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Chief celebrates VANOC, Four Host First Nations pact

The economic pact between VANOC and the Four Host First Nations is the new standard for partnerships with Aboriginals, said the new National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

“It’s our time,” Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo told the Vancouver Board of Trade at a luncheon Wednesday. “We’ve arrived at a moment where we have a tremendous opportunity to bring our people together – to bridge the deep gaps of misunderstanding that have plagued our people.

“To get in the room and try and problem-solve together as citizens and First Nations alike.”

Chief Atleo pointed to more than 170 projects managed by the Four Host First Nations as a positive sign of recognition and reconciliation with Aboriginals.

To further economic momentum created by the Games a priority must be placed on stable education funding for young Aboriginals, according to Chief Atleo.

“I’ve been to places like Northern Manitoba where children have not gone to school for two years,” Chief Atleo said. “It’s an unacceptable state of affairs at this time, in this country.”

As the conversation on Aboriginal education grows, so must the conversations on sustainable development opportunities headed by First Nations, Chief Atleo said.

“First Nations can play a leading role in pursuing sustainable economic development.”

Dharm Makwana reports for Vancouver 24 hours.

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