Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Thunder Bay rally opposes plan for First Nations education

CBC News

At Fort William First Nation, close to a 100 people showed their opposition against the proposed First Nations Education Act on Wednesday.

The crowd gathered outside the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada office included many students.

Charmaine Barkman, a 19-year-old who attends Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay, spoke at the rally.

"Well I just talked about how it not only affects us, but it also affects … future generations … the youth of today, tomorrow, next year and so on,” she said.

"Even though it was really cold out I was really satisfied with [the rally and] how everybody was … standing together."

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Goyce Kakegamic also spoke at the rally. He called on all Canadians to push for scrapping the proposed legislation, and allow First Nations to govern their own education systems.

"Who is in the best position to address these [educational] challenges? The federal government is saying ‘we have a plan’ … First Nations are saying, ‘no we have a plan’," Kakegamic said.

"In spite of the weather, we had students that were in school [who] asked permission to come and join [the rally]. And I think it's good to have students and adults come along with political leaders to ... get the grass roots perspective."

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