This year is set to be one of great historical significance for the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. Betty Ann Lavallee, National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples,
highlights key upcoming events and their important implications in the research journal, International Innovation, issue 174 entitled Onwards and Upwards.
Here’s a peak at what the National Chief had to say.
International Innovation: What are the central objectives of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP)?
National Chief: CAP’s principal objective is to advocate for the rights and interests of Aboriginal Peoples, particularly non-status and status Indians living off-reserve, such as the Métis and Southern Inuit of Labrador. This constituency represents over 1 million of the 1.4 million people in Canada who identified as having an Aboriginal identity according to the 2011 National Household Survey. The Congress campaigns for the full acceptance and implementation of the constitutionally recognised Aboriginal rights of its constituents, as well as for improvements to the policies and programmes of the Government of Canada pertaining to Aboriginal Peoples more generally.
International Innovation: How important is CAP’s work with young people to its core goals?National Chief: Aboriginal people are the youngest and fastest growing demographic in Canada. As such, the role that youth play in how we understand Aboriginal issues will only continue to increase in significance for the foreseeable future.
National Chief: CAP has recognised the importance of youth in shaping the policy, programmes and leadership of the Congress by creating a National Youth Council, and including a representative from that Council on its Board of Directors, as well as through a resolution of its membership to provide
a youth perspective in each of its project proposals. The National Youth Council is currently focused on strengthening relationships with culture through our elders and looking at strategies for off-reserve Aboriginal youth to address bullying.
To read more download a PDF copy of the interview.