More than 1700 First Nations leaders, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Women, Youth and Veterans from across Canada joined together in person and virtually from December 6 to 8, 2022 for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Special Chiefs Assembly (SCA) hosted by Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg. First Nations-in-Assembly assessed progress and deliberated First Nations priorities ranging from child welfare to gun registration.
First Nations-in-Assembly passed a total of 23 resolutions, including two directing the AFN on a path forward on compensation and long-term reform for children and families harmed by the Government of Canada’s discriminatory funding of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Program and narrow application of Jordan’s Principle, 10 supporting Indian Residential School Survivors, and resolutions supporting public safety and better government accountability for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit people (MMIWG2S+). Final resolutions will be available on the AFN website in January 2023.
In her remarks, AFN National Chief RoseAnne Archibald reaffirmed her commitment to gender equity, First Nations children and families, and MMIWG2S+.
Special guest Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools Kimberley Murray addressed the Special Chiefs Assembly. She remarked that a family’s right to know what happened to their loved ones, how they died and where they are buried also applies to the families of women whose remains are believed to be in a landfill in Winnipeg.
The AFN also welcomed the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre (by video), and federal ministers, including Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada Patty Hajdu, Minister of Public Safety Canada Marco Mendicino and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti.
The AFN Circle of Trade welcomed SCA participants and featured 39 businesses, organizations and sponsors – many of which were First Nations and Indigenous – offering networking opportunities with industry experts.
The AFN thanks First Nations leadership, delegates and sponsors for their active participation in the 2022 SCA and wishes everyone a safe, healthy and restful holiday season. We look forward to continuing to build a healing path forward for First Nations and all Canadians now and in the coming year.