Halifax, Nova Scotia – The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) successfully concluded its three-day Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaw people.
The AGA brought together more than 1500 First Nations leaders, citizens, and observers to set out the strategic direction for advancing First Nations priorities. Special guests included Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti, and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Marc Miller.
Delegates discussed critical advocacy areas, including justice, land and resource rights, economic development, education, health care, cultural revitalization, and accountability.
There were 33 resolutions adopted to support First Nations rights and title holders in implementing self-determined, distinctions-based solutions, including:
• Resolution 31/2023, Urgent and Transformative Climate Action through the AFN National Climate Strategy,
• Resolution 34/2023, Support for Equitable Funding for First Nations Policing,
• Resolution 11/2023, Repeal or Amend Legislation that Breaches First Nations Inherent and Treaties Rights to Natural Resources,
• Resolution 29/2023, Recognize First Nations Laws and Legal Orders in the Specific Claim Process, and
• Resolution 33/2023, Protect First Nations Rights and Interests from Unfounded Métis Rights Assertions.
“Together, we were able to address critical issues and advance the advocacy priorities of our communities and set the strategic direction of the AFN based on the guidance and common concerns of First Nations,” said Interim National Chief Joanna Bernard.
Dialogue sessions were held on topics such as the United Nations Declaration Act (UNDA) National Action Plan, housing, additions to reserves, long-term and community care, and safe drinking water, which provided a platform for participants to discuss and address key challenges facing their communities.
Interim National Chief Joanna Bernard expressed optimism for the future. “This week provided an invaluable opportunity for us to come together, united in our commitment to advancing the well-being and rights of First Nations. We are paving the way for a prosperous, inclusive, and fair future for all First Nations communities. I look forward to getting to work and taking concrete action to get these resolutions implemented.”
The AFN looks forward to reconvening in December 2023 for the National Chief Election, building upon the progress made during the AGA and further advancing the shared vision for First Nations communities.
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
For more information please contact:
Assembly of First Nations