AFN – Throne Speech Lacks Concrete Actions

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Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald

OTTAWA – POLITICS – The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief RoseAnne Archibald says today’s Speech from the Throne, the first from Governor General Mary Simon, lacks concrete actions and strong enough commitment to building a true healing path forward for First Nations and all Canadians.

“While this Throne Speech provides commentary on a number of priority areas for First Nations, it is short on detailed action,” said AFN National Chief RoseAnne Archibald. “First Nations are on the cusp of transformative change and as everyone works to recover from the ongoing pandemic, today’s Speech from the Throne needed to chart a healing path forward for First Nations and all Canadians, and it fell short on that today.”

The Throne Speech, titled Building a Resilient Economy: A Cleaner & Healthier Future for Our Kids was delivered in the House of Commons today, opening the first session of the 44thParliament.

“The Government of Canada has prioritized housing and childcare, yet many First Nations require predominantly social housing and many even don’t have daycare centres in which to administer $10/day childcare. We will seek stronger commitments and specific action plans in those areas. We welcome promises made to addressing climate change and biodiversity loss, and the acknowledgement of the role of Indigenous traditional knowledge. At the same time, it’s a reasonable and fair expectation that the commitments on gender-based violence and the development of an anti-racism strategy will have First Nations involvement and perspectives. Ultimately, we look forward to working with the federal government on building joint action plans for First Nations priorities.”

The commitments set out in today’s Speech from the Throne also include:

  • Creating a Canada Water Agency to safeguard water resources
  • Developing a National Adaptation Strategy to address environmental emergencies
  • Accelerating work with Indigenous partners to end violence against Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People
  • Ensuring Indigenous communities have the support they need to keep families together and fair and equitable compensation to those harmed by the First Nations Child and Family Services Program

During the recent general federal election, the AFN launched The Healing Path Forward: 2021 Federal Priorities for Strengthening and Rebuilding First Nations platform, which outlines the priority areas for strengthening, rebuilding and healing First Nations and can be found here: The Healing Path Forward | Assembly of First Nations (afn.ca)