AFN outlines First Nations election priorities ahead of fall vote

Perry Bellegarde

The Assembly of First Nations is outlining its election priorities for Canada's First Nations as the federal campaign is set to begin.

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde released the 16-page document today in Ottawa, saying he hopes it will frame the dialogue around First Nations during the election race and set an agenda for Indigenous rights and priorities for the next government.

The document, entitled ``Honouring Promises,'' lists short- and long-term goals to improve the lives of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

The organization's top priority is mitigating the effects of climate change.

Bellegarde says after years of promises, First Nations are urging federal political parties to take urgent action on the environment, in partnership with Indigenous knowledge.

They are also calling for more economic-development opportunities for First Nations, better access to safe drinking water, greater investments in housing, health care and education and new restorative-justice systems to reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in jails and prisons.