Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

December 11, 2008 13:10 ET

INAC: Minister Stresses Progress Through Partnerships With AFN Chiefs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 11, 2008) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, today addressed a special session of the Assembly of First Nations, wherein he stressed the indelible link between partnership and leadership.

"Partnerships are the engine that will move us forward, but leadership is the fuel that will carry us through," stated Minister Strahl. "Successful partnerships such as the one we enjoy with the AFN don't just happen by themselves. They are the product of energy, imagination, and a concerted will to get results. In other words, they are a product of leadership."

Minister Strahl noted that great progress has been made on numerous fronts such as the residential schools settlement which included an historic apology from the Prime Minister, economic development, housing, safe drinking water, land claim settlements, and the extension of human rights protection to First Nations on reserve.

Citing the example of Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton that uses gross annual revenues of $75-million from band-owned and operated businesses to fund community programs, the Minister stressed that partnerships often extend beyond governmental relationships. "This is an excellent example of a First Nation community that did not wait for the wheels of government to turn but rather went out and forged their own partnerships with public and private sector organizations," added Minister Strahl.

While challenging his audience to find similar opportunities and willing partners to realize the full potential of their own First Nation communities, he also reaffirmed the federal government's ongoing commitment to work in partnership with First Nations leadership across the country as well as the provinces and territories to improve the lives of Canada's Aboriginal peoples.

This release is also available on the Internet at

Contact Information

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