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Friday, February 16, 2007

"First Nations Women Leaders issue Strong Statement at Conclusion of Historic Meeting," Canada NewsWire, February 14, 2007. Copyright 2007 CNW Group. All Rights Reserved.["First Nations women chiefs and councillors released an eleven point consensus statement today following the conclusion of an historic three-day meeting in Vancouver. Critical issues such as poverty, matrimonial real property, the central role of women in sustainable communities, and First Nations jurisdiction were discussed and debated. 'The strength, knowledge, and capacity of our women leaders must be heard and honoured by all First Nations, and all Canadians,' said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine.... The following is the complete consensus statement: 'First Nations Women Chiefs and Councillors are mad as hell with Crown government interference in our lives and we're not going to take it anymore. For the first time in modern history, First Nation Women Chiefs and Councillors, from all across Canada, gathered in unity at the Assembly of First Nations National Forum for First Nation Women Chiefs ("Forum") in Vancouver, British Columbia on February 12-14, 2007. First Nations Women Chiefs and Councillors express their overwhelming concern and frustration with the current situation facing First Nations communities, families and children.... The following statements were adopted by the First Nation Women Chiefs and Councillors: 1. First Nations Women Chiefs and Councillors honor the spirit and intent of the original relationship between First Nations and the British Crown to live in peaceful co-existence, without interference, and to uphold the unceded Inherent authorities given to us by the Creator.... 3. We maintain our authority to be the law-makers and caretakers of our Nations.... The Crown continues To breach this original compact ... thereby creating and perpetuating poverty conditions.... 9. The cycle of poverty, violence, lack of access to quality health care and education, and the non-recognition of Inherent First Nations jurisdiction continue to be perpetuated in federal genocide and assimilationist policies and approaches.... "]

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