AFN national chief meets with PM on FN priorities

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Cindy Woodhouse met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss First Nations’ rights, priorities, and needed investments leading into the 2024 Federal Budget.

“I appreciate the government’s indication of willingness to advance First Nations priorities,” said Woodhouse on Mar. 5. “Today’s meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was an opportunity to discuss critical issues, to reflect on our achievements, and to identify where more efforts are needed, especially in education, policing, and economic reconciliation.”

Woodhouse said the federal government’s commitment to closing the infrastructure gap by 2030 has not been met.

“Canada has not followed through on its commitment to create policing legislation that recognizes First Nations jurisdiction for policing,” she said. “It’s time for the federal government to align its actions with its commitments and engage in meaningful, good faith discussions with First Nations.”

The national chief added the two also discussed the upcoming federal budget and the opportunity for Canada to commit substantial investments in First Nations’ education, infrastructure, and economic reconciliation.

“First Nations priorities are Canada’s priorities. I urged the Prime Minister to view these investments to not only address existing gaps but as proactive measures to build a stronger, more inclusive Canada. I also raised the importance of consistent and predictable multi-year funding for First Nations, including the AFN to ensure we can all continue the important work and actively participate as equal partners in our joint initiatives,” she said.

Woodhouse said the discussion highlighted the value of continued collaboration and partnership.

“Progress has been made, but much work remains. I remain dedicated to working with all Parliamentarians to ensure that the needs of First Nations are met in a manner that upholds, respects, and advances First Nations rights and well-being,” she said.

The AFN is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern.

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