Thank you, National Chief.
Jody, it's nice to see you here again today, and it's nice to see you, Jennifer. Thank you for coming here today.
National Chief, in listening to some of the other questions, I understand the challenges fully and completely. In a previous life, of course, I spent almost a decade living and working in isolated first nations communities. That would be 12 to 15 years ago. Many of the things we're talking about, like safe drinking water and critical infrastructure as such, are long-standing challenges for us, and I think it is high time that we move forward on this.
Chief, just briefly by way of introduction, we've now had a couple of occasions to be together at the Penticton school--a marvellous facility, of course--and at the AFN breakfast recently. We met about an exciting student mentor program with a private sector company that I understand is introducing some very sophisticated and complex business processes to at least a couple of younger first nations people.
I think that's great news, because it speaks to what you have certainly delivered on in your time, and that is the importance of partnerships: relationships with governments across jurisdictions and, of course, with the private sector. I know that in the great Kenora riding a lot of our successes, I've always said, hinge on the ability of our first nations to participate in major forest management plans and major mining activities, and of course what goes with that, importantly, is training, not just in the K to 12 context, but certainly in the post-secondary context.
Chief, to that end, I want to spend a little bit of time on something that you mentioned in your speech. It's with respect to chapter 4 of the Auditor General's report of June 2011.
The Auditor General rightly identified a number of long-standing structural impediments that have severely limited the delivery of public services to first nations communities and that hinder living conditions on reserve. It highlighted that the federal government alone cannot address these impediments, and that first nations have an important role to play. So that in addition to stable funding, the Auditor General pointed out, inter alia, of course, that there was a need for a legislative base for programs, enforceable standards, and a greater capacity for service delivery at the community level.
Indeed, today you said that you're concerned about some outdated legislative frameworks that may be part of that impediment. I would submit respectively that we do have some exciting legislation that in fact may not be ad hoc per se. Things like the First Nations Land Management Act are doing some great things for a number of communities, particularly in the province of British Columbia.
Summarily speaking, do you agree with this perspective, or this take-away, if you will, from the Auditor General's report? If so, how can the AFN specifically, and first nations community leadership, given your own appreciable background, become more engaged to bring about these changes?