Assembly of First Nations

Assembly of First Nations
Elections Canada

Elections Canada

December 06, 2006 16:23 ET

Expanding the Partnership Between the Assembly of First Nations and Elections Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 6, 2006) - The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine, and the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, signed a memorandum of understanding today that aims to strengthen the ongoing co-operation between the two organizations.

Wishing to build on their success in the 2006 federal election, the Assembly of First Nations and Elections Canada intend to continue their efforts by designing a second phase of voter education for First Nations communities.

"The goal of this continued collaboration is to create an opportunity for First Nations to make a choice about the right to participate - and the right to be heard," said Mr. Fontaine.

The two organizations intend to work together over the next few months to develop a series of activities as well as information and educational tools that First Nations voters can use. These activities include producing a First Nations voter handbook, developing a new Web page designed to better respond to the needs of First Nations electors, creating a voter information kiosk to inform First Nations electors of their rights under the Canada Elections Act and developing an advertising campaign by and for First Nations.

This initiative demonstrates that Elections Canada is always planning for the next election and analyzing its communications strategies to help ensure that all electors have access to the electoral process.

"I am pleased that Elections Canada has developed a strong working relationship with the Assembly of First Nations in order to inform First Nations electors of their voting rights. This bilateral co-operation serves as an example of the success that can be achieved by working closely with strategic partners to help reach out to electors," said Mr. Kingsley.

In 2005, the Assembly of First Nations and Elections Canada worked together to develop a voter education campaign for First Nations for the 2006 general election. The partnership also marked a major turning point in Elections Canada's 15 years of outreach programs for Aboriginal electors, which have featured advertising and educational materials targeted at Aboriginal communities, as well as a dedicated Web site and the Aboriginal Community Relations Officer and Aboriginal Elder and Youth programs.

The 2005 campaign raised awareness of the significance of voting and provided the opportunity for the voices of First Nations voters to be heard through their participation in the federal electoral process. Highlights included the First Nations Voter Turnout Forum, held in Winnipeg in September 2005, and other joint communications activities. This collaboration achieved positive results, including preliminary indications of increased voter turnout at polls on reserves on January 23, 2006.

Elections Canada is an independent body set up by Parliament.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via CCNMatthews.

Contact Information

  • Elections Canada
    Elections Canada Media Relations
    Assembly of First Nations
    Bryan Hendry
    A/Director of Communications