UOI OFFICES, Nipissing First Nation, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation leaders are urging the provincial government to adhere to the Drummond Report recommendation to put "strong pressure" on the federal government to fund on-reserve First Nations education equal to per-student provincial funding for elementary and secondary education. The report says if the federal government fails to do so, Ontario should provide the necessary funding.
"Underfunded programs, like education, are a big area where First Nations across the country continue to struggle while Canada prospers," says Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee. "We need immediate action. We need a First Nation education system, not band-aids on agreements and policies that are failing First Nations children and youth."
Madahbee said some of the Drummond Report's 362 recommendations regarding Ontario's economy would undoubtedly create greater hardship for First Nations families.
"But spending the same to educate our kids as others is a no-brainer", said the Grand Council Chief.
The United Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to which Canada is signatory, says that Indigenous individuals, particularly children, have the right to all levels and forms of education of the State without discrimination.
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.
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