Wednesday April 13, 2011

Local News

Leader's Debate Neglects First Nations Issues

National Chief wants to know where parties stand

Released by AFN


ssembly of First Nations National Chief National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo stated his disappointment on the lack of substantive discussion on First Nation issues in the English language leaders’ debate and pointed to an online Virtual Summit being held tomorrow as a way to engage First Nations on their issues and priorities for the 2011 federal election.

“First Nations are the youngest and fastest growing segment of Canada’s population,” the National Chief said. “Our issues matter now and are critical to Canada’s future. I am disappointed that our people and issues were not a substantive part of the discussion in last night’s leadership debate. The AFN is working to ensure our voices are heard and that our people are engaged in the national discussion. We are taking action on many fronts, including an online Virtual Summit for First Nations on the federal election that will take place tomorrow.”

The AFN 2011 Federal Election Virtual Summit takes place April 14 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST). National Chief Atleo will be inviting First Nations citizens from across Canada to share their thoughts on the 2011 Federal Election. More information is available here.

The National Chief stated: “We have put forward four key priorities in this election and want to know where the parties stand.  As well, on Monday I spoke to the Canadian Club of Toronto and I challenged all parties to make a specific commitment to First Nations.  The parties are already committed to guarantee a stable rate of funding growth at 6.6 % for the provinces and territories. First Nations funding for these same core services has been unfairly capped at 2% cap for more than a decade and we are falling further and further behind. We are seeking a commitment to the same rate of growth, stable and guaranteed.  This is about fairness, equity and the future of Canada.”

The National Chief noted that, in addition to these activities, the AFN sent specific questions to all parties and invited them to participate in a special Town Hall forum on First Nation issues on April 27th.  AFN will also be issuing an analysis of all party platforms. More information is forthcoming on all these activities.

The AFN Election Priorities, questions to candidates and other information can be found here.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.



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