National Legislation

Legislation News



FNESC: First Nations Education System at Risk from Bill C-33, April 23, 2014

Read Bill C-33 (PDF),  View the Status of Bill C-33



Aboriginal Education:  Can First Nations Find Common Ground on Tory Reforms? The Canadian Press, July 16, 2014

AFN rejects Harper government’s education bill

Bill put on hold until AFN clarifies its position, Globe & Mail, May 5, 2014

National Chief resigns – read the statement from Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, May 2, 2014

First Nations chief calls “urgent” meeting on education bill, CBC May 1, 2014

First Nations divided over education act and their leadership, CBC May 1, 2014

Shawn Atleo should tear up First Nations Education Act, Apr. 29, 2014

Blockades threatened if Education Bill not Scrapped, CBC Apr. 28, 2014

Union of BC Indian Chiefs: Federal Government Must Withdraw Bill C-33, Apr. 15, 2014

FSIN Opposed to revamped First Nations education billAboriginal education bill meets 5 conditions, Tories table aboriginal education bill amid criticism, Apr. 10, 2014

FNESC’s Letter to Minister Valcourt and FNESC’s Draft BC Perspective on the Act (for discussion purposes only), Apr. 9, 2014

CBC:  First Nations Education Bill to be Tabled in Parliament, Apr. 9, 2014

BC First Nations Leadership Council’s Letter to Minister Valcourt, Apr. 8, 2014

Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador Letter to National Chief Atleo, AFN, Apr. 4, 2014

Open Letter from Minister Valcourt, Apr. 2, 2014

BC First Nations Leadership Council’s  Letter to National Chief Shawn A-in-Chut Atleo, and AFN Response, Mar. 13, 2014

The Hill Times:  FNESC seeking greater clarity on AFN, Government of Canada Announcement, Mar. 17, 2014

BC First Nations Seek Clarity on Proposed First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act, FNESC News Release, Feb. 12, 2014

Announcement by Canada and the Assembly of First Nations, Feb. 7, 2014

Deans, Universities, Teachers Union calling on government to strengthen First Nations control of First Nations Education, Dec. 2, 2013

First Nations Resolved to Protect BC First Nations Education System, FNESC News Release, Nov.22, 2013

AANDC’s A Proposal for a Bill on First Nation Education and letter from Minister Valcourt Oct. 22, 2013

FNESC and FNSA meet with UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya about First Nations Education Act Oct. 11, 2013

AFN National Chief Cites Action on Education as Key to Reconciliation Sept. 20, 2013

First Nations lining up against secret education bill iPolitics: Sept. 20, 2013

Federal “Blueprint” for National First Nations Education Act  Fails to Address BC First Nations’ Concerns read more…

Blockades threatened if Education Bill not Scrapped, CBC Apr. 28, 2014


Who Else is Speaking Out?

The following individuals and organizations have formally voiced their concerns:

First Nations Summit
Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs
BC Assembly of First Nations
BC First Nations communities
Assembly of First Nations
Dr. James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples urged Ottawa not to ‘rush’ education reform
BC Ministry of Education, Hon. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education
BC Teachers’ Federation, Jim Iker, President
BC School Trustees Association, Teresa Rezansoff, President
Association of BC Deans of Education, Kris Magnusson, Chair
Canadian School Boards Association, Michael McEvoy, President, March 2013
Canadian School Boards Association, Michael McEvoy, President, October 31, 2013
University of British Columbia, Blye Frank, Dean, Faculty of Education
Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE), Blye Frank, President
Simon Fraser University, Dr. Kris Magnusson, Dean Faculty of Education
Canadian Teachers’ Federation, Dianne Woloschuk, President
Camosun College, Janice Simcoe, Chair, Aboriginal Education and Community Connections
Canadian Union of Public Employees, Paul Moist, National President and Charles Fleury, National Secretary-Treasurer
Canadian Labour Congress, Kenneth V. Georgetti, President


In 2012, the Government of Canada announced its commitment to introduce a First Nation Education Act by September 2014.  Since that time, First Nations across Canada have objected to the rapid advancement of this national legislation initiative.

The proposed Act does not support First Nations right to control First Nations education. It is not consistent with First Nations’ right of self-government, Canada‘s international obligations, or the 2008 Residential School Apology. It also does not fulfill Canada’s legal duties to First Nations.

The Proposed Act has not addressed our concerns and recommendations either.  BC First Nations provided feedback in multiple ways, including 5 key documents, yet the proposed Act remains practically unchanged since the 2012 Discussion Guide. The Act does not effectively protect our BC First Nations Education System, nor does it commit to needs-based funding.

The proposed Act is being advanced unilaterally, not in partnership with First Nations, and would give the Minister broad decision-making authority, instead of strengthening First Nations control of First Nations education. With this approach, we are concerned that Canada is repeating the mistakes of the past.

First Nations in BC have already been establishing effective First Nations education standards and accountability mechanisms and building unique, accountable education system based on partnerships, and community governance. There are 130 schools governed by First Nations communities, and these schools:

  • are places where First Nations languages and cultures can flourish;
  • have high teaching and learning standards; and
  • are accountable and report to parents, First Nations communities and agencies.

Learn about the Legislation Plans

Critique and Issues by FNESC:

Backgrounder: Oct 15 2013 Canada’s Proposed First Nations Education Act is Not an Act of Reconciliation
Briefing Note – Update on the First Nations National Education Legislation, July 2013
Read FNESC and FNSA’s Letter to Minister Valcourt re: Blueprint &  Response to the Blueprint 
Position Paper: FNESC, FNSA and IAHLA for March 8th Session
Analysis of Legislation Discussion Guide
Backgrounder: BC First Nations Education System

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada:

Proposal for a Bill on First Nation Education and letter from Minister Valcourt Oct. 22, 2013
Blueprint for Legislation, July 2013
Discussion Guide December 2012






Bill C-33: First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act