Assembly of First Nations

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Assembly of First Nation (AFN) is an organization which represents First Nations people nationally.   It is “is a national aboriginal advocacy organization” which represents over 630 First Nation’s communities in Canada. According to AFN website “The AFN Secretariat, is designed to present the views of the various First Nations through their leaders in areas such as: Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, Economic Development, Education, Languages and Literacy, Health, Housing, Social Development, Justice, Taxation, Land Claims, Environment, and a whole array of issues that are of common concern which arise from time to time.

A passage from AFN’s “Our Story”:

Few Canadians realize that the First Nations peoples are identified in the Constitution as one of the founding nations of Canada, along with the English and French. Few Canadians are aware that up until the 1983-87 First Ministers Conference on Aboriginal Rights, the First Nations People were excluded from taking part in the Constitutional developments of Canada. First Nations peoples have had to deal with conditions of extreme poverty and isolation, and vast geographical dispersion, within the tremendous diversity of aboriginal cultures, languages, and political ideologies. Improved communications and transportation have allowed First Nations Peoples to begin to talk to each other, to the rest of Canada, and to the rest of the world. These relatively recent developments have meant that the First Nations Peoples have had to work harder and faster in order to catch up with the federal and provincial governments in the fields of political knowledge, political reality, and especially in political expertise. The years of being excluded from Canada’s formal political process has left First Nations Peoples with an incredible void to fill just in order to attain a level of political, social, and legal knowledge that is on par with other groups in Canadian society.” Information on AFN can be found on the organization’s website via http://www.afn.ca/index.php/en.

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