THUNDER BAY – Editorial – Something rare just happened in Ottawa on Parliament Hill on Monday. A motion from the NDP official opposition has passed with party support from the Conservatives and Liberals. The motion dubbed Shannen’s Dream is designed to get education on Aboriginal Reserves up to the same standard that applies everywhere else in Canada.
This motion named after Shannon Koostachin, a teenager from Attawapiskat who dreamed of going to a “real school”.
Shannen, sadly was killed in a car accident, and never lived to realize her dream. However last night the House of Commons voted 286 – 0 passing a motion that is designed to hopefully make Shannen’s Dream a reality.
Chelsea Jane Edwards, who has helped pick up the torch from Shannen said, “Shannen’s Dream is recognized/adopted into the House of Commons! Wow, I honestly have no words to explain this feeling. Now time to implement change”.
This motion is a demontration that the House of Commons, and now hopefully the Government of Canada will put forward all of the needed efforts to make sure that all students living in Canada’s First Nations are given the tools and the opportunities, through their schools to gain the education needed to back up the promise that all Canadian youth have.
Implementing change is going to take more than just the passing of the motion on Shannen’s Dream. However the passing of this motion in the House of Commons demonstrates a rare, and much needed example of how Parliament can work.
It is only a start, a beachhead has been made on the shores of education. Now it is time for the real hard work, and the heavy lifting. However should the determination of the Members of Parliament be up to the efforts of the supporters of Shannen’s Dream, it is likely that this effort will succeed.
When it succeeds, not only will the students across Canada all benefit, but all of Canada will benefit. It is a dream well worth realizing.
We can all hope that looking down from above, that today, Shannen Koostachin is smiling. However I believe she would smile for a moment, and then start moving ‘inland’ to make the dream a reality.
Thunder Bay’s Ricky Ogima also shared his thoughts in a video;