As National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, I would like to welcome you to the KIDS FROM KANATA computer network. I am very pleased that so many First Nations schools and students had the opportunity to exchange experiences, both current and past, with other communities across Canada. KIDS FROM KANATA has proven to be a very valuable tool in First Nation schools that have participated in this program. Perhaps more of our communities may choose to use this method in the future.

To learn about the role that Elders play within a community is an example of the kinds of basic information pertaining to our cultures that can be exchanged through the Network.

Communication is one of the first steps in understanding why First Nations people strive to maintain cultural identity. Through communication and education, we can learn about the diverse life histories and life styles of Aboriginal peoples, and gain a better understanding about the different ways of thinking and seeing the world. It is important that we continue to learn more about each other, to share our experiences, and to work together so that we may all live together in harmony here on Turtle Island.

The Elders in our communities are knowledgeable about our traditions, our cultures, our languages, and ourselves as First Nations people. This is why it is important that we treat our Elders with respect.

Aboriginal Rights, Treaty Rights, constitutional entrenchment, self-government are terms that you may not yet fully understand, but through communication and interaction you will undoubtedly develop a better understanding of these terms and how they continue to affect all Canadians.

The KIDS FROM KANATA program has provided students, teachers and others the opportunity to interact and exchange information about important issues like these. KIDS FROM KANATA will provide a variety of challenges for you in the next year. I am confident that you will be able to meet those challenges and enjoy the opportunity for interaction.



Phil Fontaine

National Chief