AFN Press Release ...
Assembly of First Nations begins work on specific claims Task Force with Government of Canada
OTTAWA, July 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief, Phil Fontaine, and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Jim Prentice, have struck a Task Force to assist in the development of new specific claims legislation we expect will be introduced when Parliament reconvenes in the fall. The joint process will also address related concerns including how claims are processed by Canada, implementation and transition issues.
"The AFN welcomes dialogue with Canada to revolutionize the specific claims resolution process in order to be more efficient, effective and fair for First Nations and all Canadians," said National Chief Phil Fontaine. "Currently, there are over 1,000 specific land claims that remain unresolved. At the current slow pace of settlement, it would take approximately 130 years to resolve the backlog."
In the government's response to the recent Senate Report, Confrontation or Negotiation: It's Canada's Choice, Minister Prentice stated that the principles of "fairness, inclusion, and dialogue" will be the basis upon which the Government of Canada will design and implement changes to the claims resolution process.
"The AFN intends to ensure that these principles are honoured at every level of discussion. To achieve effective change, reforms to the specific claims resolution process must be comprehensive, as reflected in the Senate's report," said National Chief Fontaine. "The AFN has significant experience in this area, dating back to the AFN-INAC 1998 Joint Task Force on Specific Claims that produced a Report and model bill. Although the model bill was never implemented, the process demonstrated success. Essential elements of that work should be contained in the new legislation, and finally become the law in Canada."
The AFN will work with Canada in three concurrent phases: (1) Reforming the system that processes claims; (2) development of legislation to establish an independent Tribunal; and (3) address implementation and transition issues, particularly the redesign of the Indian Specific Claims Commission and its mandate. Our approach will be consistent with previous work undertaken by AFN and Canada.
The Task Force will meet regularly over the summer. Eight highly qualified individuals have been appointed as Task Force members. Four will represent First Nations and the other four will represent the Government of Canada.
The Task Force's Co-Chairs will be Bruce Carson, Office of the Prime Minister, and Shawn Atleo, AFN Regional Chief, British Columbia, Other members include:
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
/For further information: Bryan Hendry, A/Director of Communications, (613) 241-6789, ext. 229, cell.: (613) 293-6106, email@example.com; Nancy Pine, Communications Advisor - Office of the National Chief, (613) 241-6789, ext 243, cell.: (613) 298-6382, firstname.lastname@example.org; Josee Bellemare, Bilingual Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789, ext 336, cell.: (613) 327-6331, email@example.com/
FRESH NEW WEBSITE FOR ONTARIO ARTISTS!
Many artists in Ontario are unaware of the information and services available to them.
The Ontario government recently created a Web site to provide them with information about a range of programs and services specific to their needs.
The new website - www.ontarioartist.ca - includes links to important information for artists such as:
We’d like you to spread the word to as many artists in Ontario as possible.
As part of our media campaign to make a public call for the nomination of Truth and Reconciliation Commissioners we would like to ask if your organization and the TRC Roundtable organizations could post the following heading and link to our announcement on your website.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission - Nomination of Commissioners
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement is the result of negotiations between the Government of Canada, counsel for residential school survivors, church entities, the Assembly of First Nations and other Aboriginal organizations regarding the Indian Residential Schools legacy. For further information about the Settlement Agreement, please click on
The closing date for receiving nominations for commissioners is August 14, 2007. As we would like to give people as much time as possible before August 14 to submit nominations, posting the link at your earliest possible convenience would be greatly appreciated.
We hope that with your support we can reach as many of your constituents as possible with this announcement.
For more information about this posting please contact Kirk Brant at the following address:
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada
Tel: (613) 995-0921
Fax: (613) 947-5794