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Winnipeg, MB. November 19, 2013: Today, the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group (AAWG) met to discuss progress on results achieved to date in the areas of education, economic development, housing, ending violence against women and girls and emergency management. The group was joined by the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
The AAWG is composed of Ministers of Aboriginal Affairs from all provinces and territories and Leaders from five National Aboriginal Organizations (NAOs): the Assembly of First Nations, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis National Council, and the Native Women’s Association of Canada.
Provincial-Territorial Ministers and NAO Leaders acknowledged Minister Valcourt’s presentation on federal initiatives and further expressed the importance of federal engagement and a mutual commitment to a renewed and strengthened relationship in order to improve the lives of all Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, including First Nations regardless of status or residency, Inuit and Métis Peoples.
Provincial-Territorial Ministers and NAO Leaders also thanked Justice Murray Sinclair for sharing his work on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and expressed appreciation for the extension of the TRC by one year. Provincial-Territorial Ministers in attendance agreed that they would discuss with their Premiers to provide an opportunity for the TRC to present their work at the annual meeting of Premiers and NAO Leaders.
Further highlights of today’s AAWG meeting included:
Closing the Graduation Gap
Closing the Income Gap
Ending Violence against Aboriginal Women and Girls
Improving Emergency Management
Provincial-Territorial Ministers and NAO Leaders acknowledge the importance of continued cooperation on Aboriginal affairs. This includes reinforcing and developing efforts to support safe communities and prevent violence against Aboriginal women and girls, enhancing skills training and educational opportunities, building strong working relationships with Aboriginal communities to support economic development and continuing to work with the federal government to address housing challenges and to enhance emergency management and support services.
The AAWG continues to promote coordination and collaboration on key priority issues to further support and ensure a stronger future for Aboriginal communities across the country. Provincial-Territorial Ministers and NAO Leaders agreed to meet again in April, 2014 to discuss progress on these activities.
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