Minister Valcourt – We need to build Job skills

Minister Valcourt - We all agreed on the urgency of investing in Aboriginal Education.
Minister Valcourt

Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Luncheon with Minister Valcourt. Photo by Kristen Wynn.
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Luncheon with Minister Valcourt. Photo by Kristen Wynn.

Education Investment Right for Canada

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister Valcourt was the luncheon speaker at the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce today. The Minister commented that he wants to focus on job creation, and making sure that we invest in programs that help create good paying jobs.

“It is my privilege to discuss our government’s economic development plan. We have new measures to help balance the budget by 2015”.

“Since the inception of Canada’s Action Plan, we have created the best job creation results, in the G-7,” Minister Valcourt stated. “By encouraging the private sector to do what it does best, create jobs, we are growing the economy”.

The Minister said that “Progress has been made, but there is still work to do. When one does well, we all do well.”

Minister Valcourt - We all agreed on the urgency of investing in Aboriginal Education.
Minister Valcourt – We all agreed on the urgency of investing in Aboriginal Education.

“Education is an issue that concerns every single one of us, every child has the right to a quality education. It opens doors and creates prosperity.”

“An investment in Aboriginal education is an investment in our economy. Helping Aboriginal youth to succeed is critical to the economy”.

Minister Valcourt Speaking in Kainai Alberta


“We want to include culture and language in the schools for Aboriginal people. I am from a part of Canada where we have had that fight.”

“Incorporating Aboriginal language and culture in education is important”.

The system will be not accountable to Ottawa, but to the community, to the Elders, the parents, and the community, the people who really matter”, stated the Minister.

Key points:

“All aspects of the Indian Act that relate to residential schools and the ability to take children will be repealed”.

“Don’t underestimate the impact that residential schools have had on the Aboriginal community”.

“It will require all of us Canadians to make a renewed effort to reconcile with Aboriginal Canadians and that history, the Minister added. “The changes to legislation are a key step forward”. added the Minister.

The federal government is planning to invest $1.9 billion in Aboriginal Education.

“I believe this is the right investment for the government, predictable and stable funding to deliver excellent education.”

The Minister commented that it is possible this could unravel. “The best way to make sure this statutory legislation is passed, stated the Minister. “We have to move forward in a new joint council of educational professionals”.

“This legislation will finally put First Nations education in the hands of First Nations”, stated the Minister.  “Whet we have heard over the past year, listening to First Nations is they want a system that is accountable. This is what we have agreed to do, they also want transparency so parents can drive change.”

“Give us control, and we will do a much better job than you can, that is what we have been told, and they are right”, added the Minister.

NAN Grand Chief Harvey Yesno Comments on Education Act