THUNDER BAY – “Improving education is a priority we share with First Nation parents, students and leaders,” stated John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. “The consultation process will ensure that the perspectives and concerns of First Nations inform the drafting of this legislation and contribute to improving the education First Nation students receive, opening the door to more opportunities and jobs.”
The Minister has announced the start of the Government’s intensive consultations with First Nations on the development of a First Nation Education Act. Economic Action Plan 2012 committed the Government to having legislation in place for September 2014 and to exploring mechanisms to ensure stable, predictable and sustainable funding for First Nation students.
Canada remains committed to working with First Nations to develop a First Nation Education Act and to fulfilling its obligations pursuant to section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. Intensive consultations with First Nation parents, students, leaders and educators, as well as the provinces, will be integral to the development and drafting of legislation.
The consultation process consists of two key stages. First, between December 2012 and April 2013, First Nation parents, educators, leaders and others are invited to participate in regional consultation sessions and to explore the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s website, where information about First Nations education can be found, as well as opportunities to provide input for consideration in the drafting of legislation.
Input gathered during this initial phase will help to inform the drafting of legislation. During the second phase, the draft legislation will be shared with all First Nation communities across Canada, as well as with provincial governments and other stakeholders, for feedback.