THUNDER BAY – Chiefs of Ontario Rally in Thunder Bay was focused on reaching out to share the concerns that First Nations communities face in the shortfall of funding for education. “Prime Minister Harper should go the the dentist”, stated Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, “He has truth decay”.
The federal government passed Shannen’s Dream, that supports providing proper funding for First Nations Schools. Yet despite a billion dollars of money being spent, First Nations leaders explained how the funding is not being used in the most effective manner. The Chiefs assert that the federal government talks about consultation, but then restricts the number of Chiefs who are allowed to attend.
Ontario Chiefs Discuss Education Shortfall
Twenty Chiefs maximum were allowed in the closed door session at the Victoria Inn in Thunder Bay which was off limits to media. The goal there is ensuring that people feel freer to talk.
The message to Ottawa was simple. Aboriginal youth represent the fastest growing demographic in Canada. Leaving the youth behind by continuing the same status quo process is going to continue the same process we are seeing today according to several speakers.
The Rally outside offere insight into the views from the Chief of Ontario. A theme from the people who attended was contrasting the Prime Minister not meeting with the youth walkers who made a long and what is seen by many in the First Nations communities as heroes for taking the issue forward to Ottawa.