UOI OFFICES (NIPISSING FN), July 31, 2013 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation
Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee says that the federal government
is not putting money where their mouth is when it comes to First
In June, Indian Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt was quoted as saying
that "...the greatest legacy that we can leave to First Nations in
Canada is an education system that will give those young native people
the chance to get the education they need. We need them to be full
participants in our economy."
Based on the 2010 provincial funding allocations, the school in
Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek (Rocky Bay First Nation) received
$4781.00 less per student than a provincially-funded school in the Upsala School
Authority. Both schools are located in the same geographic area and had
the same amount of students.
The Anishinabek First Nations have been negotiating a self-government
agreement with Canada for the last 18 years to establish the
Anishinabek Education System. The Anishinabek Education System is
holistically-rooted in community involvement, Anishinaabe identity, and
meaningful First Nations curriculum. This system will provide
educational success for Anishinabek First Nations students.
Canada recently tabled its fiscal funding offer to the Anishinabek
Nation. This offer was presented in response to the proposal submitted
by the Anishinabek Nation to close the education funding gap and to
ensure sufficient funding to run the Anishinabek Education System.
"Canada's fiscal offer does not address the long standing gap in band
operated education funding which currently stands at about $11M ," says
Grand Chief Madahbee. "Our schools are already struggling with the
lack of financial resources. We're looking for comparable funding to
the provincial school system. No matter where a school is situated,
the school should receive the same education funding."
"Canada's fiscal offer was a slap in the face," says Madahbee. "The gap
in education funding will perpetuate the gap in learning. The
government's own statistics consistently show the First Nations
students do not advance in school as far as other Canadian children.
Lack of funding is a major reason why."
According to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples to which Canada is signatory, the Anishinabek, as indigenous
peoples, have the right to establish and control their educational
systems and institutions. Anishinabek children have a right to
education without discrimination and a right to an education in their
own culture and provided in their own language.
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its
secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member
communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people.
The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in
Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires,
which existed long before European contact.
SOURCE: Anishinabek Nation
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