Statement - Minister Valcourt Delivers Speech at Youth Assembly

SASKATOON, SK, Nov. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, issued the following statement today on the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) 4th National Youth Summit:

"I am pleased to have joined with First Nations youth and leadership from across the country at the AFN 4th National Youth Summit to meet, talk and listen to our future community leaders.

I strongly believe in Canada's youth, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, and I believe it is important to equip them with the necessary tools they need to take our country's future in their hands and carry it successfully into the future. Our Government is committed to working with First Nation youth and leadership to advance the shared priorities discussed at this Summit, including First Nation education, employment and skills training.

The Government's goal of providing First Nation students with quality education will strengthen First Nations and will afford First Nations the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to enter the labour market and to participate more fully in Canada's economy. Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government is investing $241 million to connect First Nation youth between the ages of 18 and 24 with skills training and jobs. These investments will help to provide personalized supports to First Nation youth in receipt of income assistance for skills training that will help them find and keep a job.

This National Youth Summit provides an invaluable forum for First Nation youth to network and discuss the issues that matter to them, while also working with leadership on solutions to the challenges facing young people. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like commend the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council, the Montreal Lake Cree Nation and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations for their initiative and thank all of those who participated in this important gathering. I see tremendous value in these opportunities to bring young leaders together, to listen and learn from their ideas, and better understand and appreciate their vision for the future."

This statement also is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada



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