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Atleo Wants 2012 to Represent a ‘Critical Mass for Change for First Nations People’ – The Hill Times

by NationTalk on January 9, 2012590 Views

Atleo wants 2012 to represent a ‘critical mass for change for First Nations people’

AFN National Chief Atleo calls on PM to follow through on endorsement of UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

By CHRIS PLECASH | Jan. 09, 2012

It’s been more than a year since the federal government endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but the ongoing and highly-publicized crisis in the northern Ontario reserve of Attawapiskat has made clear the need for greater action by the federal government in addressing the living standards of First Nations and aboriginal Canadians who are still poorly educated, whose health conditions are less than adequate, and whose unemployment rates are as high as 80 per cent in many communities.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo says he’s hopeful that the federal government will follow through on its endorsement of the declaration at the Jan. 24 First Nations-Crown Gathering in Ottawa, where First Nations leaders will meet with Prime Minister Harper and Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, B.C.). Chief Atleo recently spoke with The Hill Times about the upcoming meeting and the future of Canada’s First Nations.

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