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National chief reacts to Alternative Federal Budget

Tuesday, March 12, 2013   by: Staff




Assembly of First Nations national chief calls for key investments to realize full potential of First Nations

OTTAWA (March 12, 2013) - With today's release of the Alternative Federal Budget by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today called for concrete investments in priority areas set by First Nations an economic imperative for Canada.

"Now more than ever we must be seized by the potential of First Nations in this country, and it starts by achieving fairness, respect and opportunity," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "We have the youngest and fastest growing population that if educated and trained fairly and equitably, could close the pending labour shortage gap in Canada, not to mention the over $600 billion of proposed economic development projects currently planned in or near First Nation territories. With key and concrete investments in education and skills training, First Nations will be in a better position to participate fully in the Canadian economy, drive their own sustainable economies and create the growing, thriving communities that so many other people in Canada enjoy."

In the 172-page document "Doing Better Together" released this morning in Ottawa, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives warns that more austerity measures from the federal government could further stall an already stagnant economy. 

The Alternative Federal Budget proposes a plan focused on economic recovery, creating jobs, investing in infrastructure, boosting green industries, strengthening the tax system, and reducing inequality, particularly for First Nations.

With specific attention to First Nations, the Alternative Federal Budget proposes to create a fair system of federal transfers to First Nations, to invest in First Nations education systems, safe drinking water, housing, health, and to strengthen First Nations economies.

"First Nations must no longer be an afterthought, or victims of unfairness, inefficiencies and waste of a system that does not work. We must address the gaps in critical funding and supports - part of our work to transform the fiscal relationship between First Nations and the federal government - to achieve adequate, stable and predictable federal transfers that reflect the spirit and intent of Treaties and First Nations' inherent jurisdiction," said National Chief Atleo. "We must at the very minimum achieve parity with provincial funding rates, reflective of the real cost of delivering services in our territories and to meet growing needs and challenges of citizens, and we must achieve flexibility to provide for decision-making power to First Nation governments."

For the chapter of the Alternative Federal Budget dedicated to First Nations visit here, and for full text and infographics visit here.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.

Follow AFN on Twitter @NCAtleo, @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Big Deal 3/12/2013 7:05:05 PM Report

Um....go to school and get your free education to get your jobs?
ryepie 3/12/2013 7:26:10 PM Report

To "Big Deal" You sir are a fool. Read a history book pal. Resedential schools have a big part to play in why things are the way they are. Native people scooped up by whites, raped, beaten murdered. and you sit there all mad b/c they get free school. HA, how about this. lets take your kids rape, beat and abuse them from the age of 3 to 20. then send them out into society and see how well they do.
Grump 3/12/2013 7:59:23 PM Report

Residential Schools were a terrible thing on every level but that's in the past. I know a young First Nation male who has received funding for six of the last seven years, has never lasted more than two months and never come close to graduating. This is a two way street and coddling any group doesn't teach them anything except that their life is a free ride.
ryepie 3/12/2013 8:49:22 PM Report

Would you tell the Jews oh well it in the past. get over it. I think not. However the canadian Govt admited and apoligized that stealing children was a mistake. its thier fault native peoples are struggling today and its time to PAY. deal with it. You say oh well free educatiuon. Where are these people going to work. most live on isolated reserves. Did you kno that it was illegal to give native people a loan up intill the 60's. Now how is someone from a reserve supposed to start a business (get infostructure of a reserve) when they can not get a loan. (because the are brown.) These people were not even allowed to leave thier reserves. This was after WW2. not too long ago. Bottom line. you feel guilty b/c your forefathers were greedy Nazi like scum who tried to destroy a race of ppl with broken promises and failed. I congradulate your race for being so blind to the truth. Your like a form of cancer. You slowly take and take untill there is nothing left. And you even do it to your own people. its really quite sickening.
ryepie 3/12/2013 8:53:14 PM Report

Oh yes. Grump FYI. I am funded to go to school and i have to maintain a 2.5 gpa in order to keep gettin this funding. so im sorry but your wrong. i know this b/c i am in the system and i have the same rules as every1 else. 2.5 gpa and manditory attendance or no funding. Yet another ignorant fool who knows nothing about nothing but thinks they should talk. lol. next time just shut your mouth
Big Deal 3/12/2013 9:39:40 PM Report

Sorry....the Jews don't get any owed opportunities from anyone because of what happened to their race in the past and do they sit and dwell on the past? No...the majority of Jewish people are very hardworking people and businessowners because they chose to be. Unfortunately, they are still prosecuted and hated today but do they sit around and have a pity party and wait for anyone to help them, they go out and make a living and try to make a better life for themselves and their families. I think what happened to the jewish people and Native people in residential schools is a horrible horrible part of history. I don't think we should EVER forget it, but you CAN'T change the past and to dwell on it is not healthy and no one would ever move forward. There is a choice, but if no one wants to make the better choice for themselves...what is everyone else suppose to do?
Big Deal 3/12/2013 9:51:54 PM Report

To Ryepie....I did't say anything about being mad about Natives receiving a free education. All I'm saying is...then why do the Native Chiefs keep claiming there are so many uneducated Natives? Their education is paid for? The answer is always..the Natives were abused way back when in Residential schools. Then maybe therapy would would be an more appropriate demand, but isn't that what the healing centers that I see on some of the reserves for? And your comment stating our government has to pay...good luck with that one!!
hog.rider 3/13/2013 7:58:42 AM Report

Big deal

Residential schools closed in 1996, that's not exactly ancient history, aboriginals still face serious racism, I've seen it, it's deplorable. They were not given full voting rights until 1960, again not ancient history. As for your remark about Jews getting over it, there is a very small jewish population here, if you spent time in toronto for example you would know that they have not " gotten over it" and that the atrocities that happened to them are very much a part of their lives and they do still talk about it, and rightfully so, your comments about Jews are stereotypes. They are not all wealthy and well established in business.....they suffer too from their pasts....
Big Deal 3/13/2013 10:39:47 AM Report

I'm not saying no one should ever talk about it or "get over it", but seriously...extreme poverty, uneducated, addiction (reservation chiefs own words...NOT MINE) is NOT an epidemic within the jewish race as it amongst the Native people (their own words again..NOT MINE)! Many non-native races (INCLUDING Jewish people I'm sure, also suffer from uneducated, addition, etc.. and if they want to help themselves then they go to school, therapy, etc.. Not play a blame game and hope for more funding?
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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