OTTAWA, June 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National
Chief Shawn Atleo today congratulated the community of Attawapiskat as
they celebrate today the ground breaking of their new elementary
school. "We applaud the energy and determination to achieve this day.
We commend the leadership for their perseverance, the Koostachin family
for their strength, and the youth of Attawapiskat for taking a
leadership role on behalf of all First Nations students in Canada,"
National Chief Atleo said.
First Nations schools are the only ones in the country that do not have
a guaranteed funding base. They are funded under an obsolete formula
developed over three decades ago. This funding was further restricted
when placed under a 2% cap in 1996, and does not include funding for
technology, recreation, libraries, or languages. The cost of
delivering education continues to rise by more than 6% per year based
on inflation and dramatic demographic increases.
In Budget 2012, Canada finally committed to explore new funding
mechanisms for First Nations elementary and secondary education and
invested $275M over three years to support First Nation education.
First Nations believe action is needed now to overcome unfairness and
support the success of every First Nation child.
"Our kids deserve good schools and they deserve schooling in their
communities nurturing and supporting their success with fair and stable
funding, supported by strong First Nations systems, delivering a
curriculum that respects our rights, our languages and identities and
strengthens the fabric of our families and communities," says National
Chief Atleo. "Turning Shannen's Koostachin Dream into the reality of
safe and comfy schools right across the country is a mission that
compels us all. The time is now for fairness, equity and justice for
all First Nations children in Canada."
Based on a 2011 AFN survey of more than 450 First Nation communities:
47% (or 219) First Nation communities indicated they need a new school
Of those 219 communities, 70% have been waiting more than 5 years for a
new school. 13% have been waiting for than 20 years.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow @AFN_Updates, @AFN_Comms.
SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
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