s Resignation from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Assembly of First Nations Launches Digital Resource for Teachers It’s Our Time First Nations Education Toolkit on iTunes U

on July 16, 2017

June 28, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – The Assembly of First Nations’ digital education resource It’s Our Time First Nations Education Toolkit is now on iTunes U. The free, downloadable package for iPad is a resource for teachers, providing culturally relevant, accessible, hands-on educational tools on First Nation culture and history.

“Education is key to reconciliation because it builds bridges of understanding,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “The It’s Our Time First Nations Education Toolkit will help increase cultural competency and understanding of First Nations’ rights, histories and cultures, developed from First Nations perspectives. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for education to lead Canada’s reconciliation effort, and this Toolkit provides First Nation and non-First Nation learners, teachers, schools, institutions and the Canadian public with a resource that fosters a spirit of cooperation, understanding and, most importantly, action.”

The Toolkit on iPad is a resource for schools and teachers across Canada to ignite interest and encourage action, available on iTunes U and on the iBooks Store.

“One of our goals has been to advocate for education programs that allow teachers to incorporate accurate, culturally sensitive and appropriate Indigenous content in their program delivery,” says Floyd Martens, President of the Canadian School Boards Association.  “We are pleased to be able to promote the new It’s Our Time First Nations Education Toolkit to our school boards, in the hopes that a spirit of education for reconciliation can be achieved through this valuable resource.”

The Canadian Education Association and Canadian Teacher’s Federation also see the value of the Toolkit.

“The Canadian Education Association applauds the AFN for developing the It’s Our Time First Nations Education Toolkit. This comprehensive collection of learning materials will help to support thousands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators across Canada currently challenged with embedding Indigenous knowledge, perspectives and Worldview learning into their classrooms,” says Roger Paul, CEA Chair.

“I would like to commend the AFN for the production of this valuable comprehensive toolkit on First Nations,” says Canadian Teachers’ Federation President, Heather Smith. “This must-have reference for schools and school boards across the country will become a catalyst for enhanced learning and understanding.”

The Regional Chief for Saskatchewan, Bobby Cameron, holds the education portfolio at the AFN.

“It is important the teachers have the tools available to make their lessons achieve the goal of improving the relationship between Canada and First Nations. Education of history and culture is a crucial component of that,” Regional Chief Bobby Cameron said. “Education is a lifelong learning process and one of our inherent and treaty rights. I look forward to seeing teachers use the It’s Our Time toolkit in my area and across Canada.”

There are 21 modules available through the Toolkit’s iTunes U Course. AFN has currently worked with education technology company Ebou Learning to enhance each module with six interactive textbooks:

  • Cultural Competency
  • First Nations Holistic Lifelong learning Model
  • First Nations Performance Indicators Checklist
  • The KAIROS Blanket Exercise
  • Residential School
  • Role Models

 

The AFN will continue to produce interactive and engaging digital material for the remaining modules. The resources and learning materials can be used for all grades and all teachers, but focus primarily on supporting grade 7-10 students during these important transitional years.

The Toolkit can be downloaded at: https://education.afn.ca/toolkit  

It’s Our Time AFN Education Tool Kit iTunes U course is available, for free, exclusively on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/course/its-our-time-afn-education-tool-kit/id1199604596

 

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

read more
jordyAssembly of First Nations Launches Digital Resource for Teachers It’s Our Time First Nations Education Toolkit on iTunes U

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde becomes First National AFN leader to march in Toronto’s 37th Annual Pride Parade

on July 16, 2017

June 23, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said today he was honoured to accept an invitation to march in Toronto’s 37th annual Pride Parade on June 25th and he looks forward to becoming the first AFN National Chief to march in the parade. 

“Toronto’s annual Pride events and Pride Month are excellent opportunities to celebrate diversity and respect for LGBTQ2S individuals throughout history and today,” National Chief Perry Bellegarde said. “We need more support for the LGBTQ2S community across Canada and amongst Indigenous communities. We have to do more to make sure LGBTQ2S youth and adults feel positive about their future, feel welcome in their communities, and know that they are accepted and valued.”

In pre-contact times, the Two Spirit People were called the Gifted Ones. Carrying both male and female spirit, these individuals were believed to have received supernatural intervention in the form of dreams and visions. Balancing masculine and feminine energies, they restored harmony through their roles as marriage counsellors, mediators, adoptive parents, caregivers and medicine people.

The last year has marked many milestones for First Nations LGBTQ2S. Last spring the city of Winnipeg hosted a Two-Spirit pow-wow, the first in Pride Winnipeg’s 30 year history. Additionally, the Saskatchewan’s Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation hosted a Two-Spirit Festival which included raising the pride flag and a parade.

According to the National Aboriginal Health Organization, a recent report found that Two-Spirited people are more likely to experience violence than heterosexual First Nations. They are twice more likely to experience all forms of assault than LGBT people in the general population. 

This year marks 37 years of Pride events in Toronto and its second Pride Month. The theme for this year’s event is “the pluses” that LGBTQ2S people add to their community, country, industries, businesses, and families. Pride Month launched on June 1 and features programming and events throughout the city, culminating with the annual Pride Parade on June 25. Last year’s parade was the biggest to date and saw thousands of Canadians watch the first sitting Prime Minister march in Toronto’s Pride parade. Over 200 organizations are expected to be a part of this year’s Pride parade, the largest in North America.

 

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

read more
jordyAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde becomes First National AFN leader to march in Toronto’s 37th Annual Pride Parade

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Welcomes Name Change for June 21: ‘National Indigenous Peoples Day’

on July 16, 2017

June 21, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations Nation Chief Perry Bellegarde supports the new name for June 21 – National Indigenous Peoples Day – as a name consistent with the international recognition of Indigenous peoples and consistent with AFN resolution (23/2013) calling for the name change.

“I believe this small change is part of a larger movement towards recognition and acknowledgement that these lands are the homelands of Indigenous nations and cultures,” National Chief Perry Bellegarde said. “On behalf of the entire Assembly of First Nations, staff, and AFN Executive, I wish a peaceful and joyous National Indigenous Peoples Day to peoples from all walks of life. Today and every day we stand as proud First Nations peoples and will continue moving together toward reconciliation.”

June 21 formerly known as “National Aboriginal Day” was designated in 1996. The push towards the term ‘Indigenous’ has gained momentum in recent years. In 2013, AFN Chiefs-in-Assembly passed a resolution calling for a renaming of this day to Indigenous Peoples Day, and the establishment of a national holiday.

The official change to “Indigenous” brings the Canadian government in-line with the United Nations use of the word in international discussions as well as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River MP Georgina Jolibois tabled a private member’s bill  June 15 that would make National Aboriginal Day a statutory holiday across the country.

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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jordyAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Welcomes Name Change for June 21: ‘National Indigenous Peoples Day’

NATIONAL CHIEF BULLETIN – June 2017 – Update on Engagement Sessions on Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act

on July 16, 2017

Announcement of Engagement Sessions by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada 

The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act (SDWFNA) came into effect November 1, 2013. The Act purports to enable the Government to develop enforceable federal regulations to ensure access to safe, clean, and reliable drinking water; the effective treatment of wastewater, and the protection of sources of drinking water on First Nation lands. 

On May 29, 2017, INAC publicly announced on its website, it would soon begin engagement on a review of the Act

INAC has indicated, through their online SDWFNA Engagement webpage, that sessions will begin June 20, 2017, and will include national and regional meetings, beginning in Prince George June 20 and Vancouver June 22. Dates and locations of upcoming meetings will be posted as information becomes available.

In a letter to INAC Minister Carolyn Bennett, I have informed the government of AFN’s concerns about the proposed short timeline for engagement and the need to change the way the government conducts legislative development initiatives, especially in view of Prime Minister Trudeau’s commitment to a joint law and policy review with First Nations. I have pointed out to Minister Bennett there is an opportunity to work together with First Nations to co-draft appropriate legislation. However, legislation and regulation alone are not enough. Substantial funding must be provided to First Nations to adequately address chronic underfunding, and to ensure sufficient funding for continued operation and maintenance of the drinking water treatment plants.

According to the regional approach for engagement posted on the INAC website: The review will be conducted through region-by-region engagement sessions with each session designed by INAC, with the involvement of a lead First Nation organization and Health Canada.

The objectives of the sessions are to seek First Nations’ input, considerations, and reflections about the current Act and jointly determine how to move forward with the review of the Act.

The Government aims to empower itself to develop new regulations and standards, and does not provide First Nations with any resources to meet those new standards. There remains a concern that without funding, First Nations could face punitive actions for failing to meet regulations.

The Act garnered widespread criticism from First Nations across Canada, and was heavily criticized for lack of meaningful engagement and consultation with First Nations; first as Bill S-11, then as Bill S-8.

The federal government needs to work with First Nations, Regional and Treaty organizations on the development of regulations that impact the management of resources and the health and safety of our citizens. 

Through Resolution 76/2015, AFN has direction to advocate for the repeal of the Act. In accordance with this resolution, I will continue to press for repeal, and the co-development of legislation, rather than unilaterally imposed policies; and for respect of the standard of free prior and informed consent articulated in The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

(Article 19 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states: States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.)

Kinanâskomitin,

 
Perry Bellegarde
National Chief 

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jordyNATIONAL CHIEF BULLETIN – June 2017 – Update on Engagement Sessions on Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act

NATIONAL CHIEF BULLETIN June 2017 – Announcement on Initiative to Create an Indigenous Languages Act

on July 16, 2017

On June 15, I participated in an announcement with the federal Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, on the co-development of an Indigenous Languages Act. This proposed legislation is aimed at revitalizing, preserving, protecting and maintaining Indigenous languages.

First Nations have been pushing for many years for action to support, promote and strengthen our languages, the original languages of these lands. Language is culture. Language is identity. Language is central to our songs, stories, and ceremonies. Language is fundamental to self-determination. Revitalizing our languages is essential to reconciliation. The recognition, promotion, and recovery of First Nations languages will not only strengthen our Nations but enrich the whole country.

This is why we welcomed the response by Prime Minister Trudeau when he announced his commitment at our December 2016 Special Chiefs Assembly to “enact an Indigenous Languages Act, co-developed with Indigenous Peoples, with the goal of ensuring the preservation, protection, and revitalization of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit languages.” When a country officially recognizes and promotes the recovery of its original languages, the languages get stronger. When our languages get stronger, we get stronger.

June 15 was the formal announcement that the AFN will engage with First Nations to work on legislation to “revitalize, recover, preserve, protect, maintain and promote” First Nations languages. First Nations language champions, educators, Elders and citizens from across the country will be essential in providing input on the legislation.

Our involvement is based on some key principles that will guide this work.

One is that this work must be based on First Nations engagement and guidance throughout all stages. We are hosting a number of engagement sessions, the first one being held June 22 & 23 in Vancouver for B.C. First Nations and Yukon First Nations. On Monday July 24, we shall convene another session prior to our upcoming AFN Annual General Assembly in Regina, SK, and will continue through to the Fall of 2017 for all regions. We will keep you informed of all engagement sessions.

We maintain as well that this work must be based on a distinctions-based approach. Consistent with the commitment to an Indigenous Languages Act, the Métis National Council and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami were part of the announcement, but each organization is going to oversee outreach and engagement with their own citizens. We know First Nations require our own unique approach to reflect our own unique perspectives, priorities and languages. We are exploring a number of options to ensure the legislation itself reflects a distinctions-based approach.

This work will be based on the recognition that First Nations governments have jurisdiction over languages. Any legislation will recognize First Nations language rights and jurisdictions. It will recognize that languages are fundamental to self-determination. It will be based on the recognition of language rights as inherent rights. The legislation will, among other things, affirm and address the right of First Nations to revitalize, use, develop and transmit their languages to future generations, including through the control of their educational systems and institutions.

We look forward to your ideas and input on this important initiative.

There are more than 58 distinct Indigenous languages and more than 90 distinct languages and dialects spoken on Turtle Island. There are no Indigenous languages that are considered to be safe. The work we are doing here, in companion with the many other efforts we and First Nations are making to support and strengthen our languages, will ensure they survive and thrive.

This work will be a lasting legacy to our children.

 

Kinanâskomitin,

Perry Bellegarde
National Chief

 


A joint statement for the June 15 launch of co-development of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis languages legislation

https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/news/2017/06/a_joint_statementforthejune15launchofco-developmentoffirstnation.html

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jordyNATIONAL CHIEF BULLETIN June 2017 – Announcement on Initiative to Create an Indigenous Languages Act

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Commits to Action on an Indigenous Languages Act to Protect and Strengthen First Nations Languages

on July 16, 2017

June 15, 2017


A joint statement for the June 15 launch of co-development of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis languages legislation

https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/news/2017/06/a_joint_statementforthejune15launchofco-developmentoffirstnation.html

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde today participated in a joint announcement with the Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, on the co-development of an Indigenous Languages Act aimed at revitalizing, protecting, recovering, and maintaining Indigenous languages.

“Revitalizing First Nations languages is a vital part of self-determination,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “Language is culture and central to our songs, stories, and ceremonies. The recognition, promotion, and recovery of First Nations languages – the original languages of these lands – will not only strengthen our Nations but enrich the whole country. We look forward to the First Nation engagement process supporting First Nations jurisdiction, and will ensure language rights are recognized as inherent rights. This vital work will be a lasting legacy for our children.”

The AFN will engage with First Nations to work on legislation to ‘revitalize, recover, preserve, protect, maintain and promote’ First Nations languages. First Nations language champions and educators from across the country will be essential in providing input on the legislation beginning next week, with engagement continuing through to the Fall of 2017.

There are more than 58 distinct Indigenous languages and more than 90 distinct languages and dialects spoken on Turtle Island. There are no Indigenous languages that are considered to be safe.

Prime Minister Trudeau announced his commitment to “enact an Indigenous Languages Act, co-developed with Indigenous Peoples, with the goal of ensuring the preservation, protection, and revitalization of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit languages” at the AFN’s Special Chiefs Assembly in December 2016. A survey conducted by Nanos Research in March 2017 found that nearly three quarters of Canadians (74%) support the creation of this legislation.

 

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

read more
jordyAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Commits to Action on an Indigenous Languages Act to Protect and Strengthen First Nations Languages

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Stands for Gender Equality and the Elimination of Discrimination Under the Indian Act

on July 16, 2017

June 14, 2017

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde stands for gender equality and is calling for a thorough and effective response to end discrimination under the Indian Act’s treatment of entitlement to Indian status and band membership. 

Bill S-3 has passed second reading in the House of Commons and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs for further study. S-3 is the government’s response to the decision called Descheneaux which identified gender-based discrimination under the Indian Act

National Chief Bellegarde said the Indian Act is collapsing under its own colonial weight. The current debate over the scope of amendments to be included in S-3 is further proof of that. 

“We understand that, in the next phase of its engagement with First Nations, the government planned to consult on longstanding issues of discrimination not captured by the government’s current proposed amendments,” said National Chief Bellegarde.  “However, Canada and First Nations can no longer wait. We must end the debate, now!” 

The Assembly of First Nations has unequivocally embraced the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) and its commitment to eliminate all forms of discrimination. 

Chief Denise Stonefish, Chair of the AFN Women’s Council said, “I encourage all First Nations leadership to re-assert inherent jurisdiction over citizenship in ways that respect and honour women. Our traditions are diverse but whether it is tradition or whether it is international human rights standards, gender equality and the elimination of all forms of discrimination is the right thing to do.” 

The AFN is aware that one approach being called for is commonly known as “s.6(1)(a) all the way.” As long as the Indian Act remains on federal statute books, it is Canada’s responsibility to eliminate all forms of discrimination created by it. This includes the government’s responsibility to find the most effective technical path to accomplish this goal. 

“Ultimately, we all know that the path to gender equality and the path to self-determination does not lie in the Indian Act.  We must move beyond the Indian Act by asserting our jurisdiction and creating our own citizenship laws.  At each step, First Nations governments must have access to the requisite fiscal, land and other resources to provide the basics of government and essential services to all of our citizens,” said National Chief Bellegarde.

 

 

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 

Alain Garon
Bilingual Communications Officer
Tel: 613.241.6789, Ext. 382
Cell: 613-292-0857
agaron@afn.ca

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jordyAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Stands for Gender Equality and the Elimination of Discrimination Under the Indian Act

NATIONAL CHIEF BULLETIN – June 2017 – Canada Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Priorities

on July 16, 2017

Assembly of First Nations – Canada Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Priorities

I am writing to inform you about the Assembly of First Nations – Canada Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Priorities that I signed today with Prime Minister Trudeau on unceded Algonquin territory in Ottawa. The MOU is attached for your reference.

The MOU establishes a commitment for Canada to meet with the AFN at least three times a year, with one of those meetings being chaired by the Prime Minister. The purpose of these meetings is to help ensure that the government’s priorities are consistent with First Nations priorities. First Nations will set direction for these meetings and the AFN will ensure we are making progress on an agenda as determined by First Nations.

These meetings are not a decision-making table. They will be used to mark progress on priorities and to identify key issues and solutions to barriers facing First Nations in advancing their rights and objectives. The priorities under the MOU will be reviewed on an annual basis.

The MOU was originally raised at a meeting on December 15, 2016, with Prime Minister Trudeau and several cabinet ministers, to mark the first anniversary of the release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The Prime Minister expressed his interest in establishing processes to discuss areas of mutual interest.

We provided a Bulletin to you about this meeting on December 16 of last year. The AFN Executive has been provided updates on this work, and there was agreement to proceed at our most recent Executive Meeting.

I believe that First Nations need to be engaging on a regular basis with the key people making federal laws and policies in order to affect and implement proper changes that respect inherent Indigenous and Treaty rights. These meetings are part of that approach. During my term, Prime Minister Trudeau has addressed the Chiefs-in-Assembly on two occasions, the first time a sitting Prime Minister has addressed our leaders from across Turtle Island. AFN Assemblies and AFN Executive Meetings regularly feature involvement from senior Cabinet ministers and officials. The MOU signed today is part of this ongoing engagement.

If you would like more information about the Assembly of First Nations – Canada Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Priorities please contact my office.

 

Sincerely,

Perry Bellegarde
National Chief

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jordyNATIONAL CHIEF BULLETIN – June 2017 – Canada Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Priorities
Assembly of First Nations
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