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Chiefs vow to do 'whatever it takes' to scrap aboriginal education bill
First Nations leaders denounce AFN-backed Harper government bill
The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations finds himself in the difficult spot of supporting a Harper government bill that one of his chief political rivals described Monday as an affront to Canada's aboriginal community.
Shawn Atleo has publicly backed Bill C-33, the so-called First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act, calling it a step toward long-standing aboriginal demands for control of their schooling, respect for their treaty rights and recognition of their language and culture.
An AFN analysis sent to chiefs last week said the status quo is "absolutely and fundamentally contrary to treaty, inherent and human rights and must change." The document concluded Bill C-33 is a "is a constructive and necessary step."
But some First Nations leaders don't see it that way. They say the legislation strips away their rights and puts too much control over their children's education in the hands of the federal government.
"This is a new day," Derek Nepinak, the Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, told a news conference Monday.
"This is a new era in First Nations leadership where we don't accept the crumbs that they are offering as enticements to allow for our jurisdictions to be swept away under their legislation."....
Chief Shawn Atleo should tear up First Nations Education Act
The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Shawn Atleo made a "historic" deal with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on First Nation education. What makes this deal so historic? Well, it's the deal that no First Nation asked for and its one that Atleo had no power to make. It's historic because not only will Atleo go down in history as the worst National Chief, but he has taken the AFN down with him. For the most part, many Regional Chiefs sat by and watched him do it. Now, the AFN thinks that by analyzing its own deal, this will help make the bitter taste of assimilation wash down more easily. They are wrong.
It is important to understand that Atleo has absolutely no independent political power as National Chief. The AFN's Charter is very specific about this. So, all of his deal-making with Canada is outside the legal scope of this authority. The Prime Minister, who is not a signatory to the treaties between First Nations and Her Majesty, is also acting outside the legal scope of his power. Harper has no power to unilaterally amend treaties or violate constitutionally-protected treaty rights. Yet, this political duo is taking matters into their own hands and changing the rules in education and treaty rights -- just like they both promised at the Crown-First Nation Gathering....
..i begin here to show the atleo position.
Bill C-33, the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act, was tabled on April 10
Shawn Atleo: First Nations Education Act 'must act as a bridge'
First Nations control of First Nations education has been a goal of First Nations for more than 40 years, going back to the 1972 policy position statement Indian Control of Indian Education and, indeed, further back to the first generation of children who were apprehended and forced into the hated residential schools.
No doubt this scar is an indelible reminder of the need — of the right — of our communities and our nations to be responsible for educating our young.
Traditionally, education was a lifelong process that started by raising our children in their languages and cultures, learning the knowledge and teachings of their role in the circle of community, and to survive and thrive on the land.
This is why any efforts aiming at First Nations control of First Nations education spark such strong feelings and passion among our people. We know we must get this right....
Senate takes a first look at First Nations education bill
Politicians in Ottawa are getting their first chance to pick apart the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act.
The Senate committee on Aboriginal Affairs is getting a rare opportunity to scrutinize the bill during what is called a “pre-study.”
Grassroots unease growing over Harper government’s First Nation education bill
Vicki Monague drove six hours from her home community of Beausoleil First Nation to Ottawa in hopes of confronting Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo over his support for the Harper government’s proposed First Nation education bill to govern reserve schools.
Monague said she embarked on the trip not in her capacity as a Beausoleil band councillor but as a mother of three school-aged children. Beausoleil First Nation spans three islands in the southern tip of Georgian Bay and sits about 458 kilometres west of Ottawa.
Monague said she believes the proposed bill, called the First Nation Control of First Nation Education Act, as a threat to the future of her children.
“The bill reinforces the Indian Act,” said Monague, during an interview Monday outside the glass doors leading to Atleo’s 16th floor AFN office in Ottawa. “If you read the act, it says the minister has discretion over and over again. We need to control our own education systems and we need to ensure our language and culture are going to continue for future generations.”....
Chiefs plotting revival of dormant ‘Confederacy of Nations’ to stop FN education bill
A group of First Nation chiefs plan to revive a dormant oversight body within the Assembly of First Nations to turn the organization against the Harper government’s First Nation education bill.
Ontario regional Chief Stan Beardy made the first move in reviving the “Confederacy of Nations” Thursday morning. Beardy faxed a letter to the rest of the AFN executive of regional chiefs requesting a conference call to discuss holding a Confederacy meeting in Ottawa on May 14.
The First Nation Control of First Nation Education Act, Bill C-33, is currently at the debate stage in second reading. It is expected to go to committee for study next week. The Conservatives have also moved to cut debate short on the bill. The Senate Aboriginal Peoples committee is also conducting a pre-study of the bill.
Beardy said the chiefs need to meet because there are still too many unanswered questions around the bill which would imposed standards on-reserve schools, provide a framework to create First Nation school boards and provide $1.9 billion in funding. The bill would also lift the 2 per cent cap on education funding and replace it with a 4.5 escalator.
“The chiefs need to see what’s on the table so they can make a decision themselves. They need to get a full explanation of what is on the table,” said Beardy, in an interview. “I don’t think everyone has a full understanding and the AFN has to report back to the chiefs.”....
Thanks for doing this, epaulo.
..and thank you for saying so unionist.
Atleo resignation restores 'integrity,' says Derek Nepinak
The sudden resignation of Shawn Atleo as the Assembly of First Nations' national chief is being applauded by Manitoba's top aboriginal leader, who has been one of Atleo's critics and political rivals.
"Shawn Atleo came into leadership in a very difficult time," Nepinak told CBC News in an interview.
"He came into leadership at a time when we knew that the Conservative government was going to be pressing us from many different directions. He came at a time when a lot of people are starting to wake up to the recognition of self-determination."
Nepinak blamed the federal government for "cornering" Atleo.
"[The federal government has] disrespected our national leader," Nepinak said.
"It's put him in a place where he had very little choice but to make the decision that he did. His integrity was called into question. I think he brought back some integrity today in the decision that he made."...
Video: National Chief Shawn Atleo resigns Friday in Ottawa
..statement from idle no more.
Shawn Atleo Forced Out As National Chief By The Indignation of First Nations Peoples, As Opposition Builds Against Rushed, Assimilationist First Nations Education Act
Today, after four years of servility and weak leadership in the face of a Harper government bent on an aggressive agenda of assimilation and termination of First Nations, National Chief Shawn Atleo was forced by popular pressure and a brewing chiefs’ revolt to resign, the first time a national chief has resigned since the creation of the institution. Throughout his term, Atleo has been more concerned with keeping Ottawa happy than with representing the aspirations of First Nations people. When people rose up during Idle No More, he undermined the movement by legitimizing the government’s empty posturing by attending a controversial meeting with the Prime Ministers’ Office on January 11, 2013 without the mandate of the Chiefs in Assembly.
Most recently, he has served as the fig leaf for the government’s Orwellian First Nations Education Act, which aims to finish the job of “killing the Indian in the child” that residential schools began by placing First Nations education under the control of governments and central authorities remote from the realities of First Nations - all while disingenuously claiming to place education under First Nations control. This was too much for First Nations peoples, and many chiefs, to bear....
Confederacy of Nations poised to hold first meeting in decade: Nepinak
A long dormant governing body within in the Assembly of First Nations is set to hold its first meeting in a decade this week in Ottawa, says the head of Manitoba’s largest chiefs organization.
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak said the Confederacy of Nations is set to meet Wednesday.
“I have put out a notice to the Manitoba chiefs that there is a Confederacy meeting happening and there will be a number of chiefs going to Ottawa,” said Nepinak.
Nepinak said he also expects delegates from Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec and the Northwest Territories to attend the meeting.
The Confederacy last met in 2004.
The chiefs in Ontario initiated the call for the Confederacy of Nations meeting. Over 40 chiefs signed a letter addressed to AFN CEO Peter Dinsdale asking him to find a venue and provide logistical support for the meeting.
“At least five regions of the AFN whose total membership consists of well over 50 per cent of the membership population have agreed to call, convene and participate in a meeting of the Confederacy of Nations,” said the letter, dated this past Friday. “They have also confirmed that the number of official delegates they will be sending will be well over the 50 per cent quorum specified in the (AFN) charter.”.....
Minister Valcourt stands by his “rogue chiefs” statement in the house
Comments made by the Aboriginal Affairs minister have some calling for his resignation.
Minister Bernard Valcourt was resonding to questions in the House of Commons about whether he would meet with the Confederacy of Nations, a chiefs group within the Assembly of First Nations.
His answer has chiefs, grassroots and the opposition fuming.
http://ww2.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/2014/... [i] “There are two main points of contention,” said Michael Delisle, grand chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, near Montreal, and one of the more outspoken critics of the bill.“The first one is the lack of formal consultation. Even though Minister Valcourt has been cited saying on numerous occasions that there was extensive consultation, I know for a fact that
they never spoke with us.”
“The second one is the main point of contention in the bill,” Mr. Delisle said, “is if you look through the bill, is that
it gives more control to the minister today than the current provisions in the Indian Act
.”The current iteration of C-33 creates an oversight body that is, essentially, appointed by the minister.
PETITION: Valcourt must resign!
“I wanted to hear the national chief’s side on whether or not he feels he breached the national mandate and sections of the (AFN) charter in his endorsement of the (proposed bill),” she said. “And why he felt that he needed to endorse the (bill) without taking it back to the chiefs in assembly for review and analysis.”
And now Wab Kinew may be looking to replace Atleo?
Nation to Nation speaks with Wab Kinew and hears from two opposing MPs on education bill
This week, Nation to Nation speaks to a potential candidate for national chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations and the Harper government’s refusal to call a national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women.
Nation to Nation also hears from two MPs from opposite sides of the House of Commons about the proposed First Nation Control of First Nation Education Act.
Valcourt says over $1 billion available for education, but Ottawa now seeking separate deals
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said Wednesday over $1 billion is still set aside for on-reserve education, but his office is now working to strike separate deals with individual First Nations.
Valcourt said in an interview with Nation to Nation host Nigel Newlove that over $1 billion in education funding is still available, but it’s tied to the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act which was rejected by chiefs last year.
“That money is associated with Bill C-33, C-33 is still in the House and the money is there. Bill C-33 won’t move unless we have the support of the chiefs but they decided not to do that,” said Valcourt. “A lot of chiefs I know across the country deplore that fact.”...
First Nations Children win historic case: Canada guilty of discrimination
In a landmark ruling released today, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that the Canadian government is racially discriminating against 163,000 First Nations children and their families by providing flawed and inequitable child welfare services (“FNCFS Program”) and failing to implement Jordan’s Principle to ensure equitable access to government services available to other children. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission listed child welfare equity and reform as its top Call to Action as there are more First Nations children in foster care today than at the height of the residential school era. The Tribunal found that the federal funding formula provides First Nations child and family services agencies with fewer resources than their provincial counterparts. Several years ago, federal government officials pegged the funding shortfall at between 22 per cent and 34 per cent less than what other children receive. Moreover, the Tribunal found that federal funding formulas and policies create a perverse incentive to place First Nations children in foster care and do not address the cultural needs of children.
In its decision, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal said, “[T]he Panel acknowledges the suffering of those First Nations children and families who are or have been denied an equitable opportunity to remain together or be reunited in a timely manner. We also recognize those First Nations children and families who are or have been adversely impacted by the Government of Canada’s past and current child welfare practices on reserve” and ordered Ottawa to “cease its discriminatory practices and reform the FNCFS Program and the 1965 [Ontario] Agreement to reflect the findings of this decision. AANDC is also ordered to cease applying its narrow definition of Jordan’s Principle and to take measures to immediately implement the full meaning and scope of Jordan’s Principle.”
Scared and Spied On Under Harper, Why Child Advocate Didn't Give Up
Five or 10 years in the future, is there something you'd like to see that's fundamentally different -- other than obviously ending the funding gap -- in the way governments approach First Nations children on reserve?
That they really believe in the ability of communities to make the best decisions for kids. We have a process called Touchstones of Hope that brings together the very best Western child welfare practices and resurfaces traditional [Indigenous] ways of caring. When it come down to it, child protection is really about how well we can support communities to assume that responsibility for looking out for kids at a grassroots level. I'm hoping we see a lot of investment in that particular area.
The other thing is that we need to address poverty. The vast majority of First Nations children go into [government] care because of poverty and poor housing. The United States is a step ahead of us here: there are 17 U.S. states and the District of Columbia where the child welfare statutes expressly say that you cannot remove a child for poverty. As Minister Bennett said the other day in her response: "If there's no food in the fridge, you get some food in the fridge... not take the kid away."
..will create a thread