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Resolutions on child welfare barred from AFN assembly as chiefs raise concerns

OTTAWA — The Assembly of First Nations is not allowing resolutions on child welfare at its coming annual general assembly, including one that called for it to publicly apologize for comments made in front of a tribunal.

Khelsilem, a chairperson with Squamish Nation, brought forward a resolution on Jordan’s Principle, a legal rule that ensures First Nations kids get the care they need when they need it, with payments to be worked out afterward.

Khelsilem, who goes by a single name, says even though he followed the assembly’s protocol, his resolution was barred from coming to the floor next month.

Another barred resolution moved by Osoyoos Indian Band called for the AFN to publicly apologize for the “disrespect” shown to First Nations who view the potlatch ceremony as an integral aspect of their culture and sovereignty.

That’s in relation to comments made before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal discussing Canada’s compliance with Jordan’s Principle.

In emails to Khelsilem, the AFN said all resolutions on child welfare were being bumped to a special chiefs assembly in the fall, where a final agreement on child welfare reforms will be debated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 27, 2024.

The Canadian Press