Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo and Manitoba AFN Regional Chief Bill Traverse congratulate Cole Choken on his strength and leadership shown through his cancer awareness and fundraising run from Mexico to Calgary.
"On behalf of the AFN executive and First Nation citizens in Canada, I congratulate Cole Choken on his journey in raising awareness and support for cancer research," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "We applaud the leadership, commitment and dedication shown by Cole and the entire Cole Choken Cancer Run team. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death among First Nation citizens and is rising at a faster rate in First Nation communities than others. Cole has demonstrated tremendous strength and his leadership will no doubt motivate many other youth and First Nation citizens to pursue healthy lifestyles and the need to raise further awareness of this disease."
The Cole Choken Run for Cancer began January 1, 2010 in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The team, consisting of Choken - a 25 year old member of Lake Manitoba First Nation, his mother Brenda and sister Robin, traveled north from Mexico, running approximately 42 kilometers (or one marathon) a day. Arriving at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg yesterday, Choken announced he would continue his journey through to Calgary. The team has already covered a total of 6,900 kilometers to date.
"On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations and Manitoba Chiefs, I would like to congratulate Cole Choken on a successful run from Mexico to Winnipeg," said AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Bill Traverse. "Cole's determination has created awareness on cancer and healthcare. First Nations are faced with many challenges in accessing proper health care, particularly in remote and isolated communities. I want to thank this young man, who is a role model for First Nations for his role in pushing our issues to the forefront."
The AFN is working closely with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer to develop an action plan on cancer control and also working cooperatively with the Canadian Cancer Action Network to ensure the patient's perspective is part of the policy-making process.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada.