Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

July 23, 2009 14:00 ET

Statement: Election of National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 23, 2009) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians today issued the following statement on the election of Sean Atleo as the new National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations:

"I am pleased to offer my congratulations to National Chief Sean Atleo on this important day.

The AFN is an integral partner in our Government's efforts to make real and lasting progress on the issues facing First Nations men and women across Canada. The history of our nation is remarkable and together we have achieved many successes. We are looking forward to continuing our work and to building on the achievements attained in recent years by working together.

We need to keep looking forward together. To do this, we must engage the youth of today. Young people have a pivotal role to play in building stronger and more prosperous communities. They want to contribute to Canada's economy and effect change. We have to seize this opportunity and assist the future generation of leaders to achieve their goals. I look to the National Chief to engage First Nations youth to reach their full potential as leaders of tomorrow.

To make progress, we must have the courage to embrace change while respecting and honouring the past. We must have the skill, creativity and confidence to design new ways of doing business, and we must ask tough questions. This Government is committed to taking practical and meaningful action on the challenges that face First Nations communities.

I am looking forward to working with the new National Chief. I am convinced we can count on his support to continue building strong partnerships between First Nations people and other Canadians, partnerships that will result in a real difference in the lives of us all.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Minister's Office
    Nina Chiarelli
    Canada Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl