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Toronto, Ont. – Paul Moist, the national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), endorsed the Assembly of First Nations Seven Point Plan for Change – to turn poverty into prosperity for First Nations peoples.

Moist, a vice president of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), made his endorsement following a speech to the CLC 25th Constitutional Convention by Assembly of First Nations chief Phil Fontaine.

The conditions in which we have forced the First Nations people of this country to live are a national shame,” said Moist in supporting Fontaine’s call for action.

The poverty, lack of drinking water, crumbling homes, poor education and the despair of aboriginal youth must be turned around. As the country’s largest union CUPE – a public service union - absolutely supports the AFN call to action and we will do whatever we can to ensure that the plan is successful.”

The Seven Point Plan calls for:

  • Reform the System - scrapping the Indian Act and replacing it with local-decision making power and responsibility;
  • Ensure Results – transform the accountability framework as called for by the Auditor General;
  • Establish Fair Funding – end the discrimination against First Nations by providing fair funding in core programs like education, infrastructure, social development and health care;
  • Commit to Equality of Outcomes – close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and other Canadians in less than ten years;
  • Focus on the Future – make education and resource revenue sharing from resource development priorities to help First Nations build their economies;
  • Respect the Rule of Law – meet the legal obligations as set out in the Treaties, the Constitution, international law and the Supreme Court of Canada;
  • Recognize the rights, roles and responsibility of First Nations as an order of government in Canada.

CUPE supports because it will bring about fairness for all Canadians; it will secure a better future for all our children; and, simply, it is reasonable, achievable and the right thing to do,” Moist concluded.

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For more information, contact: Wendy Forbes, CUPE Communications, 416 292-3999; cell: 416 892-8716 me:cope491