News

AFN Regional Chief Augustine Mourns Loss of Candace Stevens, Calls for Full and Thorough Investigation by Law Enforcement

on November 2, 2018

(Eel Ground First Nations, NB): Assembly of First Nations (AFN) New Brunswick-Prince Edward Island Regional Chief Roger Augustine is calling for local police and RCMP to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the death of Candace Stevens, whose body was discovered on October 27 in Upper Derby, New Brunswick.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family, the friends and the memory of Candace Stevens,” said Regional Chief Augustine. “The family has suffered a profound loss and they deserve answers. This is the second loss of an Indigenous woman in this area in the past two weeks, and this literally hits close to home as my First Nation is only about ten minutes away from where she was found. I am pressing the Fredericton Police and RCMP to conduct a full and thorough investigation. This must be a priority. I stand with the family.”

Candace Stevens was born in Saint John, NB and resided in Fredericton. She was the daughter of Alexander Stevens and the late Violet Abigosis. A visitation and memorial service was held earlier today.

 

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

 

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For media enquiries please contact:

Galen Augustine
Assistant to Regional Chief Augustine
[email protected]
1-506-625-0030

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Roy WhiteduckAFN Regional Chief Augustine Mourns Loss of Candace Stevens, Calls for Full and Thorough Investigation by Law Enforcement

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Congratulates Bobby Cameron on Re-Election as Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and Saskatchewan Regional Chief for the AFN

on October 26, 2018

(Ottawa, ON): Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde congratulates Bobby Cameron on his re-election yesterday as Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and AFN Regional Chief for Saskatchewan. The FSIN Legislative Assembly and Election took place at the TCU Place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on October 24 and 25, 2018.

“On behalf of the AFN Executive Committee, I congratulate Regional Chief Bobby Cameron on his re-election and look forward to our continued work together on enforcing and implementing First Nations rights and title,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.  “Regional Chief Cameron has been a strong voice on the AFN Executive Committee for the rights and priorities of First Nations in Saskatchewan and across the country and we value his ongoing experience and insight.  I acknowledge and offer congratulations to FSIN First Vice-Chief Morley Watson and Third-Vice Chief Edward Henry (Dutch) Lerat as they join the FSIN executive to advocate and represent Saskatchewan First Nations.”

Regional Chief Bobby Cameron is a member of the Witchekan Lake First Nation and was elected to his first term for Chief of FSIN and AFN Regional Chief in 2015.  The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

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

 

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For media requests or more information, please contact:

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857 mobile
[email protected]

Jenna Young Castro
AFN Senior Communications Advisor
613-241-6789 ext. 201
613-314-8157 mobile
[email protected]

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Roy WhiteduckAssembly of First Nations National Chief Congratulates Bobby Cameron on Re-Election as Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and Saskatchewan Regional Chief for the AFN

2018 Special Chiefs Assembly

on October 22, 2018

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Special Chiefs Assembly (SCA) will take place from December 4 to 6, 2018 in Ottawa, Ontario. The SCA will be held at the Westin Ottawa Hotel located at 11 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario.

All Assembly delegates who pre-register, pre-pay and pick up their badges during Pre-Registration on December 3, 2018, will be entered into an AFN draw for great prizes. See below, for more information on the benefits and incentives for pre-registered and pre-paid delegates.

SCA Notice

Download

Proxy Letter

Download

Registration

Where does your registration fee go?

Chiefs from across the country generally come together twice a year to set strategic direction based on First Nations needs and priorities. The Chiefs Assemblies provide the venue for First Nations leaders to direct the work of the Assembly of First Nations, the National Chief and Executive Committee through resolution. It is just one way First Nations leaders bring forward the concerns and priorities of First Nations members.

Registration fees help to offset the direct costs of organizing Chiefs Assemblies, including facility rentals, audio/visual equipment, interpretation services, webcasting, registration services, facilitators, meeting kits, translation, signage, catering, and drum groups.

Registration Process

All participants and groups are encouraged to pre-register and pre-pay. There will be separate line-ups to pick up your badge and USB for those who pre-register and pre-pay in advance of the Assembly.

  • Register and pay ONLINE at afn.ca. You will receive a confirmation email. Major credit cards accepted (VISA, MasterCard and American Express).
  • FAXyour registration form to Angie Turner at 613-241-5808.
  • MAIL your registration form and payment to Angie Turner, Assembly of First Nations, 55 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1600, Ottawa, ON K1P 6L5.

Registration forms and payment must be received by November 30, 2018, to ensure processing prior to the Assembly. After this date, please register on site with your payment.

Register On-line Registration Form

Please note that registration fees are non-refundable after November 30, 2018. An administration fee of $50 will apply for all cancellations.

Onsite pre-registration will be held on Monday, December 3, 2018, from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm at the Westin Ottawa Hotel. For planning purposes and to avoid line-ups, all delegates are encouraged to pick up their badges and USBs on December 3, 2018.

Pre-Registration Bonus:

There will be separate line-ups and a separate registration process for those that pre-register and pre-pay in advance of the Assembly. Watch for more information on draws and incentives to be announced for pre-registered and pre-paid delegates!

Fees

  • Chief/Proxy (Proxy letter required):  $350.00
  • First Nation Citizen: $350.00
  • Observer and Non-Government Organization: $600.00
  • Other Governments: $600.00
  • Senior Citizen (age 65 and older): $50.00
  • Students (valid student card required): $50.00
  • Veterans: Complimentary
  • Elders: Complimentary
  • Accredited Media: Complimentary

Accomodations

HOST HOTEL: Westin Ottawa Hotel **Hotel Accommodations are now fully booked**

11 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 9H4
Hotel Telephone: 613-560-7000
Reservations: 1-888-627-8528

Website: www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/AFNSCA

Cut-off date: November 9, 2018
Rate: $199/night plus taxes for a Traditional room; $224/night plus taxes for a Premium room

As the host hotel of the AFN SCA, the Westin Ottawa is offering a special rate for guestrooms. The AFN encourages delegates to make reservations at the Westin Ottawa by the noted deadline to ensure accommodations are available at the price listed.

Please indicate that you are attending the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly when making reservations. Please note: should you decide to cancel your reservation, there will be a non-refundable charge for two nights’ accommodation.

All expenses with respect to attending the AFN SCA including guestroom arrangements are the responsibility of the guest/group to cover and clear upon departure.

Guestrooms are also available at the following hotels:

Les Suites

130 Besserer Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 9M9
Telephone : 613-232-2000
Toll-free: 1-800-267-1989
Rate: $195/night (single/double occupancy) in a Premier One-Bedroom Suite plus applicable taxes
Booking deadline: before November 2, 2018
Group reservation code: 181011
Website: www.les-suites.com

Le Germain Hotel Ottawa

30 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1N 6E2
Telephone: 613-691-3230
Toll-free : 1-833-503-0030
Rate : $249 (single occupancy), plus applicable taxes
Booking deadline : before November 12, 2018
Group reservation code : Special Chiefs Assembly
Website: www.legermainhotels.com/en/ottawa

Resolutions

Resolutions for consideration at the Special Chiefs Assembly must be submitted to AFN by November 16, 2018.

Please contact Khamarie Desjarlais at 241-6789 Ext. 151 or [email protected] for more information on the resolutions process.

Resolutions Template

Travel Discounts

Please visit www.afn.ca for more information on how to access SCA travel discounts for Air Canada, WestJet, Porter Airlines, and VIA Rail.

Flight Centre
If you do not have a preferred travel agent and require assistance making your travel arrangements to the AFN SCA, please contact Tyler Brennan at Flight Centre Business Travel.

Tyler Brennan, Assistant Manager
Flight Centre Business Travel – Glebe
763 Bank Street – Room B
Ottawa, ON K1S 3V3

Telephone: 613-321-0120
Toll-free: 1-877-565-5295
Fax: 613-321-0426
E-mail: [email protected]

AIR CANADA
Air Canada is pleased to offer a promotion code for travel. Visit www.aircanada.com and enter promotion code in the search panel.

Promotion Code
Your promotion code: 4BF6XHR1 

Applicable Rules

  • The booking is to be made to the following city: Ottawa, YOW (ON)
  • The travel period begins December 2 and ends December 9, 2018.
  • No discount will apply to Standard bookings for travel within Canada.

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WESTJET
WestJet is pleased to offer 5% off Econo* and 10% off Flex and Plus fares for travel within Canada and 2% off Econo in to and out of Ottawa for the 2018 AFN Special Chiefs Assembly. Visit www.westjet.com/conventions to make a booking online using the following codes.

  • Coupon code: 1F6I7KN
  • Promo code: WBB78 (*Travel Agent use only)
  • Travel from: December 2 to December 9, 2018

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PORTER AIRLINES
Porter Airlines is proud to offer a discount on available base fares (with the exception of the lowest class fare during a public seat sale) for travel to Ottawa. The discounted fares are available for travel from December 2 to 9, 2018. Please book online at www.flyporter.com or through your travel agent using promo code AFN13.

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VIA RAIL CANADA
VIA Rail Canada is a major ground transportation company offering a discount for travel to and from the AFN 2018 Special Chiefs Assembly. Book online at www.viarail.ca.

The following are the details pertaining to the conference fare:

  • Valid: December 2 to December 9, 2018
  • Territory: From all stations throughout the VIA system to Ottawa, Ontario and return.
  • Restrictions: Fare applies to a maximum of two passengers per booking.
  • Discount: 5% off the best available fare in Economy, Economy Plus, Business, Business Plus, Sleeper, or Sleeper Plus class. “Subject to the conditions and restrictions of the fare plan to which the additional discount is being applied.”
  • Exception: Discount does not apply in any Escape Class fares.
  • Identification: Participants must reference the Assembly of First Nations’ VIA corporate discount code: 810994.

Sponsors

Please contact Karen Hunter at [email protected] or 613-241-6789 ext. 203 if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for the Special Chiefs Assembly.

AFN Winter Celebration

Plan to attend the AFN Winter Celebration to be held on December 6, 2018!
Watch for updates at www.afn.ca or contact Larry Whiteduck at [email protected] or 613-241-6789 ext. 237 for more information.

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Contacts

SCA 2018 Coordinator

Joyce McDougall
Telephone: (613) 241-6789
Ext. 199
Fax: (613) 241-5808
E-mail: [email protected]

SCA 2018 – Registration Inquiries

Angie Turner
Telephone: (613) 241-6789
Ext. 296
Fax: (613) 241-5808
E-mail: [email protected]

SCA 2018 – General Inquiries

Arronessa Fraser
Telephone: (613) 241-6789
Fax: (613) 241-5808
E-mail: [email protected]

On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations, we look forward to seeing you in Ottawa.

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Sid Lee2018 Special Chiefs Assembly

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Acknowledges the 20th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve Program

on October 21, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde acknowledges the 20th anniversary of the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve (AHSOR) Program, an important and essential community-based program to help close the education gap for First Nations children and families.

“Today we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve Program, an important program that delivers quality educational programming and care in First Nations across the country,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “Our children deserve healthy environments and solid programs that are rooted in culture and language so they can achieve their full potential. We continue to support innovative community-based programming that makes positive impacts. We want to see more resources so more of our children can access Head Start On-Reserve Programs.”

The AHSOR Program works collectively with other community programs and services to ensure First Nations children have access to the best care.The Government of Canada announced on October 19, 1995, that the Aboriginal Head Start Program would be expanded to First Nations to help enhance child development and school readiness for First Nations children.  The expansion was a result of commitments made in Gathering Strength: Canada’s Aboriginal Action Plan, Securing our Future Together and the 1997 Speech from the Throne.  In the 2015-2016 reporting year, over 14,000 First Nations children, living in First Nations, participated in an AHSOR Program.

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

For media requests or more information, please contact:

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857
[email protected]

Jenna Young Castro
AFN Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 201
613-314-8157 (cell)
[email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

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Angie TurnerAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Acknowledges the 20th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve Program

Canada’s Laws Must Respect First Nations Rights:  AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde on Supreme Court of Canada Decision on Mikisew

on October 19, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – Following today’s decision by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding Mikisew Cree First Nation stating that the federal government does not need to consult with First Nations prior to tabling legislation, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde says Canada still has a duty to ensure its laws respect and honour First Nations rights and title.

“Today’s decision is disappointing, but it does reaffirm the federal government’s duty to uphold the Honour of the Crown, and that means respecting First Nations rights in any legislation,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.  “This case is the result of misguided attempts by the previous federal government to override our rights. The court itself says any legislation that does not respect First Nations rights or meet the Crown’s obligations can be challenged.  First Nations are up for the challenge when these obligations aren’t met, but it shouldn’t have to get to that.  With full and meaningful engagement with First Nations at the outset of any initiative that could impact rights or our territories, we can and will produce better results and avoid costly, lengthy legal challenges.”

The 78 page judgment in the case of Chief Steve Courtoreille on behalf of himself and the members of the Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Governor General in Council et al., SCc 37441 was released this morning.

“First Nations are rights holders, not stake holders, and I lift up the Mikisew Cree for their fortitude and fully support them and all First Nations in asserting rights,” said National Chief Perry Bellegarde.  “The federal government has pledged to honour First Nations’ inherent rights and Treaty rights and to work with us to implement the UN Declaration, and I will continue to hold them to this standard. I will continue to push for a full review of all federal laws and policies to ensure that First Nations rights are reflected and respected.”

The Courtoreille/Mikisew Cree Nation case deals with Canada’s duty to consult with First Nations before introducing legislation. It arose in 2012 when the Minister of Finance introduced two omnibus bills that amended Canada’s environmental protection and regulatory legislative scheme. In 2013, Mikisew Cree First Nation, under Chief Steve Courtoreille, filed a judicial review application on the basis that Canada did not consult the Mikisew Cree First Nation on these changes which had potential to impact Mikisew’s Treaty rights. Canada does have an established duty to consult and accommodate when Indigenous rights and Treaties are affected. The issue in this case if that duty applies to the legislative process.

 

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

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For media requests or more information, please contact:

Jenna Young Castro
AFN Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext 201
613-314-8157 (cell)
[email protected]

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857
[email protected]

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Roy WhiteduckCanada’s Laws Must Respect First Nations Rights:  AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde on Supreme Court of Canada Decision on Mikisew

AFN BULLETIN – United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement October, 2018

on October 19, 2018

USMCA Breaks New Ground by including Indigenous Peoples

After more than a year of discussion on how to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada reached a new trade deal with the United States and Mexico late in the evening of September 30, 2018. It is a deal secured after intense negotiations, and the result breaks new ground for Indigenous peoples and Indigenous rights.

In the most inclusive international trade agreement for Indigenous peoples to date, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will serve to help protect Indigenous peoples’ rights and provide for preferences for First Nations businesses.

Specific provisions for Indigenous peoples are found in the Exceptions and General Provisions chapter, the Environment chapter, Investment chapter (corporate social responsibility), Textiles, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Chapter and North American Competitiveness Committee Chapter.

Throughout the negotiations, AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde had the opportunity to provide advice to federal Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who led Canada’s negotiation team. Early on, Minister Freeland agreed it was a priority for Canada to have a dedicated chapter on Trade and Indigenous peoples. When Mexico and the United States were resistant to a chapter, the Minister continued to push for provisions to protect and benefit Indigenous peoples in North America. The National Chief stated he is pleased to see the agreement in principle contains some provisions to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples. The National Chief pressed for the inclusion of First Nations negotiators to be part of Canada’s team. While that request was not fulfilled, First Nations have had significant influence on the outcome.

In August 2017, Canada established an Indigenous working group to discuss elements for a Draft Trade and Indigenous Peoples Chapter. The working group included First Nations, Inuit and Métis participants.  First Nations participants included some self-governing nations and tribal organizations, national organizations, development corporations, business and lending organizations, and those respective groups involved legal advisors, policy analysts, technical leaders, international policy experts and others.

The single most important provision in the USMCA, as it impacts Indigenous peoples, is the General Exception for Indigenous Rights.  This clause is pivotal. It assures the parties freedom to meet their legal obligations to Indigenous peoples and to act in the interests of Indigenous peoples without anxiety or nagging concerns that such actions may run afoul of trade or investment rules. It means that one state cannot bully the other at the cost of Indigenous peoples’ rights.  Canada’s constitutional and international human rights obligations require it to protect the rights, title and jurisdiction of First Nations and all Indigenous peoples across North America. The general exception clause is much stronger than in other agreements. The exception included within NAFTA only covered certain sections of the investment chapter, and not the ones most likely to lead to a dispute.  This new exception clause covers the entire agreement and applies to Indigenous peoples across North America.  It will allow all three states to take action to fulfill their legal obligations to Indigenous peoples with no concerns of reprisal.

Specific references to protection of Indigenous peoples’ interests are found throughout the Agreement in Principle. The Corporate Social Responsibility language, which has become ‘boilerplate’ in investment agreements, finally makes a specific reference to Indigenous peoples. This is a positive step and a strong signal to foreign corporations. First Nations must be involved from day one for any proposed projects on their lands.  It is good business sense and provides the security needed for any proposed development.

The USMCA recognizes the important role Indigenous peoples play in the long-term conservation of the environment. Water is the foundation of life. Although not specific to First Nations, it was good to see the confirmation between the United States and Canada that the USMCA creates no rights to the natural water resources of Canada.

The USMCA is a trade agreement, so of course the business provisions that benefit Indigenous peoples are crucial. There is a new emphasis on cooperation activities to promote and enhance opportunities for Indigenous businesses in the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Chapter. First Nations are the youngest and fastest growing demographic in Canada. Opportunities for First Nations business means opportunities for First Nations women and youth – especially if the activities span the border and spur inter-nation trade amongst Indigenous peoples.

In the chapter on Textiles there is a provision that provides for duty free treatment of Indigenous handicraft goods. To achieve the advantages this provision provides, Indigenous peoples must work with the state to determine what does and does not qualify as an Indigenous handicraft. A positive result of this provision would be a certification program that ensured that Indigenous handicrafts are legitimate and certified authentic by Indigenous Nations themselves, perhaps opening the door to a broader certification program to Indigenous arts in Canada.

Another important point for First Nations is that the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) is being phased out of UMSCA between US and Canada.  There will still be an ISDS for a three year “legacy period.”  After the legacy period ends, there will be no ISDS with the US or Mexico, which removes the biggest potential threat to First Nations rights, especially land rights, from this agreement.

During negotiation, Canada was able to make some advances that benefit First Nations peoples, but there is still much more to do. All three parties to the USMCA have endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples. Although there is no mention of the UN Declaration in the USMCA, trade agreements cannot, and must not, trump fundamental human rights, including the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Canada is negotiating other international trade (free-trade agreements) and international investment agreements (foreign investment promotion and protection agreements) with the South American trade bloc, known as Mercosur, and the Pacific Alliance, as well as entering into exploratory conversations with the Association of Southeast Asia Nations and China. The Assembly of First Nations will continue to work with Canada to ensure that protections for First Nations inherent and Treaty rights, as well as preferences for First Nations business, remain a priority and are included and enhanced in future agreements.

The AFN will continue to push to ensure all trade agreements explicitly acknowledge the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and for a full Indigenous Peoples Chapter.  The AFN will continue efforts to improve the Corporate Social Responsibility language in future investment agreements so that free, prior and informed consent becomes the standard for investors.  Proposed developments that involve Indigenous lands will only proceed with the full and equal participation of First Nations.

The USMCA does not address an issue of great importance to many First Nations whose communities are separated by a border not of our making.  First Nations would welcome discussions with Canada and the United States about mobility rights and inter-nation trade.

It is time for Canada to include First Nations representatives in negotiating teams. This would be the most effective way to ensure proper consultation and cooperation. Due to their Aboriginal and inherent rights, jurisdiction and title, First Nations need representation in the negotiation room at future trade and investment tables. The AFN will continue to urge Canada to work in partnership with First Nations to ensure recognition, protection, implementation and enforcement of First Nations rights in this agreement and other international trade and investment agreements.

First Nations are ready to get to work to improve trade opportunities for our people. It should be clear by now that economic and legal certainty cannot be achieved without First Nations at the table as governments and decision-makers. It makes good business sense for First Nations, Canada and North America.

Currently, USMCA is an Agreement in Principle.  It will first need to be signed by each Party, and then go through a ratification process.  Canada will also require new legislation to implement the agreement.  In the meantime, the North American Free Trade Agreement remains in force.

If you require additional information please do not hesitate to contact the Assembly of First Nations.

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Roy WhiteduckAFN BULLETIN – United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement October, 2018

Assembly of First Nations Congratulates Abegweit First Nation Chief Brian Francis on Appointment to Senate of Canada

on October 15, 2018

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde, AFN New Brunswick-Prince Edward Island Regional Chief Roger Augustine and AFN Nova Scotia-Newfoundland Regional Chief Morley Googoo today welcomed the appointment of Brian Francis, Chief of Abegweit First Nation in P.E.I., to the Senate of Canada.

“We need more First Nations people around all decision-making tables and that includes the Senate of Canada” said National Chief Bellegarde. “We congratulate Senator Francis on this appointment. He has an outstanding record of achievement. He will make great contributions to the Senate of Canada which will create a better country for all.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of Francis as a P.E.I. senator on October 11. Francis has been Chief of the Abegweit First Nation since 2007 and resigned as leader this week to assume his position in the Senate.

“Chief Francis has done an outstanding job representing our Mi’kmaq people in many positions throughout his illustrious career,” said AFN Regional Chief Augustine. “We have confidence that his representation in the Senate will ensure we have a knowledgeable and respectful voice in Parliament on key issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada.  This appointment is well deserved and we are honoured to support Senator Francis in his new endeavor.”

Senator Francis is the second Mi’kmaq Senator to be appointed to the Senate of Canada. Senator Dan Christmas from Membertou First Nation in Nova Scotia was appointed in December 2016.

AFN Regional Chief Morley Googoo stated: “I am so proud of these outstanding and deserving Mi’kmaq leaders. They are an integral part of the new narrative for our people. This is a narrative that has evolved over hundreds of years and today I am so pleased to see this honourable step toward rightful representation for our ancestral leaders through Senator Francis who will act as custodian of our future.”

 

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

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For media requests or more information, please contact:

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857
[email protected]

Jenna Young Castro
AFN Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext 201
613-314-8157 (cel)
[email protected]

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Roy WhiteduckAssembly of First Nations Congratulates Abegweit First Nation Chief Brian Francis on Appointment to Senate of Canada

AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Hart Says Supreme Court Decision Will Not Stop First Nations from Defending and Asserting Their Rights

on October 15, 2018

(Winnipeg, MB) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart said today that the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Mikisew Cree First Nation case does not mean Canada can ignore or deny First Nations rights or the duty to consult.

“The Supreme Court may have ruled that the federal government does not have a duty to consult before tabling legislation, but it does not mean First Nations will stop asserting and defending their rights, their peoples and their traditional territories,” said Regional Chief Hart. “The Crown still has a duty to consult on any activities that affect our lands, our waters or our rights and the Crown will be held to account. We are serving notice that we fully expect the Honour of the Crown to be upheld and that we will challenge any attempts to override our rights.”

The judgment in the case of Chief Steve Courtoreille on behalf of himself and the members of the Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Governor General in Council et al., SCC 37441 was released on October 11. The case deals with Canada’s duty to consult with First Nations before introducing legislation. It arose in 2012 when the government introduced two omnibus bills that amended Canada’s environmental protection and regulatory legislative scheme. In 2013, Mikisew Cree First Nation, under Chief Steve Courtoreille, filed a judicial review application on the basis that Canada did not consult the Mikisew Cree First Nation on the changes, which had potential to impact their Treaty rights. Canada has an established duty to consult and accommodate when Aboriginal rights and Treaties are affected.

Regional Chief Hart stated: “This decision is regrettable and a missed opportunity to rightfully engage with First Nations as partners in the legislative process. I commend the efforts of the Mikisew Cree First Nation in taking a stand for all First Nations and for First Nations Treaty rights.”

 

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

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For media requests or more information, please contact:

Brenda Bear
204-793-5756
[email protected]

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Roy WhiteduckAFN Manitoba Regional Chief Hart Says Supreme Court Decision Will Not Stop First Nations from Defending and Asserting Their Rights

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Stands in Solidarity and Support for Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek Aaki Declaration – the Grassy Narrows First Nation Land Declaration

on October 10, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde stated today that he fully supports the Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek Aaki Declaration – the Grassy Narrows First Nation Land Declaration – issued today by Grassy Narrows First Nation. The National Chief was in Grassy Narrows First Nation on October 9 and met with Elders, leaders and citizens on a number of issues, including the Declaration.

“I am proud today to stand in support of the Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek as they issue this Declaration reasserting their jurisdiction and their inherent rights and Treaty rights,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “All governments must recognize, respect and honour our rights and responsibilities to our traditional territories. This includes the right to decide what happens in our territories. Grassy Narrows First Nation is pushing forward on their right to determine their own future, and forging a path towards meaningful reconciliation even in the most difficult of circumstances. I support their Declaration and their goals of reconciliation, restoration and reparations.”

The Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek Aaki Declaration (Grassy Narrows First Nation Land Declaration) sets out a number of principles. It bans all industrial logging in Grassy Narrows First Nation territory, and asserts that the First Nation will make its own land use decisions. The Declaration calls on the governments of Ontario and Canada to respect the decisions of Grassy Narrows First Nation and to support the leaders and citizens in rebuilding their health, their way of life, and their livelihood, which have all been severely impacted by mercury and industrial logging.

Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation, also known as Grassy Narrows First Nation, is a Treaty 3 First Nation located 80 kilometres north of Kenora, Ontario. The Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek Aaki Declaration is online at:

Grassy Narrows Land Declaration Bans All Industrial Logging

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 LeeAFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Stands in Solidarity and Support for Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek Aaki Declaration – the Grassy Narrows First Nation Land Declaration

First Nations Women Should be Respected, Valued and Safe: AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde

on October 4, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – On a day to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde commends the tireless commitment of families for seeking justice and healing, and reiterates calls for immediate action focused on prevention and safety.

“I lift up the far too many families across this country who share their stories of violence and loss, and reiterate my condolences to the family and friends of Mary Madeline Yellowback,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “It is disheartening that in Canada we must demand action to establish safe environments for those most at risk for experiencing violence. I support everyone impacted by violence and families who have lost loved ones, and will continue to seek justice and healing alongside them. The strength and contributions of First Nations women must be respected and celebrated. Our daughters, our sisters, our mothers deserve nothing less than to feel valued and safe in their homes, communities and country. All governments have a role in building a country we can all be proud of, a country where every person is valued.”

Today marks twelve years of Sisters in Spirit Vigils which take place across Canada and internationally every October 4 to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Hosted for the first time in 2006 by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, 11 vigils were held that year. In 2017 there were an impressive 212 vigils held across Canada and internationally.

“Today is about remembering and honouring our Sisters and supporting families still urging for change,” said AFN Women’s Council Chair Chief Denise Stonefish. “This day of importance must not only serve as an educational awareness but to reinforce that all efforts towards healing, justice, safety and prevention must continue everyday.”

The National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is expected to release its final report and recommendations April 30, 2019. The final hearings are currently taking place this week in Winnipeg, Manitoba and October 15-18 in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Advocating for the safety and security of all First Nations and preventing violence is a priority for National Chief Bellegarde and AFN Executive Committee, including the AFN Women’s Council. AFN has advocated for immediate action, including: improved access to emergency and transitional shelters, particularly in remote and rural communities; more prevention programs and mental health supports for First Nations women and girls who are survivors of all forms of abuse; support for women and girls in and exiting the sex trade; better law enforcement for human trafficking; increased access to day-care and transportation; and to address racism and sexism within provincial and federal policing and implement accountability measures.

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 Women Should be Respected, Valued and Safe: AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde
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