Feds Cut Services that Develop Healthy Self Determining First Nations‏

April 16, 2012
For Immediate Release

Federal government to eliminate funding for the National Centre for First Nations Governance, the only organization in Canada dedicated solely to addressing First Nations governance.

Ottawa, April 16, 2012 – Federal funding for the National Centre for First Nations Governance (NCFNG) has been cut by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. The Centre will no longer offer its popular nation rebuilding services and will close it doors by March 31, 2013.“I am shocked and truly saddened by this decision. This government is making a grave mistake in eliminating the only institution that works directly with First Nations leaders, managers, youth, elders and citizens, supporting them as they rebuild their own systems of self-determining governance. We are here to help our communities move beyond the Indian Act, restore economic prosperity and close the gap in living conditions between First Nations people and other Canadians. Demand for our work has been incredible.” said Satsan, (Herb George), President, NCFNG.

The NCFNG offers innovative nation rebuilding services and has engaged over 300 First Nations across Canada in its short six year time frame. The Centre provides First Nations leaders and administrators with hands-on tools for fully engaging their citizens and taking responsibility for their future. With help from NCFNG, First Nations begin developing their own self-determining governance that moves them beyond the confines of the Indian Act to make real and lasting change for themselves.

At the January 24, 2012 First Nation/Crown Gathering, Prime Minister Harper compared the Indian Act to a tree with deep roots and identified that he has no plans to repeal or re-write the Indian Act.

Satsan stated, “This government’s policy is to perpetuate the Indian Act and protect the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. Neither instrument is capable of governing First Nations. Canadians are far too familiar with the many examples of how the Act and the Department perpetually fails First Nations. This government’s decision is to maintain the Indian Act in an attempt to keep First Nations people on Crown reserves and separated from their lands, so that they can move ahead with resource extraction, development and exportation. ”

The National Centre for First Nations Governance has provided its work to thousands of First Nations citizens across Canada; work that is supported by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, Canada’s Constitution, many Supreme Court decisions and the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“For six years, the Centre has delivered services that inspire hope,” commented Satsan, “services that inspire our people to restore their nations, create their own laws, raise their own revenues, take their rightful place on their lands and build a positive new relationship that benefits all Canadians. Hope is a powerful force and hundreds of First Nations now recognize that they have the inherent and very human right to govern themselves and build real, self-determining communities.”

The National Centre for First Nations Governance is a non-profit organization staffed and governed by experienced Aboriginal professionals. In existence for six years, the Centre operates independently of the federal government and First Nation political organizations. Visit www.fngovernance.org to learn more about the Centre and it work with First Nations.

For more information, contact Brenna Latimer, Communications Officer at 778.835.0703, [email protected]

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