AFN Youth Council says organization assuming authority “diminishes our treaty rights”
OTTAWA — AFN’s Youth Council issued a strong admonishment to the AFN’s special assembly Tuesday morning in Ottawa — stop assuming power over individual First Nations communities.
The Youth Council’s co-chair, and Six Nations Elected Councillor Mark Hill delivered the message with the presence of the youth council standing behind him in support.
“The centralization of the power and authority that the Assembly of First Nations assumes over our First Nations communities diminishes our treaty and inherent rights to reaffirm our relationships directly with the Crown.”
The AFN has long been criticized for assuming the role of a national government authority over First Nations communities in Canada.
In actuality the AFN is organized as a national advocacy group and is tasked with paving the way to communication between Ottawa and individual First Nations community leadership.
But the Youth Council asserted Tuesday that the AFN has taken far too much liberty in assuming authority over those communities when dealing with federal officials.
Hill spoke to the Chiefs in Assembly in Ottawa and reminded the group they are not a national governing body over Canada’s First Nations communities.
Hill reminded the AFN Assembly, on behalf of the Youth Council, that the First Nations people do not belong to the AFN to be governed.
The Youth Council says they are concerned with the direction the AFN is headed.
“We believe in a future where our nations are sovereign and based on traditional governance structures,” Hill said.