The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is renewing its high priority call for immediate investment from the government of Canada into the education of First Nation children.
On December 10, on Treaty 1 Territory, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), with technical support from the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) emphasized the need for immediate investment and the development of a much needed plan to overcome the funding gap that is denying Indigenous children equity in opportunity for education.
In recent months, following the rejection of the Federal governments First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act (FNCFNEA) the discussion on much needed investment in education has gone silent nationally, while the focus has shifted towards the election of a new National Chief.
According to the AMC, “this focus on the establishment of a new National Chief has taken away from the much needed advocacy and planning that our families need in order for our children to have access to equitable opportunity in education. During this time, the federal government has withheld millions of dollars in much needed resources to increase the capacity of Manitoba First Nations to deliver successful education programming for our children in our communities.”
“Our review here in Manitoba of the much needed investment in instructional services, the needs for special education programming and early childhood development, the need for the building of Kindergarten to Grade twelve experiences in the home community for our children and the need to make significant investment in post-secondary trades, training and education could have easily used up the entirety of the national financial incentive package tied to the alleged education reform statute promoted by the Harper regime and key personnel at the AFN,” stated AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.
“It took decades to create this wide disparity in education opportunity for our children, decades to form this continued post residential school education apartheid.
“Resultantly, we do not anticipate that the strategy would bring equity of opportunity overnight. We recognize the need to prepare a plan that spans 10-15 years to beat the education apartheid and to create equity. We know that this cannot be done with a small investment and campaign promises. We know transformational reform will require 7-10 billion dollars of commitment and planning.”
“Our children don’t deserve politically expedient solutions bolstered by false government propaganda on the failures of our communities to educate our young people. Our children are the examples of perseverance and they thrive in education despite the impediments that have been built through concerted effort by governments to prevent flourishing communities.” concluded Grand Chief Nepinak.
To bolster the continuing call for immediate investment, the AMC has developed a short informational vignette on the importance of immediate investment in education.