APTN National News
ENOCH CREE NATION, Alta.–Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is backing the NDP’s Indigenous issues platform saying it “addresses many of our key priorities.”
Bellegarde issued the statement Thursday morning.
“The NDP platform is a comprehensive response to our ‘closing the gap’ agenda,” said Bellegarde. “It addresses many of our key priorities and commits to high level engagement to work together to close the gap.”
An AFN official said Bellegarde’s support for the NDP’s platform is not an official endorsement of the party.
Mulcair unveiled his party’s platform on Indigenous issues Wednesday during an AFN hosted forum in Enoch, Alta. The AFN invited all federal party leaders to the event, but Mulcair was the only one to show up.
Mulcair announced an NDP government would invest $1.8 billion over four years into core K-12 First Nation education which would grow to $4.8 billion over eight years.
Bellegarde’s statement praised the NDP’s platform for its promises to create a cabinet committee on Indigenous issues, call an inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women in 100 days and invest $68 million in Indigenous languages.
“We hold up all federal parties and party leaders that truly listen to First Nations and reflect our concerns,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “First Nations priorities are Canada’s priorities and I am pleased that yet another party is responding to our agenda.”
This is the first time in the election where Bellegarde has singled out a party for their platform on Indigenous issues.