AIAI DEMANDS EQUAL FIRST NATIONS EDUCATION FUNDING TO PROTECT CANADA'S FUTURE

LONDON, ON, June 8, 2011 /CNW/ - The Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI) is organizing an education protest walk and rally on Friday, June 10, 2011. The protest walk will begin at the N'Amerind Friendship Center, located at 260 Colborne Street in London at 11AM and will end at Victoria Park where an education rally will follow at 12PM. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The education rally will raise awareness on the widening gap in funding in the areas of post-secondary, K-12, and special needs for First Nations and the corresponding impacts on their children. It is vital that the Federal government hears this message and acts upon it swiftly.

First Nations members have long been oppressed by the 2% per year formula applied by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada(INAC). Due to this funding limitation, thousands of First Nation members are denied access to Post-Secondary education every year. Regular inflation and an ever increasing population make the education that is available to First Nations members decrease regularly. More First Nation members are competing for the same amount of available monies. The end result is that a smaller percentage of the growing First Nation population will have the required Post-Secondary education to reverse the effects of residential schooling and lead their families and communities into a sustainable future.

Grand Chief Randall Phillips states, "It is important that Canadian citizens understand the concerns First Nations raise regarding access to educational institutions and supports. These problems must be addressed now, so that another generation has all the options and tools that they need to compete, contribute and enjoy a quality of life that other Canadians take for granted."

"The government of Canada has recognized that they will experience a monumental societal shift in an aging baby-boom generation who will be eligible for retirement and is also aware that 50% of First Nations' populations are under the age of 25 years", states Deputy Grand Chief Denise Stonefish. She continues, "The Federal government must lead the way and view their fiduciary responsibility to First Nations' education as an on-going investment in securing Canada's economic future."

Speakers at the rally will include Member of Parliament for London-Fanshawe Irene Mathyssen, Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse, AlAI's Grand Chief Randal Phillips and Deputy Grand Chief Denise Stonefish. Additional speakers will include AIAI member Chiefs, area Chiefs and First Nation students.

AIAI is mandated as a political territorial organization to defend and enhance the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of its eight member First Nations. Their website may be visited at www.aiai.on.ca.

SOURCE Association of Iroquois

For further information:

please contact Grand Chief Randall Phillips or Communications Coordinator John Jones at 519-434-2761

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