Canyon MP, Mark Strahl joined Prime Minister Stephen Harper and
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt
and National Chief Shawn Atleo to announce that an historic agreement
with the Assembly of First Nations had been reached to reform the First
Nations K-12 education system.
Working with First Nations partners and the Assembly of First Nations
the Government is proceeding with the final drafting and tabling of the
First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act, the goal of which
is to ensure First Nation students on-reserve receive a quality
education that will allow them to reach their full potential.
"Our Government firmly believes that First Nation students across Canada
deserve access to a school system with the structures and supports that
are available to other Canadian students across the country. This bill
is good for First Nations, it is good for Canadians, and it is good for
our country's future," said Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act, will:
• Recognize First Nations control of
First Nations education.
• Create a Joint Council of Education Professionals to provide
advice and support to Canada and to First Nations on the
implementation and oversight of the Act.
• Ensure minimum education standards on-reserve, consistent with
provincial standards off-reserve. For example, the legislation will
enable First Nation schools to teach a core curriculum that meets or
exceeds provincial standards, that students meet minimum attendance
requirements, that teachers are properly certified and that First
Nation schools award widely recognized diplomas or degrees. These
requirements currently do not exist.
• Provide stable, predictable, and sustainable funding that
increases at a reasonable rate of growth and provide investments in
transition and implementation.
• Recognize the importance of language and culture as an essential
element of First Nations education and will provide appropriate
funding supports for language and culture programming.
"I look forward to working with Minister Valcourt, First Nations
parents, teachers and leaders to help First Nation students participate
fully in Canada's prosperous future," said Strahl.
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