Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The First Nations Plan for Creating Opportunity

Make Poverty History: The First Nations Plan for Creating Opportunity

Dear Make Poverty History supporter:

In Canada, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) recently launched Make Poverty History: The First Nations Plan for Creating Opportunity. We are asking all members of the public to sign our on-line petition to ensure that the Government of Canada sees that First Nations poverty is a truly shared issue for all Canadians.

First Nations poverty is the single greatest social justice issue in Canada.

There are more than 750,000 First Nations people living in Canada, on reserves, in urban areas and in Northern Territories. Compared to Canadians:

  • one in four First Nations children live in poverty versus one in six;
  • life expectancy is 7.4 years less for First Nations men and 5.2 years less for First Nations women;
  • overcrowding in First Nations homes is almost double;
  • mold contaminates almost half of homes;
  • socioeconomic conditions has been compared to developing countries with health status well below the national average. First Nations people simply cannot afford the means to good health.

November 21, 2006 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples' (RCAP) final report. Our report card on RCAP implementation shows that Canada has failed to act on most of the recommendations.

One year ago, First Ministers of all federal, provincial and territorial governments, and leaders of First Nations and other Aboriginal organizations unanimously agreed to adopt the Kelowna Accord. Unfortunately, the commitments made in the 10-year Plan for closing the gap in poverty between First Nations and other Canadians have not yet been honored by the new federal government, although the Conservative party platform agreed with the targets to be achieved.

Yet, it costs more to keep First Nations in poverty than creating opportunity.

You can help to create pressure for long overdue action on First Nations poverty by signing the on-line petition at More information is also provided on the website.

Please join us in the struggle to Make Poverty History for First Nations and Create Opportunity for First Nations.

Thank you.

Phil Fontaine
National Chief

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