The chiefs and AFN called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government to “negotiate” a new agreement, but immediately provide the $1.9 billion promised in connection with Bill C-33.- APTN
Than the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada issued a statement saying the agency was “extremely disappointed” that the AFN “did not honour its agreement with the government.” - CBC
Personally, this made me laugh so hard! Well government welcome to our side of every situation you have proposed us into since your ancestors came to our lands. AANDC statement continues “As we have said all along, this legislation will not proceed without the support of AFN, and we have been clear that we will not invest new money in an education system that does not serve the best interests of First Nations children; funding will only follow real education reforms,” the statement said. CBC News Article here
So now that AFN has pulled its support for the bill, the government is now pulling it’s promise of the 1.9 billion dollar increase to First Nations Education across Canada. boohoo…the Chiefs said “Kill the bill but let’s work TOGETHER on a new one” guess the government doesn’t want to play together? not surprised. I was listening in to the AFN meetings and the Chiefs noticed that there was no mention of the money promised in the actual bill itself. Read Bill C-33 here
The wording in there isn’t much different from the wording of the Indian Act, 1876. In section 51.1 “The Minister has all the powers and functions of a responsible authority under this Act in respect of a school that, on the day on which this section comes into force, is being operated by the Minister under subsection 114(2) of the Indian Act…” In section, 116. (1) Subject to section 117, every Indian child who has attained the age of seven years shall attend school.
Doesn’t that sound familiar?? it sounds like Residential School aye? lol gosh. There is no mention of increased funding and act gives The Minister and government ultimate control of how First Nations run their schools. No consideration of all the work our First Nations have done to create and implement their own curriculum to teach their language, culture and traditions. That would be like tossing invested money out the window. I know that it is our responsibility as parents to teach these skills at home too, however there are a lot of Anishinawbe children “In Care” and usually up until they are of age…they have to the right to learn from wherever they can and that would probably be in school. There are a lot of mis-placed Indians out there, thanks to Residential School, the 60′s scoop and Child Family Services who take our children out of communities and into a lot of foster homes. Pretty sad but it’s true.
Did you notice that these were mentioned in the bill? Mi’Kmaq Education Act & First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act? Those regions already have their boards & processes in place and have had an agreement with the federal government for many years to run their own education systems. They are “ahead” of the game already so of course they opposed the other chiefs requests to remove the Bill entirely. They kind of had to because there is hardly any treaties on either side. (If grade 9 education serves me correctly..which was decades ago) lol This will affect them too but I think it’s totally unreasonable for the Federal Government of Canada to expect ALL the First Nation of ALL of Canada to come to an agreement on a bill that will have a major impact on First Nations Education.
If you are asking yourself why is this such a big deal? our children going to school in our First Nation Schools get funded $4000.00 less than children attending a provincial school. The funding for provincial students have gone up over the years but the funding for our children hasn’t. Less money means less money for resources, staff and infrastructures for all children in ALL First Nations across Canada.