FSIN calls PM address to chiefs "historic"
- EFN Staff | December 10, 2015
First Nations witness history as Prime Minister Trudeau addresses Assembly of First Nations
First Nations leaders and people from across the country gathered in Gatineau, Quebec earlier this week for the first address from a Prime Minister at an Assembly of First Nations Confederacy (AFN) gathering in approximately 40 years.
“History was witnessed...as Prime Minister Trudeau kept his promise to attend and address our leaders from Saskatchewan and across Canada. The Prime Minister reaffirmed his election promise of a new nation-to-nation relationship with the Liberal government and Crown, and the recognition of our Treaty and Inherent Rights,” Chief Bobby Cameron said.
The Prime Minister, along with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, participated in the Grand Entry and engaged First Nation leaders during the opening of the three-day Assembly.
During his address, Prime Minister Trudeau reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to launch a national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous woman and girls. He also confirmed the end to the two per cent cap on funding to First Nations bands, consultations on all major natural resource developments, sustainable and long-term fiscal funding arrangements for all First Nation bands, increased funding for First Nation education, and a commitment to implement the recommendations contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“We want to commend the Prime Minister for his commitment and promises kept to our people. It is a new day in Canada and now the real work begins to discuss, negotiate and implement the new nation-to-nation relationship based on our Inherent and Treaty Rights,” Chief Cameron said.
The Prime Minister also called for solidarity and for government, leaders and communities to begin working together to close the gap on First Nations quality of life across the country.