TORONTO, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - At a meeting with National Aboriginal Leaders
and Canada's provincial and territorial Ministers of Education (CMEC),
Métis National Council Minister of Education, Robert Doucette called
for Métis-specific solutions to educational challenges.
He explained education funding should be responsive to the specific
needs of Métis peoples and with 52% of the Métis population below 19
years old, it's time for Canada's governments to take action to ensure
Métis don't continue to fall through the cracks. Doucette informed CMEC the Métis National Council recently received
support from Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and
Northern Development and Federal Minister responsible for Métis and
Non-Status Indians that if the provinces are willing to talk about a
Métis-specific process then he's willing to be engaged in those
National Aboriginal Leaders and CMEC all agree that the Federal
government must be at the table to address the need to increase
education funding for Aboriginal students - First Nations, Inuit and
Minister Doucette says, "I'm encouraged that CMEC delegates have
listened and that they are going to take our message forward to
Minister Duncan. The Ministers asked questions specific to Métis
education and I believe they are sincere in their advocacy in wanting
to ensure a huge segment of the Canadian population within their
provincial jurisdictions are dealt with in an equitable manner."
Currently, there is an enormous gap between the number of non-Aboriginal
people and Métis that attend post-secondary education - 18% versus 7%.
Doucette says our economy stands to make great gains if we can increase
"Minister Duncan is aware of our issues and now, we all need to sit down
at the table to ensure we're able to come up with solutions to educate
our Métis population youth and how it engages them in the labour force
moving forward in the 21st century," says Doucette. "The fact of the matter is this country will
prosper when Métis people prosper and I'm confident that message will
be resonated loud and clear by the First Ministers to Minister Duncan."
A Métis-specific forum on education would address the need to revamp the
K-12 system, examine ways of improving access to post-secondary
education and look at providing support for Adult learners among other
things. Doucette says all Métis Nation governments needs to be at the
table including the Métis Nation of Ontario, Manitoba Métis Federation,
Métis Nation - Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta and the Métis
Nation British Columbia.
The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and
international levels. The Métis Nation's homeland includes the 3
Prairie Provinces and extends into Ontario, British Columbia, the
Northwest Territories and the northern United States. There are
approximately 350,000 - 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada,
roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country..
SOURCE METIS NATIONAL COUNCIL
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