February 27, 2012
NDP leads way to historic vote on “Shannen’s Dream”
Conservatives need to follow through on First Nations Education in upcoming budget
OTTAWA – After years of hard work, a New Democrat motion calling for the end of funding discrimination against First Nation schools is set to pass Monday night with unanimous consent.
The motion, based on the principles of the Shannen’s Dream campaign, moves Canada one step closer to ending inequality for First Nations’ education.
“We need to guarantee education for all,” said Aboriginal Affairs critic Linda Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona). “It is long past time to commit to the funding and support needed to provide a quality education for First Nation communities.”
The NDP motion, moved by deputy Aboriginal Affairs critic Jonathan Genest-Jourdain (Manicouagan), calls for the government to declare that First Nations students have an equal right to quality education, and to work with First Nations leaders on an action plan that ensures students on reserves receive a properly funded, culturally sensitive education.
“After all the work and effort that’s been put into ending the shameful neglect of First Nations’ education, we are now one step closer to making Shannen’s Dream a reality,” said Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay), who has been leading the fight to get the children of James Bay coast a proper school.
“It’s great to see that we have all parties finally agreeing on this motion — it is now up to the government to live up to the democratic will of the House and actually implement these principles as soon as possible,” Angus said. “We cannot let another generation down by not acting.”
Shannen’s Dream, founded by the late Shannen Koostachin, is a campaign focused on ending the funding discrimination faced by First Nation schoolchildren across Canada.