OTTAWA, April 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo responded to today's tabling by the federal government of legislation on First Nations education titled "An Act to establish a framework to enable First Nations control of elementary and secondary education and to provide for related funding and to make related amendments to the Indian Act and consequential amendments to other Acts".
"First Nations have clearly articulated what is required in any approach aimed at First Nations control of First Nations education," said National Chief Atleo. "The federal legislation presented today will be assessed based on the five essential principles that we have clearly articulated. We all agree that we need action on First Nations education because it is crucial for our children and it is crucial for our shared future. But we must get it right. Each nation will need to determine for themselves if this bill meets their needs and our demand for an approach that places our children front and centre and is founded on our rights, Treaties and jurisdiction."
The AFN provided First Nations with the document "First Nation Control of First Nations Education: A framework to achieve success in First Nation education" which is a tool to assist First Nations in assessing today's legislation. It elaborates on the five key principles set out by First Nations in AFN resolution 21/2013 adopted by consensus at the AFN 2013 Special Chiefs Assembly. The Framework covers the key areas and requirements for: Jurisdiction, Funding, Language and Culture, Reciprocal Accountability and Transparency, and Meaningful Dialogue. The AFN is also preparing an analysis of the Bill based on these principles which will be provided to First Nations as soon it is ready.
"Now is the time for First Nations to analyze the legislation and work to ensure any concerns are addressed," said the National Chief. "We are encouraging First Nations to closely review and analyze the legislation. I have full confidence in our Elders, experts and leaders that we have the skills and knowledge to create an approach that achieves our longstanding goal of First Nations control of First Nations education. The new investments in this proposed legislation are welcome and needed but this is about more than funding. This is about our children, our rights and our future."
"First Nation Control of First Nations Education: A framework to achieve success in First Nation education" is available on the AFN website at www.afn.ca or upon request.
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations
For further information:
Jenna Young, AFN Communications Officer, 613-241-6789, ext. 401; 613-314-8157 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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