News

AFN Welcomes British Columbia Legislation on UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Urges Other Governments to Enact Legislation

on October 24, 2019

(Ottawa, ON): Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde and British Columbia AFN Regional Chief Terry Teegee welcome legislation tabled today in the BC legislature to harmonize provincial laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the UN Declaration).

“British Columbia is leading the way and we urge the Government of Canada to do the same,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “Implementing the UN Declaration through legislation is a positive step for peace, progress and prosperity. This will ensure First Nations rights are respected and implemented. This will create greater economic stability and prosperity, because it’s clear that ignoring First Nations rights is the cause of instability and uncertainty. I congratulate Premier Horgan for showing leadership and honouring his commitment to embrace the UN Declaration, and I congratulate Regional Chief Teegee, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the First Nations Summit and First Nations leaders throughout BC for their hard work and advocacy in making this new Bill a reality. This is the start of new movement forward and we urge other governments to follow the leadership shown by BC.”

The UN Declaration is the road map to reconciliation. The AFN’s agenda for the next four years and beyond, Honouring Promises: 2019 Federal Election Priorities for First Nations and Canada, released September 9, calls on the federal government to commit to implementing the UN Declaration through legislation that is at least as strong as private member’s Bill C-262, which did not pass in the last session of Parliament. The Liberal Party, New Democratic Party and Green Party all committed in their 2019 election platforms to enact federal legislation on the UN Declaration.

AFN BC Regional Chief Terry Teegee stated: “Today is a historic moment in BC, Canada, and around the world. The maturity and wisdom of our current leadership in BC, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, is a beacon of hope during these uncertain times. I applaud Premier Horgan and his cabinet for moving this legislation forward. Implementing the UN Declaration is a non-partisan move, one we have been working towards for twelve long years. Businesses and investors will benefit as it creates certainty and predictability for projects in this province, British Columbians will benefit from job creation, and First Nations will benefit by having a seat at the table. We are finally moving forward together.”

 

Honouring Promises is available on the AFN website at: https://www.afn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Honouring-Promises_ENG_Rev.pdf

 

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:

Michael Hutchinson
Senior Communication Advisor
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 244
613-859-6831 (cell)
[email protected]

 

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

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Brent NolanAFN Welcomes British Columbia Legislation on UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Urges Other Governments to Enact Legislation

AFN National Chief Bellegarde Congratulates Prime Minister Trudeau on Winning a Minority Government in 43rd Federal Election – “An Opportunity to Maintain Momentum and Progress”

on October 22, 2019

(Ottawa, ON): Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde congratulates re-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on winning a minority government in the 2019 federal election.  The National Chief looks forward to working with the new government and all parties to advance First Nations priorities as set out in the Honouring Promises agenda to build a stronger, better Canada for everyone.

“I congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party on their victory,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “I look forward to meeting in the near future to advance a positive agenda for all Canadians. Over the last four years we have seen remarkable progress on First Nations issues, but progress does not equal parity.”

“We will work with all parties to address the climate crisis, safety and security for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, to lift up First Nations children and families, and to strengthen the country as a whole. First Nation priorities are Canadian priorities. I look forward to working with every Member of Parliament.”

In Honouring Promises: 2019 Federal Election Priorities for First Nations and Canada the AFN sets out a forward looking agenda beginning with a call for action on the global priority of climate change and preserving the natural world. It shows how to build a stronger Canada through healthy and educated First Nations citizens living in safe and secure communities, and fully participating in the economy in ways that strengthen the national economy and sustain the environment.

“There is agreement among a majority of Parliamentarians to move forward on some key priorities, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a First Ministers Meeting on First Nations Priorities, and fully implementing legislation to strengthen Indigenous languages and protect First Nations children,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “I lift up all First Nations citizens who voted in this election and congratulate all the Indigenous candidates. We will keep pushing forward for action, for reconciliation and for results.”

For more information on First Nation priorities and Honouring Promises, please visit: https://www.afn.ca/2019-federal-election/

 

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:

Michael Hutchinson
Senior Communication Advisor
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 244
613-859-6831 (cell)
[email protected]

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

read more
Roy WhiteduckAFN National Chief Bellegarde Congratulates Prime Minister Trudeau on Winning a Minority Government in 43rd Federal Election – “An Opportunity to Maintain Momentum and Progress”

AFN STATEMENT – October 11, 2019

on October 11, 2019

AFN Statement on Regional Chief Removal by Regional Leadership

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Executive recognizes and respects the removal of Morley Googoo as Regional Chief for Nova Scotia-Newfoundland by First Nations leadership in the region, consistent with article 17 of the AFN Charter. Under AFN By-Laws, Mr. Googoo is no longer a Board member of the AFN and the region must appoint or elect a new member. In the interim, the AFN will work with the regional leadership to ensure the interests of their region are heard and addressed.

On September 25, 2019, the AFN Executive adopted a Code of Conduct as part of their commitment to lead by example and ensure a safe environment, free of violence, discrimination and harassment. The AFN has zero tolerance for harassment and violence of any kind.

The Code of Conduct is in effect, and a formal signing is being planned for the upcoming AFN Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa, Ontario on December 3-5, to be witnessed by all First Nations Chiefs and delegates at the Assembly.

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Roy WhiteduckAFN STATEMENT – October 11, 2019

AFN Says Substantial Investments for Mental Wellness in First Nations are Essential in Closing the Health Gap Between First Nations and Canada

on October 10, 2019

(Ottawa, ON) – On World Mental Health Day, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) urges all federal leaders commit to substantial investments for mental wellness for First Nations as a top priority and to work diligently with First Nations and ensure First Nations enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

“We must work together to improve the health and wellbeing of all First Nations and ensure we close the gap by developing health services that are driven by First Nations, that respect our rights and incorporate traditional health and healing practices” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.  “I believe our culture, languages and traditions have an integral role in achieving overall health and wellness.  One of the priorities we are seeking during this federal election is a commitment from all parties to substantive, long term and flexible funding that supports a holistic approach to First Nations health and wellbeing. We are the youngest, fastest growing population. Healthy First Nations will make a stronger country for all of us.”

On September 9, 2019, the AFN unveiled its agenda for the next government, Honouring Promises: 2019 Federal Elections Priorities for First Nations and Canada which sets out a comprehensive agenda for reconciliation and closing the gap. The AFN continues to work directly with First Nations to advocate for appropriate supports and investments for First Nations-led approaches, with the intent of creating initiatives, policies, funding mechanisms, programs and services that are culturally relevant and provide proven results to all First Nations across Canada.

“It is incredibly important for me to highlight World Mental Health Day, because mental wellness continues to be a priority that is overlooked, and requires all our attention, support and energy,” said AFN Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek, who holds the Mental Wellness portfolio for AFN.  “The theme this year focuses on suicide prevention, which connects with so many of us and our communities. We are losing our community members, and especially our young people at an alarming rate. Everyone has a role to play in supporting mental wellness and our young people need to know their lives matter. We continue to advocate for increased investments in mental health services and suicide prevention programs, and we also need to address the fundamental determinants of health such as access to clean water, education and proper housing. We must learn from our past and present realities and ensure mental wellness remains a top focus to ensure stronger and healthier futures for our children.”

World Mental Health Day is presented by the World Federation of Mental Health and recognized annually on October 10.

Read Honouring Promises: 2019 Federal Elections Priorities for First Nations and Canada here: https://www.afn.ca/2019-federal-election/

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

For more information, please contact:

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

Michael Hutchinson
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 244
613-859-6831 (cell)
[email protected]

 

 

 

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Angie TurnerAFN Says Substantial Investments for Mental Wellness in First Nations are Essential in Closing the Health Gap Between First Nations and Canada

2019 Special Chiefs Assembly

on October 9, 2019

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