An Exciting Opportunity to Help Everyone Gain a Better Understanding of our Rich History and Culture
The Assembly of First Nations has developed the It’s Our Time First Nations Tool Kit as the basis of a comprehensive strategy to reach out to First Nations students, teachers, schools, communities and the Canadian public at large. The resource is designed to bring together First Nations and non-First Nations people and foster a spirit of cooperation, understanding, and action.
A number of events have led to a greater commitment on the part of Canada and Canadians to reinforce the importance of improving education outcomes for First Nations:
- On September 13, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
- On June 9, 2008, the Prime-Minister of Canada made an official apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools.
- On June 21, 2010, the policy statement titled First Nations Control of First Nations Education was endorsed by Chiefs in Assembly.
- On November 12, 2010, Canada endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- On February 27, 2012, Shannen’s Dream, a motion for equity in First Nations schools, was supported unanimously in the House of Commons.
- On December 7, 2015 the Prime Minister of Canada addressed Assembly of First Nations leaders and committed to resettling Canada’s relationship with First Nations, stating “It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations peoples, one that understands that the constitutionally guaranteed rights of First Nations in Canada are not an inconvenience but rather a sacred obligation”.
- We call upon the Government of Canada to repeal Section 43 of the
Criminal Code of Canada.
- We call upon the federal government to develop with Aboriginal groups a joint strategy to eliminate educational and employment gaps between Aboriginal
and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
- We call upon the federal government to eliminate the discrepancy in federal education funding for First Nations children being educated on reserves and those
First Nations children being educated off reserves.
- We call upon the federal government to prepare and publish annual reports comparing funding for the education of First Nations children on and off reserves, as well as educational and income attainments of Aboriginal peoples in Canada compared with non-Aboriginal people.
- We call on the federal government to draft new Aboriginal education legislation with the full participation and informed consent of Aboriginal peoples. The new legislation would include a commitment to sufficient funding and would incorporate the following principles:
- Providing sufficient funding to close identified educational achievement gaps within one generation.
- Improving education attainment levels and success rates.
- Developing culturally appropriate curricula.
- Protecting the right to Aboriginal languages, including the teaching of Aboriginal languages as credit courses.
- Enabling parental and community responsibility, control, and accountability, similar to what parents enjoy in public school systems.
- Enabling parents to fully participate in the education of their children.
- Respecting and honouring Treaty relationships.
- We call upon the federal government to provide adequate funding to end the backlog of First Nations students seeking a post-secondary education.
- We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs for Aboriginal families.