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Assembly of First Nations Leaders and Federal Cabinet Ministers renew efforts to advance shared priorities

Press Release

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

June 5, 2024

Regional Chiefs and the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations met earlier this week with Federal Cabinet Ministers in Ottawa, on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people, to strengthen their relationship, advance priorities to improve the quality of life for First Nations, and close long-standing socio-economic gaps.

This week’s joint priorities meeting identified a series of critical issues that will guide the vital relationship between First Nations and the federal government over the next year. These issues include First Nations policing, closing the housing and infrastructure gap, child welfare, education, climate leadership, and economic reconciliation, among others.

This joint meeting, the first in five years, reinforced the value and importance of hosting regular meetings to ensure effective progress on joint priorities and highlighted the crucial role of regional perspectives in advancing the needs and interests of First Nations.

The Assembly of First Nations and the Government of Canada will continue to work toward a renewed relationship as we advance these mutual priorities that will benefit First Nations and all Canadians for generations to come.

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“This week’s meeting was a step forward in renewing and advancing our shared priorities to address critical issues facing First Nations. Our discussions focused on the importance of continuing our joint efforts in key areas, including implementing the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report and its 231 Calls for Justice, advancing the long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services Program and Jordan’s Principle, and closing the infrastructure gap, which are critical for the long-term prosperity and self-determination of First Nations. As we assess our progress toward these goals and strengthen our initiatives, continued partnership is essential to ensure that our actions lead to meaningful improvements for First Nations. I look forward to continuing this important work at the next Leaders Meeting in fall 2024.”

Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak
National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

“I am pleased with the progress made in reaffirming the priority areas at this table once again. We will continue to build on what we have accomplished to date. I look forward to advancing this important work in preparation for and in the lead-up to our next Leaders meeting in the fall. The road ahead is long. I’m thankful for the people I met at this week’s meeting who are as committed to the journey as I am. Together, we will make sure that long road ends in reconciliation.”

The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Quick facts

  • The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
  • This week’s joint priorities meeting supported the implementation of the Assembly of First Nations-Canada Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Priorities, signed in June 2017, and forms the basis for the Permanent Bilateral Mechanism between the Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.
  • Participants at the meeting included:
    • Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
    • Kluane Adamek, Regional Chief – Yukon
    • Terry Teegee, Regional Chief – British Columbia
    • Gerald Antoine, Regional Chief – Northwest Territories
    • Sheldon Kent, Interim Regional Chief – Manitoba
    • Joanna Bernard, Regional Chief – New Brunswick
    • Andrea Paul, Regional Chief – Nova Scotia
    • Brendan Mitchell, Regional Chief – Newfoundland
    • Glen Hare, Regional Chief – Ontario
    • Blaine Fiddler, Chief – Saskatchewan (Proxy)
    • Roseanne Sark – Prince Edward Island (Proxy)
    • Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
    • Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages
    • Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
    • Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
    • Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
    • Chris Bittle, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
    • James Maloney, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
  • The meeting took place during National Indigenous History Month, a time to recognize the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Genna Benson
Director, Communications
Assembly of `First Nations
604-340-3117 (mobile)

Matthieu Perrotin
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada



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