OTTAWA, Jan. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today congratulated the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC), the BC provincial government and the federal government for a successful negotiation and partnership to advance First Nation Control of First Nation Education. This Tripartite Education Framework Agreement builds on the foundation for First Nations education in British Columbia which has been established over the past decade.
AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo noted, "Education is the key to unlocking the full potential of First Nation citizens. I want to congratulate all parties to the agreement for making this commitment to ensure First Nations learners in British Columbia have the opportunity to experience a quality, culturally-relevant, community-driven education which will enable them to find their path in life. In principle, this is about ensuring fairness and equity for students in all schools no matter where they are located. This is a sound approach for strengthening First Nations education."
"The BC Tripartite Education Framework Agreement is another example of BC leading the way in First Nations' education. The agreement is a practical model of how partnerships can work to ensure our children have the quality education they need and deserve," said BC Regional Chief Jody Wilson Raybould. She added, "Today's success is a testament to the determination of our First Nation leadership to drive solutions and put our children first. The federal and provincial governments are to be commended for working collaboratively, respectively and openly to achieve the Agreement reached today."
The agreement is supported by a new funding model that will result in BC First Nation schools being funded in the same way as a similarly sized and situated public school in the province. It provides for an additional $15 million annually to support BC First Nations in the operation of on-reserve schools, and to support FNESC in offering support services to schools.
"It is critical to advance First Nation designed solutions and bridge the funding gap for instructional services in First Nations schools. This agreement demonstrates the goodwill needed to move forward in this way. We must work to replicate success as appropriate for all jurisdictions right across the country securing quality First Nation education for all of our learners," National Chief Atleo stated. "Ensuring our education systems reflect our languages and cultures is an integral part of the success we see right across the country and this agreement paves the way to lock in this success for all future generations. This can only be achieved if we work together. We will not lose another generation. We need to start moving forward and turn the page to a new chapter, together."
For further information:
Alain Garon, Assembly of First Nations Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382 or cell: 613-2920857 or email [email protected]