Canada, the Province of BC, and First Nations Renew Educational Jurisdiction Negotiations

OTTAWA, July 26, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education for the Province of British Columbia, and Tyrone McNeil, President of the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC), today signed an extension of the Education Jurisdiction Framework Agreement.

"No one is better placed than First Nation communities to build their education systems," said Minister Valcourt. "We need to continue to work together to improve graduation rates and help First Nation students attain a high quality of education."

"We are happy to work with our partners to improve outcomes for First Nation students," said B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender. "This agreement recognizes the importance of First Nation groups having more control over the Kindergarten to 12 education that happens on their reserves."

"First Nations in British Columbia have worked together for over 20 years to build our education system so that all our children can access quality education opportunities," stated Tyrone McNeil, FNESC President, "The signing represents a recommitment by Canada and B.C. to recognize and support the education authority of First Nation communities, and it also presents an important opportunity for us to continue working toward full implementation of our jurisdiction."

On July 5, 2006, Canada, British Columbia and FNESC signed the Framework Agreement which established a basis for education jurisdiction negotiations in British Columbia. As a result of the Agreement, 14 First Nations are working towards assuming self-governing jurisdiction over on-reserve education for grades Kindergarten to 12, along with 54 other interested First Nations who have formally indicated through band council resolutions their wish to enter into a Canada-First Nation Education Jurisdiction Agreement in the future.

The 2006 Framework Agreement has now been extended for an additional five years in order to continue the development of Education Jurisdiction Agreements for these First Nations.

"Our Government remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security," concluded Minister Valcourt.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

For further information:

Minister's Office       
Andrea Richer
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
819-997-0002

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
819-953-1160

British Columbia Ministry of Education
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250-356-5963 (media line)

First Nations Education Steering Committee
Jennifer White
Senior Communications Officer
604-925-6087

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