(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo issued the following statement today regarding the response from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Minister Bernard Valcourt to the National Chief’s open letter of November 25 on First Nations education:
“The Assembly of First Nations has received the response from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt to the Open Letter sent to him on November 25, 2013 affirming the clear resolve of First Nations to advance First Nation control of First Nations education, stating clear concerns about the federal government’s proposal for a bill on First Nations education and setting out the requirements and expectations of First Nations.
It is important that the Minister has responded to these issues as First Nations education is a critical priority and was a key topic of discussion at the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly this week. The position of First Nations is clear and has been reaffirmed by unanimous resolution at our Assembly. First Nations have affirmed a path forward, opposing the federal proposal in its current form and seeking dialogue founded on the principle of First Nations control of First Nations education that values our languages and cultures and is supported by stable, sustainable and fair funding. The resolution calls upon Canada to negotiate to advance the Assembly of First Nations policy framework of 2010 First Nations Control of First Nations Education.
The Minister has stated that there is an opportunity for dialogue on terms set by the Chiefs. We will make efforts to ensure First Nations are aware of the Minister’s response. We will be carefully reviewing the Minister’s letter and setting out next steps through dialogue with all First Nations.”
Minister Valcourt’s open letter is in response to an open letter by National Chief Atleo on November 25, 2013. National Chief Atleo’s letter is available at http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/13-11-25_open_letter_to_minister_valcourt_final.pdf.
Minister Valcourt’s open letter can be found here: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1386958638702/1386958691700
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