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April 18, 2008
Ah’neen, Boozhoo, Wachay, Tansi, Edlanete
Message from the Hon. Stéphane Dion
With great challenges come great opportunities and addressing the issues facing Aboriginal peoples is among the greatest challenges we face as Canadians. It also presents us with great opportunities.Aboriginal peoples represent the fastest-growing part of our population and a significant portion of our young people. And for Canada to truly thrive in the 21st century, Aboriginal peoples must have every opportunity to offer their full skills and talents to this great endeavour. This is a matter of social justice, a condition of Canada’s continued success, and a crucial challenge for me as Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
I am ready to bring new energy and thinking to Aboriginal issues. I am determined that by pulling together, by working in a practical way towards real solutions, governments and aboriginal peoples can build a better future.
This determination to do better was demonstrated when federal, provincial and territorial leaders came together with national aboriginal leaders in 2005 and signed the Kelowna Accord. The Accord was a commitment by all parties to find new ways of doing things and marked a willingness on the part of governments to invest in priority areas – a total of $5 billion in new funding over five years. In coming together, the signatories of the Kelowna Accord recognized that things need to change not just for the benefit of aboriginal people and communities, but for the long-term economic, social and environmental security of Canada as a whole. I want to restore the achievements and commitments of the Kelowna Accord. But I passionately believe we can and we must do even more.
We can not be intimidated by the scale of the challenge or discouraged by the failures of the past. We owe it to our children to pass along an even better country than we inherited from our parents and we will not do so as long as Aboriginal peoples continue to be left behind.
Hon. Stéphane Dion
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Who We Are
With the creation of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Commission (APC) in 1990, the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) became the first and only political party to formally recognize the unique place that Aboriginal Peoples occupy in Canada, by providing us the opportunity to represent ourselves within a federal party.
The Aboriginal Peoples’ Commission represents and promotes the interests of Aboriginal members of the Liberal Party and encourages the active and equitable participation of Aboriginal people at all levels of the Party structure.
Since its inception, the APC has played an important role in the direction of the Liberal Party of Canada. Through the development of Aboriginal policy, through general elections, and through the Aboriginal caucus, the Commission has successfully represented the concerns of Aboriginal Canadians at the Party level, thereby increasing Aboriginal participation in the broader political system.
The Aboriginal Peoples’ Commission executive works extremely hard to ensure that First Nation, Inuit and Metis voices are present and relevant at the policy making and government forums.
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