OTTAWA, Dec. 5, 2018 /CNW/ - Working collaboratively to renew the relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership is key to achieving reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Government of Canada reached a major milestone in their journey toward reconciliation and renewed nation-to-nation relationships today by signing an education Agreement-in-Principle.
The Agreement-in-Principle paves the way for continued negotiations for First Nations' control and law-making authority over education from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 in their communities. Promoting Indigenous culture and language will be central to the new, Nishnawbe Aski Nation First Nations education system, to be created under the final agreement.
The goal is to build a solid foundation for the First Nations of Nishnawbe Aski Nation to move out from under the education sections of the Indian Act, exercise their vision of greater self-determination and build a brighter future for their students and communities.
"Asserting our jurisdiction over education is necessary so we can teach our children in a way that is consistent with our cultures, while also ensuring that they are prepared academically for whatever opportunities their futures hold. Our education system will be developed and implemented by our communities, and will provide our children with culturally appropriate and high quality learning opportunities that are on par with the rest of Canada. This agreement-in-principle commits NAN and Canada to restore education jurisdiction to NAN First Nations and strengthen relationships among our Nations."
Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler
Nishnawbe Aski Nation
"This is a major step on the road to greater self-determination for Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities and a brighter future for their students. Through these talks, we are setting the stage for the participating First Nations to work together to control their own education system – a system that will help ensure their students have the tools they need to succeed and thrive, with a strong and proud connection to their culture and language."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Nishnawbe Aski Nation Agreement-in-Principle
The First Nations of Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Government of Canada reached a major milestone in their journey toward reconciliation and renewed nation-to-nation relationships by signing an education Agreement-in-Principle on December 5, 2018.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation represents 49 First Nations, with a total population of approximately 49,000 members and 10,000 students.
Background to the negotiations
In 1997, the parties commenced education jurisdiction negotiations. Following the signing of the Framework Agreement in 1999, the parties began negotiating an Agreement-in-Principle.
Although the parties developed a draft Agreement-in-Principle in 2009, it was determined that more work was required to clarify an education model, and negotiations were paused.
Negotiations were rejuvenated in 2016 to reflect Canada's current approaches to reconciliation and Nishnawbe Aski Nation's renewed vision for restoration of education jurisdiction through a territory-wide education system.
This vision was shaped by community engagement. Outreach and consultation with First Nation members will continue during the final agreement negotiations.
The signed Agreement-in-Principle establishes the framework for negotiations towards a final self-government agreement on education. The final agreement will be approved by community member vote.
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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)
For further information: Media may contact: Matthew Dillon-Leitch, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Crown - Indigenous Relations, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-934-2302, [email protected]; Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, 807-621-2790, [email protected]