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OTTAWA, April 17 – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine today called upon all Canadians to support and join First Nations in challenging the Government of Canada to implement lasting solutions based on equality and respect. “I am challenging the Government of Canada to join us in acting now to remove the constraints on progress, the impediments to a better quality of life for First Nations in Canada and the obstacles to respectful relationships,” National Chief Phil Fontaine urged. “It is critical that together we remove the unfair treatment of First Nation citizens in this country. We must remove the hurdles that stand in the way of real and lasting solutions for the challenges facing First Nations and thus all Canadians. Our future on these lands is our mutual responsibility.”
“Last year we hosted a successful day of action that succeeded in raising awareness about issues facing First Nations citizens in Canada. Thousands of Canadians from all walks of life joined us in those peaceful events. Unfortunately the Government of Canada has not responded to the poverty and harsh conditions that continue to grow and which claim the lives of our young people,” the National Chief noted. “This year, we are offering straight-forward solutions that need immediate action. In the next few weeks leading up to May 29th, I will be issuing a set of concrete proposals that would truly help provide a real and lasting improvement in the lives of First Nations citizens, in their relationship with the Canadian government, and in the economic outlook of Canada more broadly. I challenge the Government of Canada to respond with equal clarity.”
The National Day of Action will take place on May 29th, 2008 and will begin at Victoria Island with participants marching to Parliament Hill for a peaceful rally.
The National Chief was joined by national labour, religious and student organizations at today’s announcement.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
For further information: Joan McEwen, AFN Communications Director, (613) 241-6789 ext. 242 or cell (613) 324-3329 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Nancy Pine, Communications Advisor – Office of the National Chief, (613) 241-6789 ext 243 or cell (613) 298-6382 or email@example.com
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