Ontario and Anishinabek Nation sign Memorandum of Understanding on education

OJIBWAYS OF GARDEN RIVER FIRST NATION, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - The Anishinabek Nation and Ontario today formally confirmed their commitment to bilateral discussions and collaboration on common educational issues related to the establishment and implementation of the Anishinabek Nation Education System by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

"Only by working together can the Anishinabek Nation and Ontario deliver improved education outcomes for Anishinaabe students," said Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, as he signed the Memorandum of Understanding during the Anishinabek Nation Grand Council's fall assembly.

"We must coordinate our systems and provide Anishinaabe students with equal opportunities in education. This means two things: cultivating a strong and proud Anishinaabe identity and preparing our children and youth for success in today's world. This is the reason we are creating a new Anishinabek Education System," Grand Council Chief Madahbee continued.

"This historic agreement is an important step forward to improving the educational outcomes for the youth of the Anishinabek Nation. It also formalizes the strengthened relationship between the Government of Ontario and the Anishinabek Nation," said Ontario Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne.

"There is nothing more crucial for success than education," said Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Brad Duguid. "This agreement will help to ensure real and substantive change to the quality of life of the next generation of First Nation people."

The Anishinabek Education System is being developed by educators and education administrators representing Anishinabek Nation communities as part of bilateral negotiations between the Anishinabek Nation and Canada, regarding the recognition of Anishinabek jurisdiction over education. Through the negotiated arrangement, the Anishinabek Nation intends on creating an education system to coordinate culturally appropriate education programs and services across the Anishinabek territory, and address the chronic underfunding of on-reserve schools by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 41 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.

SOURCE Anishinabek Nation

For further information: For further information: Marci Becking, Communications Officer, Union of Ontario Indians, becmar@anishinabek.ca, (705) 497-9127 ext. 2290, Mobile: (705) 494-0735

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