AFN & Harper gov’t panel to consult on fixing education for First Nations

Let’s hope that improvements may finally be coming to on-reserve schools across Canada. As Leith Dunick writes at this Thunder Bay link called tbnewsworld.com, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) will be creating a panel that will tour the country to consult on how on-reserve schools can be improved.

Let’s keep in mind that we are talking about 515 on-reserve schools and some 113,000 children and youth nation-wide.  Meaning, the panel will have its work cut out for them if they want to find out how 515 schools can be made better.

That said, I agree with AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo when he says: “We need action now…” because far too often First Nations and the Federal Government consult, a report is written and then left on a shelf somewhere to collect dust. Or worse, the government knows improvements are needed but, for some unknown reason, does nothing. Attawapiskat comes to mind. In any event, let’s hope that actions really do speak louder than words this time.

To read the complete article, click here …

One thought on “AFN & Harper gov’t panel to consult on fixing education for First Nations

  1. Dan — Hmm. I hadn’t thought of that. But, you’re right. The schools on reserves are under federal jurisdiction. However, I am not sure what a voucher system would do. The AFN wants the schools to be run by Natives for Natives with a Native-oriented curriculum. So, I’m not sure they would want private schools per se given reserves get overall funding, of which some is allocated towards schools.

    Perhaps someone can comment here who lives on a reserve to let us know how schools are funded now and if a better model might be recommended to the panel. In that I am not Native — although I have Native blood (e.g., my maternal grandmother was half Native) — I don’t feel qualified to make specific suggestions. I was a redhead as was my mother. How could that happen? Well, apparently, from what I understand, there were several Scots — Macleods and McAuliffe’s — who intermarried and lived on reserves throughout Northern Ontario many generations ago. However, that is a story for another day. 😉

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