BC First Nations Seek Clarity on Proposed First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act, FNESC News Release, Feb. 12, 2014
Deans, Universities, Teachers Union calling on government to strengthen First Nations control of First Nations Education
First Nations Resolved to Protect BC First Nations Education System, FNESC News Release, Nov.22, 2013
FNESC and FNSA meet with UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya about First Nations Education Act Oct. 11, 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…
We encourage all Canadians to call upon the federal government to stop the proposed act and protect the BC First Nations Education System by working in genuine partnership with First Nations.
What BC First Nations have Asked
In summary, we have called upon the Government of Canada, in the spirit of true and honourable reconciliation, to:
- Set aside the proposed Act;
- Fulfill its legal obligations to First Nations;
- Work in partnership with First Nations on any education reform initiatives; and
- Honour the spirit and substance of existing agreements.
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: