THUNDER BAY – “Severe cuts to First Nation organizations are the wrong move, particularly in light of key commitments across the country and specifically by this federal government to work toward reconciliation,” said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo.
Atleo adds “That AFN will be coordinating a full analysis of the impact of these cuts together with all First Nation organizations. These funding reductions have the potential to create very serious negative impacts for First Nation families and in turn the broader community and all Canadians. First Nation organizations and Tribal Councils are major employers and provide key support and capacity to First Nations for the whole range of socio-economic services, planning and development”.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Minister John Duncan announced late Tuesday September 4, 2012 that First Nation organizations either have or will be receiving letters detailing specific funding cuts.
Through Chiefs’ resolution and dedicated action, First Nation leadership have been very clear that critical services to First Nation peoples must not be impacted by budget cuts. First Nations strongly oppose any cuts that will further harm the safety and security of their communities and insist on working together respectful of rights, to advance economic, education and other opportunities for First Nations
“First Nations demand an end to unilateral decisions that impact our people, urging a full and concrete commitment by government to implement First Nation rights and responsibilities as necessary to advance self-determination and self-reliance,” said National Chief Atleo. “Investment to building capacity within First Nation communities is a necessary requirement to achieve change in communities and entire regions, which will also act as a long-term economic stimulus plan for First Nations and other Canadians.”
Over the past five years, AFN has received significant cut-backs, including a total of 42 per cent reduction to core funding and reductions to overall funding by 50 per cent.