(Ottawa, ON) – The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief RoseAnne Archibald launched “The Healing Path Forward,” a platform outlining the priority areas for strengthening, rebuilding and healing First Nations. The document identifies a series of commitments federal parties must make to First Nations in order to strengthen relationships and pursue nation-building.
“On behalf of the AFN Executive Committee, I am pleased to relay the priorities of First Nations for the next general government, which offers a strategic direction toward positive and evolutionary change for First Nations and all Canadians,” said National Chief Archibald. “These priorities are set out in The Healing Path Forward: 2021 Federal Priorities for Strengthening and Rebuilding First Nations. First Nations priorities are an integral part of the national electoral narrative and should be top of mind for all the candidates and party platforms.”
National Chief Archibald detailed the following five priorities as part of The Healing Path Forward, asking that the next federal government commit to taking action in these areas:
- Truth, Reconciliation and Healing for First Nations and all Canadians
All levels of government must work with urgency on the issue of the burial sites across this country and in finding ways to heal the trauma that our peoples have experienced for generations. Each party must outline how they will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with First Nations to rebuild, recover, heal and move forward, together.
- Climate and Conservation Leadership with First Nations
The AFN calls on all political parties and candidates to endorse commitments to reducing emissions, working with First Nations as full and effective partners in the implementation of the Government of Canada’s climate plan and related decision-making processes, and supporting the application of First Nations knowledge, among other things.
- Economic Growth, Prosperity and Wealth Building for First Nations
The economic impacts of the pandemic were devastating for many. First Nations, already among the most vulnerable, were particularly hit hard. The pandemic continues to affect new development projects, trade, natural resources development, human resources development, procurement, fisheries, tourism, agriculture, connectivity, transportation, and other sectors. Sustained investments are needed to support growth and sustainability.
- Promoting Peace by Respecting First Nations’ Jurisdiction
It is time that Canada’s promises were made concrete through commitments to recognize, respect and promote First Nations rights while, at the same time, providing justice for First Nations citizens, both within Canada’s legal framework and through the recognition of First Nations laws.
- Rebuilding and Strengthening First Nations
With respect to the many sectors that First Nations administer, the AFN calls on all political parties and candidates to endorse self-government, UNDRIP, Treaty rights, land rights and title, child wellbeing, and other facets of self-determination and success.
“According to our internal polling, the Canadian electorate is more engaged and supportive of our priorities than ever before. Our research further indicates that First Nations voters will make a significant impact on the results of this election,” said National Chief Archibald.
“I commit to working with all parties after the election to ensure that Canada does all it can to support healing and justice for our children. I know that all Canadians share in our vision of happy healthy children surrounded by the love and care of their families living in vibrant and safe communities. Strengthening and rebuilding First Nations will result in a strong, fair and better Canada for all of us. I call on all federal political parties – and all Canadians – to commit to a Healing Path Forward.”
“The Healing Path Forward: 2021 Federal Priorities for Strengthening and Rebuilding First Nations” document, and other information on First Nations priorities and concerns, can be found on the AFN’s website at https://www.afn.ca/the-healing-path-forward/.