AFN chief says federal bureaucracy needs changes, moves too slowly

PRINCE ALBERT, Canada -The chief of the Assembly of First Nations has some harsh words for the federal bureaucracy.

Perry Bellegarde says there have to be changes made to ensure federal funding flows quickly and becomes more effective for First  Nations communities.

Bellegarde was addressing delegates of the annual Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations on Thursday in Prince Albert, Sask.

He says the changes have to come from within government.

In some cases, he says First Nations are still waiting on funding from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada that was committed in the 2015/16 fiscal year budget.

He says there might be increased dollar amounts in the recent federal budget, but there have to be more effective ways and means of getting those funds out to the communities in a more efficient way.

“The prime minister and cabinet’s visions are huge, but unfortunately, the bureaucracy in the department of Indigenous Affairs is narrow,” says Bellegarde. “They still operate under the old way of doing business.

“Within the department of Indigenous Affairs, there have to be more effective policies and procedures put in place, and that goes for all the departments.”


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