FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
St. John’s, NL – After months of planning, the inaugural First Peoples Policy Forum is set to take place at the Emera Innovation Exchange in St. John’s on December 12-13, 2022. Organized by First Voice in partnership with the Assembly First Nations, Office of the Regional Chief for Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, under the overall theme of Mobilizing Indigenous Sovereignty through UNDRIP, the multi-day event will bring together more than 15 speakers from across the province and around the country.
“We’re very excited to bring this Policy Forum to the urban Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike to help shape the next steps we must take as a City to align new and existing bylaws and policies with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP),” said Stacey Howse, Executive Director of First Light, which is the Lead Partner in First Voice alongside Indigenous Services Canada. “And while this winter’s Policy Forum will be fairly focused on this specific area, we plan to hold more of these events in the future on a variety of priorities that First Voice is actively working on,” added Howse.
Experts from across the country with experience in creating action plans on the implementation of UNDRIP at the municipal level will share their successes and challenges in advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including in urban centres. In addition, First Voice has organized a panel discussion with local artists about Indigenizing public spaces. On Day 2 of the Policy Forum, the Assembly First Nations (AFN), Office of Regional Chief for Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, will hold a series of facilitated discussions on the needs and expectations of First Nations people in the province with respect to implementing UNDRIP at the provincial and federal levels.
Full agenda details can be found online at firstvoicenl.ca/fppf/. Media are invited to attend the event to interview speakers and organizers at the lunch break on the first day of the Policy Forum, on Monday, December 12, 2022, beginning at 12:45pm; and at the end of the second and final day, on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, at 4:15pm. All other parts of the agenda will be closed to media.