SAINT JOHN (GNB) – Deputy ministers responsible for Aboriginal Affairs in Atlantic Canada will meet in Saint John on Oct. 16 - 17.

The meeting is designed to bring deputy ministers and senior officials together from the four provinces to discuss issues and share information to help strengthen relations with Atlantic Canada's First Nations and Aboriginal communities.
“This is an opportunity to focus on Aboriginal issues at an inter-provincial level,” said Premier David Alward, who is also minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. “Discussing issues of mutual concern at this level will not only provide greater perspective, but will also highlight the success stories, best practices and challenges currently faced by First Nations and Aboriginal people in Atlantic Canada.”
The meeting will focus on issues such as economic development, education, social programs, and federal co-operation. Potential regional initiatives may also be examined in greater detail.
“Our government takes the issues that affect First Nations communities very seriously," Alward said. “Engaging in regular dialogue at the inter-provincial level will provide unique opportunities to see issues from a different angle, and allow each provincial department to build on and improve relationships with the First Nations and Aboriginal communities at home after the meeting.”

There are 33 First Nations communities, (25 Mi'kmaq, six Maliseet and two Innu) and five Inuit communities in Atlantic Canada.