AFN priorities for federal parties
Assembly of First Nations national Chief Perry Bellegarde gives the keynote speech at the AFN's annual conference in Montreal on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Wednesday, October 7, 2015 7:16PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 7, 2015 7:33PM EDT
The Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde has outlined a list of priorities for federal parties.
On Wednesday, the NDP met one of those requests by promising to remove the two-per-cent cap on annual federal funding increases for reserve programs and services.
The party also committed to providing $4.8 billion over eight years for aboriginal education. The first $1.8 billion would be released over the next four years, with the remaining funds becoming available in a second mandate.
Meanwhile, the Liberals have pledged to boost aboriginal education by $1.6 billion, and provide an additional $200 million for employment training.
The Conservatives have promised $200 million over five years, starting in 2015-16.
Here's a look at the full proposal from the AFN to see how they stack up with promises from the major federal parties:
1) Strengthening First Nations, families and communities
- Launch a process to close the education gap between First Nations and other Canadian children, through First Nations control of First Nations education.
- Engage in a process with First Nations to develop a national action plan to address the root causes of violence against First Nations women and girls.
- Establish a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
2) Sharing and equitable funding
- Lift the 2 per cent cap on federal funding to First Nations.
- Establish a new fiscal relationship with First Nations.
- Commit to a multi-party process with First Nations, provinces, territories and the federal government to develop revenue sharing frameworks.
- Restore funding for First Nations organizations at all levels.
3) Upholding rights
- Establish a joint AFN-cabinet committee to monitor the implementation of First Nations-Crown priorities.
- Engage a process with First Nations to ensure the federal government is accountable to First Nations.
- Repeal Bill C-51, the government’s anti-terrorism bill, and ensure that security legislation respects First Nations’ rights.
4) Respecting the environment
- Establish a dialogue with First Nations on environmental protection, stewardship and sustainability.
- Repeal changes to environmental legislation and regulations introduced through Bill C-38 and Bill C-45, and work with First Nations to develop environmental and resource laws to protect the land and water.
- Apply a standard of informed consent, consistent with First Nations’ fundamental rights, in any decision making that impacts First Nations lands, territories or resources.
5) Revitalizing indigenous languages
- Increase investment in efforts to revitalize indigenous languages, including immersion programs.
- Work with the AFN on a national action plan to revitalize and promote indigenous languages.
- Work with the AFN on an Indigenous Languages Act consistent with the principles in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
6) Truth and Reconciliation
- Fully adopt the principles of reconciliation provided by the TRC and work with the AFN on implementation of the Commission’s calls to action.
The full plan, titled the 2015 Federal Election Priorities for First Nations and Canada, can be found below.