Assembly of First Nations
The Assembly of First Nations education-reform logo stresses its theme of moving on and respecting aboriginal rights and treaties.

5 Essentials Chiefs Say Are Missing From First Nations Education Act

ICTMN Staff
6/10/14

The First Nations Education Act has officially been decreed defunct as far as Indigenous Peoples in Canada are concerned. The matter even took priority at a recent Assembly of First Nations meeting over replacing former National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, who resigned on May 2 in the furor over the legislation.

RELATED: Fallout Continues From Atleo Resignation as Education Act Put on Hold

On May 27 the chiefs passed a resolution calling on Canada, "based on the honour of the Crown to negotiate an agreement on new fiscal transfer payments to First Nations," according to the Canadian Press. They said the $1.9 billion in funding provided by Bill C-33, which is how the education act is known, should go straight to First Nations so they can apportion it themselves. Though 60 chiefs abstained, 121 voted in favor and none opposed it, the Canadian Press reported.

"Canada must withdraw Bill C-33 and engage in an honorable process with First Nations that recognizes and supports regional and local diversity leading to true First Nation control of education based on our responsibilities and inherent aboriginal and treaty rights,” said a statement from chiefs in Quebec and Labrador that they unanimously supported.

A few months earlier, in November 2013, Atleo wrote an open letter to the ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development outlining five essentials that needed to be addressed in First Nation education reform. Though Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt countered with a letter saying that all the conditions had in fact been met, most remaining chiefs still beg to differ. Here are the basics that need to be addressed in indigenous education, as written out by Atleo, who reiterated them in a position paper in April, just a few weeks before he resigned.

RELATED: First Nations Call Federal Education Act a Bust

1. Respects and recognizes inherent rights and title, Treaty rights, and First Nation Control of First Nation Education jurisdiction.

First Nations must retain all options to advance their education and all such agreements must be fully respected, enabled and supported; First Nations control and jurisdiction over First Nations education is required. Supporting this goal, First Nations must have sufficient capacity and support at the local level as well as for second and third level support.

This includes, first and foremost, respecting and upholding the treaties, the AFN said.

2. First Nations need a statutory guarantee for funding of education, enough money for Canada to meet its obligations.

“First Nations education requires funding that is stable, predictable and responsive to First Nations education,” the AFN said. “The elimination of gaps in funding is required.”

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Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
That term has nothing to do with native folks. It should be changed to " White giver". It was the white officials who gave US something & then changed the terms of the deal & took things away! I think some people need to read about that term. Interesting why that term was ever called what it was when it had not one thing to do with US! Kind of like saying it was OUR people who started all the scalping in the beginning. It wasn't. It was the Europeans who paid folks for everyone of OUR ancestors scalps they could get. Then we know all about all the body parts those in the US soldiers paraded in front of settlers when those soldiers murderer OUR people in OUR camps with those surprise attacks. It didn't matter if it was a mother & child, baby, old folks or even their cutting an unborn child out of its mother! ......................................................................................................................... WE are the ones who have a legitimate reason to be outraged at the harm done to OUR ancestors since those Vikings set foot on OUR shores over 1,000 years ago & the abuses OUR people STILL have happening at the hands of these washichu's: Their members & THEIR government representatives. However, not all whites mistreat our many peoples. We have enough nonsense going on in our own lands at the hands of our Native representatives at times who were supposed to be taking care of us & looking out for our best interests when instead they have been stealing from the People & lining they & their friends pockets. That makes things even worse when its our very own tribal people abusing us! Greed is a deadly sickness that affects ALL people no matter where they live in this world.

Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
Choctawgirl, I appreciate the shout-out & appreciate you reading my commentaries here. We need MORE of our tribal nations getting upset about things truly worthwhile & stop being distracted by all the minor things. I find nothing more pressing that our People stand up against than all the drug, alcohol & family violence going on in a number of our Native communities, followed by cleaning out all the corruption going on at certain reservations & standing up against the mistreatment & abuse & bullying of OUR children while they are in school. ......................................................................................................................... So you see my friend, our many tribal nations have MUCH to deal with immediately besides getting caught up banning team names. This is just a distraction from tending to FAR more important issues by our many People. ......................................................................................................................... The white government & society all around us likes for us to be distracted by minor issues such as this & divide our People on all sorts of issues. Divide & conquer has always been a VERY effective ploy for these land thieves & murderers of our ancestors. ......................................................................................................................... Something to think about for certain my friends isn't it......................

Sammy7's picture
Sammy7
Submitted by Sammy7 on
Two Bears Growling wrote, " So you see my friend, our many tribal nations have MUCH to deal with immediately besides getting caught up banning team names. This is just a distraction from tending to FAR more important issues by our many People. To me, the elimination of the name Redskins name carries importance as follows: the name represents disrespect and leads to demonization, that leads to dehumanization, and that leads to genocide. The continuing quiet genocide is of overarching importance. Therefore eliminating the Redskin name destroys the first link in the chain, and establishes respect of First Peoples. It is a false choice to believe that we cannot address all the issues comprehensively.
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