About UsABORIGINAL AFFAIRS WORKING GROUP
In August 2009, Premiers provided direction to their respective Ministers of Aboriginal Affairs to work with the five National Aboriginal Organization (NAO) Leaders and the Federal Government (if possible) to examine how governments and NAOs can work more effectively to improve outcomes for First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples
On October 29, 2009, Provincial and Territorial Ministers and NAO Leaders established the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group (AAWG) and held their first meeting in Toronto,Ontario. There was agreement to work together to develop recommendations, and identify actions and strategies to improve the lives of Aboriginal peoples.
The Northwest Territories Minister of Aboriginal Affairs chairs this Working Group. The group has focused on tangible, concrete and results-oriented action in the priority areas of education, skills training (lifelong learning), economic development, and health and well-being.In particular, the issue of violence against Aboriginal women and girls, including the over 580 missing and murdered Aboriginal women remains an urgent priority.
The second meeting of the Working Group was held on April 28, 2010 in Toronto. Ministers and Leaders agreed to work on three key goals:
- Closing the graduation gap;
- Closing the income gap; and
- Ending violence against Aboriginal women and girls.
Ministers and Leaders remain committed to supporting the call for a First Ministers’ Meeting on Aboriginal Issues. They affirm that a strong and collaborative process involving Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Aboriginal Affairs and National Aboriginal organization Leaders and Aboriginal governments, as well as the Federal Government,is critical to improving socio-economic conditions and to closing the gaps that continue to separate Aboriginal peoples and non-Aboriginal Canadians. It is recognized that provinces and territories have responsibility for implementation of this work, and provinces and territories will carry forward recommendations in ways that are appropriate to each jurisdiction’s financial and policy parameters; this recognition must not detract from the primary jurisdiction of Aboriginal peoples resting with the federal government and that federal participation in fulfilling the report’s recommendations is critical.