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Statement from Minister Duncan Following January 11th Meeting with AFN Chiefs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/12/13 -- The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, issued the following statement today regarding today's meeting with Assembly of First Nations Chiefs:

"Since 2006, our Government has taken concrete action on priorities like education, economic development and housing for First Nations.

We have built new schools, invested in clean drinking water systems, built thousands of new homes, increased funding for services for the most vulnerable members of First Nation communities, and invested in hundreds of projects to link Aboriginals with job training services.

At last year's historic Crown-First Nations Gathering, Prime Minister Harper committed to building on that progress and today's meeting marks another important step in that direction.

The Prime Minister participated in the full meeting and had a good, frank dialogue with all participants. While we're pleased with the constructive discussions that took place today, there is still more work to be done to improve living conditions and economic opportunities for First Nation communities.

The agreed upon agenda items for the meeting focused on treaty implementation and economic development.

To that end, the Prime Minister agreed to:

--  A high-level dialogue on the treaty relationship and comprehensive
--  The Prime Minister agreed with the need to provide enhanced oversight
    from the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office on
    Aboriginal matters. 
--  And the Prime Minister agreed to debrief the members of his Cabinet and
    government on today's discussions and agreed to meet with AFN National
    Chief Atleo in the coming weeks to review next steps. 

Working together remains the best way to achieve our shared objective of healthier, more prosperous and self-sufficient First Nation communities.

Our Government remains committed to working with those Aboriginal leaders who want to work with the Government of Canada to create jobs and growth in their communities."

This statement is also available on the Internet at

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Minister's Office
Jan O'Driscoll
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable John Duncan

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
Development Canada

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