Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Assembly of First Nations/National Indian Brotherhood
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada, which includes more than 900,000 people living in 634 First Nation communities and in cities and towns across the country.
In 1982, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) was created as a result of movements to restore chiefs as the voice of First Nations in a Canada-wide deliberative assembly. Prior to that time, the Canada-wide representation of Indigenous peoples in Canada occurred through the National Indian Brotherhood (NIB), which centred on representation through provincial organizations (several of these organizations began as early as the 1920s, and many were based on political traditions dating from before European contact). The NIB had succeeded the National Indian Council (founded 1961) and represented Aboriginal interests throughout the 1960s and 1970s under leaders Walter Dieter, George Manuel and Noel Starblanket. In the late 1970s, First Nations increasingly pushed for the rights of self-government. In 1979, hundreds of First Nations met in London, England, and determined to establish a new organization, and to stop patriation. Hundreds of chiefs met in Ottawa the following year, outlining their relationships with Canada and with one another in a manifesto entitled the Declaration of First Nations (signed in December, 1980). At the National Indian Brotherhood general assembly in 1982, the Assembly of First Nations was officially founded.