AFN Chief reminds new federal cabinet members about First Nation priorities

(Ottawa, Ontario)― Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde said the Jan. 10, 2017 federal cabinet shuffle is an opportunity to remind all cabinet ministers that First Nations priorities require action by all ministers and departments in partnership with First Nations leadership. 

“First Nations priorities are Canada’s priorities,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “That means every cabinet minister and every MP has a role to play in reconciliation to build a stronger Canada. Our agenda is not confined to any one minister or department. It requires a collective effort. The Prime Minister committed to our agenda as his first priority and we need to renew our energy and efforts towards change and results.” 

The Liberal government announced the cabinet shuffle on Jam. 10 2017. In mandate letters sent to his first Cabinet, released publicly in November 2016, the Prime Minister stated: “No relationship is more important to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.” 

“We welcome the new members to cabinet and look forward to meeting with them soon to set out an ambitious plan for change,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “We want to acknowledge as well all those we have worked with in cabinet over the past year and wish them well in their new roles.”

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