THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Goyce Kakegamic joined with First Nations leaders, educators and students to present a draft report on the future of education in Nishnawbe Aski Nation at a gala dinner in recognition of NAN’s 8th Annual Education Week in Thunder Bay this evening.
“Education is the key to the future of our people and our Nation, and our First Nations have identified the need for a NAN-wide education system meets the needs of current and future generations,” said Deputy Grand Chief Goyce Kakegamic, who holds the education portfolio. “To achieve this we must have uniform standards across NAN territory and a monitoring system to ensure these standards are met.”
The report is based on participatory research on structural readiness conducted in NAN First Nations and has resulted in the identification for the need of a NAN Education Model, Funding Matters, and Standard of Education Requirements. The report also makes the following recommendations:
- To implement the three-tier Education Model based on First Nation, Regional and Territorial
- To allocate education funding to support the implementation of the NAN education
- To increase the level of funding to First Nations education which will in turn improve the quality and standard of education in NAN
- To continue NAN-Canada education jurisdiction negotiations as we move into more control over own
- To continue with current education initiatives and to create new ways to improve NAN education at a faster
Once finalized the report will be presented for ratification by NAN Chiefs-in-Assembly.
“The status quo of a federally-dictated education that does not support our vision for the future of education system is no longer acceptable,” said Kakegamic. “The control of education in NAN territory should not be in the hands of the federal government and needs to be given back to the people through a system that respects our Treaty rights and honours our Nation-to-Nation relationship with the Crown as represented by the Government of Canada.”
NAN Chiefs-in-Assembly declared their First Nations Inherent and Treaty Right to control the future of education in NAN territory on November 7, 2013.
NAN is opposed to proposed federal legislation on First Nation education, the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act, as it does not address the challenges faced by First Nations in the delivery of education and redefines and limits First Nation jurisdiction on education to whatever the federal government dictates as appropriate.