TORONTO, Feb. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - On behalf of The Martin Aboriginal
Education Initiative and Free The Children, the Right Honourable Paul
Martin and Craig and Marc Kielburger today announced the launch of a
program to engage students to learn about and engage in meaningful
dialogue in support of their First Nations, Métis Nation and Inuit
peers. The 2011 campaign will shine a spotlight on the challenges faced
by Aboriginal youth in gaining access to quality education and
encourage students across Canada to help raise awareness around these
"I am pleased to see this campaign move ahead and help bring awareness
of the situation of Aboriginal Canadians among the young leaders of
tomorrow," said Mr. Martin. "Too many Aboriginal students are denied
access to the kind of education that can prepare them for a productive
and healthy future. In partnering with Free The Children, we can
promote efforts to expand opportunities for the next generation of
"It's really important for Canadian youth to start a dialogue and raise
awareness around Aboriginal issues," said Craig Kielburger, founder,
Free The Children. "Our Local Spotlight campaign allows us to work with
students from across the country and through social media outlets
giving them a greater understanding of Canada's Aboriginal
"Aboriginal Canadians are the youngest and fastest growing segment of
our population. We need to work together to ensure they have equal
opportunities as others to fulfill their dreams," said Marc Kielburger,
co-founder, Free The Children. "Students will be encouraged to promote
understanding of these issues by raising awareness through their
schools and communities."
With the support of the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative, Free The
Children will work with youth and teachers as part of its 2011 Local Spotlight Campaign, an annual effort, which this year is scheduled for February 14 to 25.
Participating students and schools will receive an awareness action
guide along with compelling statistics or quotes each day about the
experiences and cultures of Aboriginal youth. Students will be called
to take action by sharing their ideas about what they learn through
their schools and networks.
Social networks, including Free The Children's Facebook page, will raise
awareness beyond participating schools. Students at We Day Waterloo Region on February 17 will also be engaged on these issues as part of a
program of speakers, presentations and performances that put a
spotlight on the need for global and local action.
For more information about the Local Spotlight program, please visit www.freethechildren.com and www.facebook.com/freethechildren
For more information about We Day Waterloo Region, visit www.weday.com.
For more information about the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative,
please visit www.maei-ieam.ca.
About the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative:
The Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative (MAEI) is a charitable
organization that supports education for Aboriginal students across
Canada. MAEI's guiding vision is to empower Aboriginal students with
the knowledge and confidence they need to complete secondary school and
go on to post-secondary studies. MAEI has initiated various educational
projects designed to provide Aboriginal Canadians with the
opportunities they need to succeed. MAEI brings together Aboriginal
organizations, accounting professionals, the business community,
post-secondary institutions, First Nation schools and
provincially-funded school boards to implement programs to support
About Free The Children:
Free The Children is the world's largest network of children helping
children through education, with more than one million youth involved
in innovative education and development programs in 45 countries.
Founded in 1995 by international child rights activist Craig
Kielburger, Free The Children has a proven track record of success.
Through the energy and passion of youth, Free The Children has built
more than 650 schools and school rooms around the world, providing
education to over 55,000 children every day. The organization has
received the Rights Award from the World Association of
Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships
with leading school boards and Oprah's Angel Network. For more
information please visit www.freethechildren.com.
SOURCE Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative
For further information:
Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative
Contact: Lucie Santoro
Free The Children
Contact: Lindsey Coulter