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There are 634 First Nation communities in Canada with First Nation governments

AFN Assembly of First Nations

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that represents 634 First Nation Chiefs in Canada, who represent the 900,000 First Nations people living in First Nation communities and in cities and towns across the country.

First Nation leaders (Chiefs) from coast to coast direct the work of the AFN through resolutions passed at Chiefs Assemblies held at least twice a year. The AFN National Executive is made up of the National Chief, 10 Regional Chiefs and the chairs of the Elders’, Women’s, Youth and Veteran’s Councils. Regional Chiefs are elected every three years by Chiefs in their regions. Chiefs, who are elected by the citizens and members of their respective communities, elect the National Chief every three years.

A First Nations girl and her grandmother demonstrate traditional knitting processes at McDonald Campground. Gulf Islands National Park Reserve Photo : Parks Canada/Scott Munn
A First Nations girl and her grandmother demonstrate traditional knitting processes at McDonald Campground. Gulf Islands National Park Reserve Photo : Parks Canada/Scott Munn

The role of the National Chief and the AFN is to advocate on behalf of First Nations as directed by the Chiefs-in-Assembly. The AFN Secretariat is responsible for facilitation and coordination of national and regional discussions and dialogue, advocacy efforts and campaigns, legal and policy analysis, communicating with governments, including facilitating relationship building between First Nations and the Crown as well as public and private sectors and general public.

Assembly of First Nations

Indigenous woman drumming and singing near the water at Callanders Beach in Kouchibouguac National Park Photo: Parks Canada/Matthew and Chera Yorke
Indigenous woman drumming and singing near the water at Callanders Beach in Kouchibouguac National Park Photo: Parks Canada/Matthew and Chera Yorke

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