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AFN National Chief calls on Indian and Northern Affairs to Respect Community-based Solutions for the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and All First Nations
ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
ASSEMBLÉE DES PREMIÈRES NATIONS
473, RUE ALBERT STREET
8th FLOOR / 8e ÉTAGE
OTTAWA ON K1R 5B4
(613) 241-6789 telephone / téléphone (613) 241-5808 fax / télécopieur
June 15, 2010
(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo today commented on the recent move by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to try to impose Indian Act elections on the Algonquins of Barrier Lake, which would displace their customary system of governance.“The ability of First Nations to develop our own systems of leadership selection is integral to our governance, traditions and rights,” the National Chief stated. “As countless studies have concluded, the Indian Act and its policies are outdated, inappropriate and, quite frankly, not working. It is completely backward and inconsistent to revert to issuing an order to impose the Indian Act on First Nations today. First Nations themselves must generate and confirm their own approaches to community governance requirements and practices.”
National Chief Atleo added that efforts should be placed in supporting First Nation governments as set out in recommendations from the recent report by the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples aptly titled First Nations Elections: The Choice is Inherently Theirs.
“The senate report recognizes that the key to improving First Nations elections systems and citizen-centred accountability lies in fully recognizing First Nations jurisdiction over the design and control of our election codes. The Department of Indian Affairs should work with First Nations to build on these recommendations and discuss ways we can work together to support the capacity of our nations to affirm and re-build their own systems of governing,” said National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer, Assembly of First Nations
Tel: 613-241-6789 ext.382 Cell: 613-292-0857 or agaron[at]afn.ca
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