National Chief Betty Ann Lavallée speaks to the Council of the Federation in Lunenburg, on July 25, 2012

“Kwe – Hello, Bonjour – Welcome Premiers and fellow National Aboriginal Leaders. It’s a pleasure to be here in Lunenburg, the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq Peoples.

I am the National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. Since 1971, the Congress has represented the rights and interests of off-reserve, non-status, status, Métis and Inuit Aboriginal people living in urban, rural, remote and isolated areas across Canada.

First, I would like to thank Premier Dexter and his staff for hosting this event in Luneburg. Secondly, I would also like to express my gratitude to all of the National Aboriginal leaders, along with their organizations, the Premiers, and their staff, for their dedication on moving this agenda forward.

At this time, I would also like to congratulate you, Shawn, on your re-election as the National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations – I believe now is the time for us to build a new relationship, and to work together to improve the lives of all Aboriginal Peoples.

I think that we can agree that these meetings between Premiers and National Aboriginal leaders are important in our goal to improve the lives of Aboriginal peoples. And, today these sessions are even more important when you consider that the off-reserve Aboriginal population is growing rapidly. In fact, Statistics Canada mos ...

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