TORONTO, June 20, 2012 /CNW/ - In recognition of National Aboriginal Day
on June 21, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
announced it will develop a comprehensive campaign to support equity
and social justice in Ontario Aboriginal communities.
"We will be working with First Nations leaders across the province to
find appropriate ways in which to support Aboriginal communities
particularly from the perspective of education, equality, and social
justice," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "While supporting First
Nations teaching and education within isolate Aboriginal communities,
we are looking to work with leaders in lobbying and advocacy on human
"We cannot celebrate National Aboriginal Day without acknowledging that
the need of Canada's Aboriginal peoples to obtain basic human rights is
urgent and pressing. These rights include equity with other Canadians
when it comes to education, health, and housing among other things."
"Both the federal and provincial governments must work with Aboriginal
leaders in a meaningful way to solve the structural and institutional
problems that have denied Aboriginal peoples their rights," added
Hammond. "Along with a lack of adequate housing, clean water, and
viable economic opportunities, education funding for Aboriginal
students under the Indian Act is $2,000 less than for students in
provincially funded public and Catholic systems. As Canadians, we
cannot allow those inequities to continue."
It is a key priority for ETFO to support partnerships and initiatives
that advance the rights and opportunities of Aboriginal children and
youth. Since 2005, ETFO has supported the Lieutenant Governor's Summer
Literacy Initiatives for isolated First Nations communities including
most recently a campaign by Lieutenant Governor David Onley and Aski
Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy to secure e-readers for 5,000 children
and youth in those communities. The Federation is a key sponsor of the
Right To Play Youth Leadership Program in 35 First Nations communities,
and has also donated to Shannen's Dream, which advocate for more
support for First Nations schools including Attawapiskat where the
campaign was begun by Shannen Koostachin. Two years ago, ETFO sponsored
a northern school tour in 33 communities of Spirit Horse, a play by Ojibway playwright Drew Hayden Taylor that confronts
Aboriginal stereotypes and racism.
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000
elementary public school teachers and education professionals across
the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.
SOURCE Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
For further information:
Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations: Cell: 416-948-0195