WENDAKE, QC, Oct. 12, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - In a statement issued last October 3rd, the federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, John Duncan, expressed his disappointment with the decision taken by the Chiefs during the Chiefs' Assembly on Education. Perhaps it is time the Minister really understands what motivates the Chiefs position.
"First Nation children are entitled to a quality education that is comparable to what exists elsewhere. The government of Canada has the duty to devote the financial resources which are sorely needed in our schools", stated with indignation Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
Gathered in a special assembly last week in Ottawa, the Chiefs from all over the country clearly indicated to the federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs that his Bill on First Nation education is not the proper response to their urgent needs in education remediation for First Nation children. Minister Duncan remains loyal to the unilateral approach of the Conservative government which consists in imposing a legislative agenda, without real consultation.
Rather than encouraging dialogue or closer relations following the First-Nations-Crown Gathering, last January, the Minister prefers to widen the gap by turning a blind eye to the solutions put forward many times already by our authorities, particularly concerning the funding formula for our schools which has not been reviewed in the past 20 years. The Minister prefers a solution that simply delays to a later date the immediate actions that our education systems require.
"We know the problem and have been denouncing it for years without success. The Minister also knows the situation, but refuses to take his responsibilities. Our children do not need other reports from experts, other unnecessary researches or a law that would serve only to diminish the direct responsibility of the federal minister of Aboriginal Affairs. Our children are in need of educational services, resources in special education, suitable classrooms, pedagogical material adapted to their cultures and their special and unique needs. This is the solution. The Minister should stop clouding the issue and get to work", added Chief Picard.
SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS OF QUEBEC AND LABRADOR
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