OTTAWA, June 20, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) is
celebrating National Aboriginal Day by reinforcing its commitment to
advocating for the provision of quality education that better meets the
needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students.
"As poverty and its accompanying challenges continue to plague
Aboriginal peoples, the necessity of focusing national attention on the
improvement of Aboriginal children's education is more important than
ever," says CTF President Paul Taillefer.
Taillefer points to the recent study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (PDF), released June 19, which found 50% of Aboriginal students are
living in poverty, more than three times their non-Aboriginal
counterparts. That means 50% of Aboriginal children are at a greater
risk of struggling in the classroom—teachers have observed that
students have trouble focusing when they are hungry or tired.
"It's equally important to respect the traditions and culture of
Aboriginal groups as we strive to find solutions together."
Taillefer says the CTF shares many priorities with Aboriginal
organizations. The CTF, he says, values security, acceptance, diversity
and the promotion of these tenets to children highly.
The CTF will explore the potential for positive change at its upcoming
Presidents' Forum, July 8-9 in Ottawa, which will focus on First
Nations, Métis and Inuit education. The forum will bring together
Aboriginal, teacher, community and government leaders to discuss the
issues with which Aboriginal students and teachers grapple, as well as
to explore possible solutions.
Mary Simon, Canada's first Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, is among
the many speakers who will take part. Students from Westwood High
School in St. Lazare, PQ, and Pierre Elliot Trudeau School in Gatineau,
PQ, who participated in the CTF and the Assembly of First Nations'
Project of Heart, will also make a presentation.
"We're looking forward to hearing the ideas brought forward by Member
organizations and other education partners when we see their
representatives next month," Taillefer says. "Together with Aboriginal
teachers and communities, we hope we can encourage our federal
government to diminish disparities in access to fundamental education
and improve the lives of children."
The Canadian Teachers' Federation is an alliance of nearly 200,000 elementary and secondary educators
from 16 organizations (15 Members and one Affiliate Member) across
Canada. Follow the CTF on Twitter: @CanTeachersFed and @EnseigneCanada.
SOURCE: Canadian Teachers' Federation
For further information:
CTF President Paul Taillefer
Philippa Wolff, Communications Officer (English) 613-232-1505 ext. 139 (office)
Francine Filion, Director of Communications (French) 613-688-4314 (office) or 613-899-4247 (cell)