"Building on the strong foundation set through Treaty making, constitutional processes, the Apology offered to Survivors of Residential schools and the endorsement of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, First Nations are now advancing a clear path forward to re-set and re-new the Crown-First Nation relationship. The Crown-First Nations Gathering [on January] 24, 2012 is the next critical step as First Nations take forward our specific plans for progress based on our rights and responsibilities. It is clear that every First Nation, Nation or Treaty group, through individual and regional dialogue, respectful of their local and regional circumstances, must have the full opportunity to consider options, to design and ultimately to restore and rebuild self-determination reflective of their own vision, rights and responsibilities. At the same time, there are clear common elements and principles that are shared among First Nations. The mandate of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is to facilitate, foster and advance support for all First Nation governments pursuing and giving full expression to their right to self-determination, the implementation of Treaties, inherent rights, Aboriginal title and jurisdiction. This is the path forward that will enable First Nations to build safe, healthy and secure communities, generate sustainable economic activity, create jobs and foster optimism and success in every First Nation citizen regardless of where they reside."
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