Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Text Size

Prime minister poised to deliver retooled First Nations education plan Friday

By: Steve Rennie, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The Conservative government is poised to finally unveil its retooled plan to reform First Nations education.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will deliver the news Friday alongside Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo at Kainai High School, about an hour's drive south of Lethbridge, Alta.

Atleo sent a letter to the AFN's regional chiefs Wednesday to tell them it appears the Conservatives have agreed to conditions set out last year that threatened to derail the reform process.

Those conditions call on the government to ensure aboriginal communities retain control of education, and to provide a statutory funding guarantee, recognition of First Nations languages and culture, shared oversight and ongoing, meaningful engagement.

"We have received word that there is agreement to meet the conditions we outlined ... including new and sustainable investments in the upcoming budget," Atleo told the chiefs.

"Tentative plans are underway for an announcement of this investment and a framework to support First Nations control of First Nations education this Friday."

He invited any chiefs who wished to attend the announcement to join him at the school.

"This is a significant shift and I believe it results from our strong direction from chiefs to take all steps necessary to secure the future of First Nations children," Alteo wrote.

Last year, Atleo wrote to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to stress the urgent need for greater aboriginal education funding in the upcoming federal budget.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada says that in 2011-12, it spent about $1.55 billion on First Nations education from kindergarten to Grade 12, and another $322 million on First Nation and Inuit students pursuing post-secondary education.

That's on top of about $200 million spent on infrastructure for schools and classrooms.

But the AFN says that money falls short of what is needed.

Behind the scenes, Atleo has met a number of cabinet ministers in recent weeks to press his message about First Nations education.

Publicly, he has been proclaiming his confidence that First Nations and the federal government will reach an agreement on a plan to reform education.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Write comment (7 Comments)

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

Write comment (2 Comments)

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...

OBIDIAH

obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

EVENTS

April 2014
S M T W T F S
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
Mon Mar 31 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
NICE ‘Indian’ Trust Funds
Fri Apr 04 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
THE 21ST ANNUAL ABORIGINAL MIXED CURLING BONSPIEL

John Bigface

imageimageimageimageimage
cartoonscartoonscartoonscartoonscartoons

Current Video

Indigenous Writers Festival 2014 Opening Night

Write comment (0 Comments)

Chief Arlen Dumas Confronts NC Shawn Atleo

Write comment (2 Comments)

Employment