WENDAKE, QC, Feb. 19, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), and the First Nations Education Council (FNEC), have asked the Auditor General, Michael Ferguson, to look into what they consider to be blatant cases of mismanagement of education programs by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AADNC).
The file submitted today, to the office of the Auditor General presents six documented cases demonstrating beyond a doubt that not only are these practices inadequate, but they put in peril the implementation and success of programs at the community level. Unjustified delays in funding transfers, late confirmations of school programs, major last minute changes in reporting forms, programming errors in these forms, and major changes in education programs without advance notice are just a few examples of the irresponsible practices that have been exposed.
For several years, the federal government has been conducting a smear campaign against band councils. However, the facts exposed in the file demonstrate that AANDC is often the source of numerous administrative problems communities face.
"While the federal government continues its campaign of propaganda by accusing First Nations chiefs of lacking in transparency, it turns a blind eye to its own practices. On behalf of our local administrations, we cannot ignore such abusive measures. We are asking the Auditor General to conduct an in-depth study of the file we have submitted to him," highlights Chief Ghislain Picard.
"What we have here is a government that is doing everything in its power to push First Nations into failure. These documented cases are proof that the current government is treating First Nations with contempt. Even worse, it has knowingly put in place practices that seriously compromise the implementation of education programs for our youth. The facts reported in our analysis are extremely disquieting," states Kitigan Zibi Chief, Gilbert Whiteduck.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde said: "I have said many times that the federal government needs to be transparent to First Nations. Canada's underfunding of education programs and other essential services results in a much lower United Nations Human Development Index ranking for First Nations children and their families. This is both discriminatory and unconscionable and points to the urgent need for new fiscal arrangements. It is time for Canada to address this pressing human rights issue with First Nations. I encourage the Auditor General to take a thorough look at this situation and make recommendations that will lead to immediate action."
Exacerbated by this situation, AFNQL and FNEC have decided to expose a few cases that clearly demonstrate mismanagement by AANDC.
About the AFNQL:
The AFNQL is the regional organization representing 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador. For more information, visit its website at: www.apnql-afnql.com.
About the FNEC:
The FNEC is an organization that has been working for more than 25 years to bring about the right of the First Nations to exercise their full jurisdiction over education through the implementation of a complete education system. More information about the FNEC is available from its website at: www.cepn-fnec.com.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
For further information: Mélanie Vincent, Cell.:418 580-4442, [email protected]