VANCOUVER, Nov. 30 /CNW/ - The right of First Nations parents and
communities to make decisions about the education of their children on First
Nations lands was affirmed as the First Nations Education Act received Royal
Assent in the BC Legislature on November 29, 2007. The Act formalizes the
commitment of the Provincial government to recognize the jurisdiction of First
Nations over kindergarten to grade 12 education on reserve.
"With the provincial jurisdiction legislation in place there is
excitement about moving forward, especially for the 56 First Nations who have
already indicated that, yes, we want to exercise this law-making authority in
our communities. It is very fitting that Lieutenant-Governor Stephen Point, a
respected First Nations individual, has given the Royal Assent," said First
Nations Education Steering Committee President, Tyrone McNeil.
"The passing of this act is an acknowledgement of our First Nations
capacity and authority around education and it will bring us more
opportunities to bring language and culture into the curriculum," says Greg
Louie, President of the First Nation Schools Association. Changes in the
education system of the participating First Nations will lead to improved
success, better grade to grade transitions and increased graduation rates.
Since 1999, the First Nations in British Columbia, coordinated by the
First Nations Education Steering Committee, have been working with the
provincial and federal governments to negotiate First Nations education
jurisdiction. Federal enabling legislation was passed by Parliament in
December of 2006 and came into effect November 22, 2007.
For further information please visit <a href="http://www.fnesc.bc.ca/jurisdiction">http://www.fnesc.bc.ca/jurisdiction</a>
For further information:
For further information: Jennifer White, Communications Officer, First
Nations Education Steering Committee, 113-100 Park Royal South West,
Vancouver, BC, V7T 1A2, T: (604) 925-6087, cell: (604) 318-6759