June 12, 2017
(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committing to regular, ongoing engagement between First Nations and the Government of Canada to ensure progress and momentum on First Nations priorities.
“This commitment to meet at least three times a year with one of those meetings being chaired by the Prime Minister will help ensure that the government’s priorities are consistent with First Nations priorities,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “First Nations will set direction for these meetings and the AFN will ensure we are making progress on an agenda as determined by First Nations. This is about action and results for First Nations, which will benefit all Canadians.”
The “Assembly of First Nations – Canada Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Priorities” was signed today by National Chief Bellegarde and Prime Minister Trudeau on unceded Algonquin Territory in Ottawa. These meetings will be used to mark progress on priorities and to identify key issues and solutions to barriers facing First Nations in advancing their rights and objectives. The priorities under the MOU will be reviewed on an annual basis.
During National Chief Bellegarde’s term, for the first time ever a sitting Prime Minister addressed the Chiefs-in-Assembly. This has now happened on two separate occasions. AFN Assemblies and AFN Executive Meetings regularly feature involvement from senior Cabinet ministers and officials.
“First Nations need to be engaging on a regular basis with the key people making federal laws and policies in order to affect and implement proper changes that respect inherent Indigenous and Treaty rights,” said National Chief Bellegarde.
The MOU can be viewed on the AFN website at www.afn.ca
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
For more information, please contact:
Press Secretary – National Chief’s Office
613-241-6789 ext. 222
Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-241-6789 ext. 254