OTTAWA, March 6, 2019 /CNW/ - For Métis Nation children and families, access to high-quality early learning and child care that is culturally appropriate is crucial. Today, Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament for Nepean, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, along with the President of the Métis National Council (MNC), Clément Chartier, and Métis Nation Minister of Social Development, David Chartrand, announced the signing of the first ever Métis Nation Early Learning and Child Care Accord. The Accord builds on joint commitments of the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework and the distinct Métis Nation Early Learning and Child Care Framework therein. The Accord will help create culturally relevant and supportive early learning and child care for Métis children and their families.
The Government of Canada has committed up to $450.7 million over 10 years to strengthen early learning and child care programs and services for Métis children and families in the Métis Homeland. This will be achieved through a flexible model that allows Métis Nation Governing Members to identify early learning and child care priorities such as to improve access to programs, integrate Métis culture, languages and values into early learning and child care services, and promote employment of Métis individuals as early childhood providers.
The Accord recognizes that the MNC and Governing Members are best placed to design, deliver and integrate Métis culture, languages and values into early learning and child care programs for Métis Nation children and families. Today's agreement builds on the considerable collaborative work that has already been undertaken to date toward a renewed government-to-government, nation-to-nation relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
"This accord solidified our ongoing joint commitment to supporting the Métis Nation vision for early learning and child care where Métis children and families throughout the Homeland are provided with culturally relevant, self-empowering early learning and child care programming and services."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
"The Canada-Métis Nation Early Learning and Child Care Accord marks another milestone on our path to reconciliation and filling the gaps in the availability of essential services to citizens of the Métis Nation. I wish to thank Prime Minister Trudeau for his stewardship of Canada's nation-to-nation relationship with the Métis Nation and Minister Duclos for delivering on his commitment to ensure an autonomous Métis Nation designed and administered early learning and child care program for our children."
– Clément Chartier, President of the MNC
"We are a proud, hardworking people, but many of our families struggle as the working poor. For over 20 years, the Métis have been left out of federally funded Indigenous early learning programs. During this time, the lack of federal commitment to reconciliation with the Métis Nation has hurt our children and our families. Today, I stand here rejoicing with our hardworking mothers and fathers that have prayed for this day when our children would have their own Métis Head Start and early learning supports. Thanks to Prime Minister Trudeau's and Minister Duclos' vision—a vision based on reconciliation with our people—we will now have affordable, Métis-specific, child-focused programs with support for recreation, education and early learning development. Today, we have made history and ensured a legacy for our children and families. This is reconciliation in action."
– David Chartrand, Vice President and Minister of Social Development for the MNC and President of the Manitoba Metis Federation
- The Accord is consistent with the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework and the distinct Métis Nation Framework therein, which was released by the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the MNC and the Government of Canada in September 2018.
- This co-developed framework is transformative—it sets out a shared vision, principles and a path forward for Indigenous early learning and child care. The Framework also provides a guide for communities, program administrators, service providers, policy makers and governments to work in partnership toward achieving a shared vision that all Indigenous children have the opportunity to experience high-quality, culturally strong early learning and child care.
- The Government of Canada is committing up to $1.7 billion over 10 years in support of the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework.
- The Accord is supportive of and consistent with the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
- The Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework complements the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, released by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for Early Learning and Child Care in June 2017.* The Multilateral Framework sets the foundation for governments to work toward a shared long-term vision where all children across Canada can experience the enriching environment of quality early learning and child care.
* While the government of Quebec supports the general principles of the Early Learning and Child Care Framework, it does not adhere to the Framework as it intends to preserve its sole responsibility in this area on its territory. The government of Quebec expects to receive its share of the federal funding and will continue to invest significantly toward programs and services for families and children.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Valérie Glazer, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]