AFN Applauds Anti-poverty Strategy for First Nations Children and Youth

by NationTalk on September 18, 20071081 Views

OTTAWA, Sept. 18 – National Chief Phil Fontaine is applauding the National Council on Welfare for its denunciation of the harmful decisions and broken promises made by successive governments that have left so many Aboriginal people destitute.

The National Council on Welfare today released its report First Nations, Métis and Inuit Children and Youth: Time to Act. The report calls on the government to take action on a number of areas of concern, specifically that it: <>

“The National Council of Welfare is agreeing with what we’ve been saying for years. It shows that Canadians understand that we want to be prosperous, healthy and see our children succeed,” National Chief Phil Fontaine, stated. “We can end poverty in a generation, if we can find the political will.”

The Council’s recommendations reinforce the key directions outlined in the AFN’s Pre-Budget Submission, From Poverty to Prosperity, National Chief Fontaine said.

“Immediate investment is needed for successful programs designed by First Nations, and a real commitment to building fair, sustainable First Nations governance frameworks.”

The National Chief will speak about the report today during a speech at the Canadian Public Health Association Conference at the Ottawa Congress Centre at 2:30 pm.

“We need to provide a healthy environment for First Nations children and youth if they are going to succeed in school and in life. They need to be well fed, have clean water to drink, and access to safe housing,” National Chief Fontaine said. “We know that when our youth do complete high school, they do just as well, in terms of health and employment, as other Canadians. It’s during the teenage years that we’re losing them.”

The National Chief will also call for a health care system that focuses on needs rather than cost control, is First Nations driven and addresses the determinants of health, such as poverty.

The National Council on Welfare is an arm’s length advisory body to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development.

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

For further information: Karyn Pugliese, AFN Health and Social Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789, ext. 210, Cell: (613) 292-1877, kpugliese@afn.ca

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